Guest Blog – The Case for Contingent Workforce Management Transformation in Small- and Mid-sized Businesses | DCR Workforce Blog

Guest Blog – The Case for Contingent Workforce Management Transformation in Small- and Mid-sized Businesses

The most interesting aspect of Vendor Management System (VMS) technology is this: it is technically a solution that services a specific (yet critical) area of the business, however, it has the same (or larger) impact as that of more traditional enterprise-wide systems (such as ERP). It is somewhere in the middle of this statement that many small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) find themselves in regard to the adoption and utilization of a VMS: Does it take a backseat to other pressing corporate needs? Or does the executive team perceive the transformation of talent as strong enough to dedicate the necessary resources to a growing, evolving segment of its workforce?

Nearly 38% of today’s total workforce is considered “non-employee” in some regard (be it freelancers, independent contractors, temporary workers, robotics, professional services, etc.); in many SMB organizations, that figure is much larger. SMBs often face the existential talent crisis at a higher level: the agile talent that comes in and out of the organization at a recurring rate is often contributing to mission-critical projects and initiatives related to core product or service development. And, with that, contingent workforce management (CWM) programs within these organizations require high levels of talent visibility and the overall power of a VMS to serve as a crucial foundation in taking the program to the next level.

For SMBs to not only transform their CWM programs into value-add machines, but to also reap the benefits of the talent revolution, investing in a VMS is one of several logical answers. SMBs should consider the following recommendations in 2017 as the non-employee workforce continues to grow and evolve in the months ahead:

  • Understand that today’s contingent workforce is a true strategic element of the overall corporate strategy; thus, automation and technology (i.e. VMS) is an essential element in boosting visibility into talent and its impact across the greater organization.
  • Embrace the innovation that is happening in the market (such as artificial intelligence, gamification, etc.), but ensure core CWM processes are at a best-in-class level before dipping into the “hot” technology that is making waves today.
  • Plant the seeds of collaboration between procurement and human resources to drive the initial wave of total workforce management…a concept that, as the workforce becomes more blended, will be an advantageous strategy, and;
  • Prioritize contingent workforce management processes and capabilities to reflect the changing world of work. Leverage online and digital talent platforms, embrace the gig economy and optimize talent engagement to tap into new skillsets, expertise and workers.

Since 2006, Christopher J. Dwyer has been one of the world’s foremost spend management experts and leading authority on contingent workforce management, the evolution of the non-employee workforce, and the burgeoning Future of Work. He is a premier thought leader in the contingent workforce industry, authoring hundreds of research studies and evangelizing the evolution of the non-employee workforce. He is the voice behind Contingent Workforce Weekly, the industry’s first (and only) weekly podcast dedicated to this space, and has contributed hundreds of thought leadership pieces and research studies to the non-employee and talent management markets. Email him at, or follow him on Twitter (@CJD_Ardent).

Editor’s Note: At DCR, we agree with Chris that a SMB has unique needs and challenges when it comes to sourcing, hiring and managing an extended workforce. They may question whether they’re too small to take advantage of this solution, face constraints such as limited internal resources to manage the system or have no internal appetite for a long implementation process. A few weeks ago, DCR launched Smart Track NOW to enable mid-sized organizations to access the full capabilities of Smart Track VMS. This is not a scaled-back version of Smart Track – it delivers an accelerated and simplified implementation process, provides access to all of Smart Track’s functionality and modules and allows for scalability at the client’s pace, without replacing the entire system or going through another expensive implementation down the road. To learn more, please visit us at Smart Track NOW or email to request more information or a demo today.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Christopher J. Dwyer is a Research Director at Ardent Partners, a Boston-based supply management research and advisory firm. He is considered a thought leader in the contingent workforce management industry with recognition from HRO Today as an “Analyst and Advisor Superstar” in 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as from Supply and Demand Chain Executive Magazine (named as a “Pro to Know” in 2013). He is a premier thought leader in this industry, authoring hundreds of research studies and evangelizing the evolution of the non-employee workforce, its technology platforms, and the concept of the “future of work.” He welcomes your comments at, on LinkedIn or Twitter (@CJD_Ardent). Visit to read more of his research.