From Risk to Reward

8 Common External Workforce Challenges and How to Solve Them

42% of workforce spend is on the external workforce

SAP Fieldglass research studies, in collaboration with Oxford Economics, reveal an increasing reliance on a flexible and global external workforce to help companies stay competitive, remain resilient, and deliver positive business outcomes.

But with an increased reliance on external workers comes increased business and security risks.

Contractors, services agencies, consultants, freelancers and others – how does a company manage them all?

Across the globe, in all industries, senior HR and Procurement leaders are asking...

 

Do we really know who’s working for us?

  • Our research studies reveal only 39% of executives know who is doing the work

Are there unknown security risks with contractors?

  • According to the research data, roughly 2 in 5 executives experience digital security breaches with external workers

What if we get audited?

  • The research studies confirm only 1/3 of executives are highly informed about compliance and the external workforce

Are we tracking project quality and delivery with our services providers?

  • Our research data reveals that 25% of projects done by services providers is not completed on time or on budget
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If your company is experiencing these or similar challenges, you are not alone.

SAP Fieldglass can help.

For over twenty years, SAP Fieldglass has helped thousands of global customers across all industries turn their external workforce risks into business and organizational rewards.

In this interactive online e-book, you'll learn how global companies such as Northwestern Mutual, Philips, Siemens, and Nestle Purina conquered their contingent workforce challenges with transformative results.

Explore the challenges


Discover the eight most common external workforce challenges our customers face, and begin your journey from risk to reward

01.

“How can we keep better track of our external workers?”

02.

“How can we ramp up our external workforce quickly?”

03.

“Every department has a different process for hiring external labor and services.”

04.

“How can we get better quality and value from our services providers?”

05.

“I worry about security with so many temporary workers coming and going.”

06.

“Are we getting the right talent at the most competitive rate?”

07.

“What if we get audited?”

08.

“How can we reduce our ‘time-to-fill’ rate?”

8 Common External Workforce Challenges and How to Solve Them

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8 Common External Workforce Challenges and How to Solve Them

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8 Common External Workforce Challenges and How to Solve Them

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Begin your journey through the 8 most common external workforce challenges by scrolling to the next screen, or 
choose any challenge from the menu to get started.

 

Challenge Menu

01.

“How can we keep better track of our external workers?”

02.

“How can we ramp up our external workforce quickly?”

03.

“Every department has a different process for hiring external labor and services.”

04.

“How can we get better quality and value from our services providers?”

05.

“I worry about security with so many temporary workers coming and going.”

06.

“Are we getting the right talent at the most competitive rate?”

07.

“What if we get audited?”

08.

“How can we reduce our ‘time-to-fill’ rate?”

Challenge

Solution

Results

Menu icon

Menu

01.

01.

01. Track workers

02.

02.

02. Scale up or down

03.

03.

03. Streamline processes

04.

04.

04. Track work quality

05.

05.

05. Improve security

06.

06.

06. Strengthen talent base

07.

07.

07. Audit-ready

08.

08.

08. Reduce time-to-fill

Summary icon

Summary

01.
“How can we keep better track of our external workers?”

The Challenge

 

Do you know the “who, what, where, when, and how” of your external workforce? If not, you’re not alone.

External workers in your organization are likely spread across different geographies and departments, and often managed with manual, non-compliant, and disconnected processes.

When you lose track of these resources, you risk losing time, money, quality of work, and even the theft of your company’s assets and IP.

01.

“How can we keep better track of our external workers?”

The Solution

 

With SAP Fieldglass Worker Profile Management, you can see and maintain a standardized record of all your global, external workers in one place: contact information, work history, certifications, pay rates, access to company assets, and more. 

With all this information and reporting at your fingertips, you can ensure that your contingent workforce is fully tracked, managed, and compliant.

Challenge pictogram

The Risks

Disparate processes and systems can’t be reconciled

Inconsistent security protocols leave company IP and assets vulnerable to breach

Irregular tracking of deliverables and milestones

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Global master worker record and one source of truth

Strict security policies consistently enforced across every geography

Consistent evaluation of the quality of work delivered

The Solution

 

With SAP Fieldglass Worker Profile Management, you can see and maintain a standardized record of all your global, external workers in one place: contact information, work history, certifications, pay rates, access to company assets, and more. 

With all this information and reporting at your fingertips, you can ensure that your contingent workforce is fully tracked, managed, and compliant.

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Global master worker record and one source of truth

Strict security policies consistently enforced across every geography

Consistent evaluation of the quality of work delivered

The Results

 

Northwestern Mutual achieves 99% external workforce visibility

 

Following an audit, Northwestern Mutual needed to align Human Resources and Procurement. The insurance leader sought a consistent solution to oversee its total external workforce.

Their HR and Procurement departments partnered in the enlistment of SAP Fieldglass – with transformative results.

  • 600 invoices in different formats now condensed into one weekly electronic file
  • Accurate workforce data sets the foundation for excellent workforce planning
  • Hiring managers know where to go – no more work-arounds

 

“It’s exciting for us to say we now have 99% of our external workforce tracked in SAP Fieldglass—99% feels pretty good.”

Nancy Maren, Services Procurement,
Northwestern Mutual 

02.
“How can we ramp up our external workforce quickly?”

The Challenge

 

Whether you’re racing the competition to be first-to-market, or racing against time to ramp up production of critical healthcare equipment, finding contingent workers with the right skills in the right location can often determine success or failure.

Companies frequently struggle with urgent staffing surges due to inefficient and disconnected processes, or confusion as to where to go and how to get it done quickly.

With so much at stake, reacting at speed and scale is essential.

02.

“How can we ramp up our external workforce quickly?”

The Solution

 

For a company to react quickly to a crisis, or to take advantage of market changes and business opportunities, an external workforce management program is invaluable. 

With SAP Fieldglass solutions, you are connected to the most effective resourcing channels for your industry, so you can rapidly identify and hire workers with the necessary skills. With a robust, global platform, you can make staffing decisions quickly, and even redeploy workers from one site to another.

Challenge pictogram

The Risks

Slow response may lead to lost opportunities and diminished reputation

Inability to hire skilled external workers quickly can mean too little, too late

Inflexible to reassign resources where and when you need them most

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Empowered to respond rapidly to a challenge, opportunity, or crisis

Capable of engaging skilled external workers quickly, where and when you need them most

Flexible to scale resources up or down as you need them

The Solution

 

For a company to react quickly to a crisis, or to take advantage of market changes and business opportunities, an external workforce management program is invaluable. 

With SAP Fieldglass solutions, you are connected to the most effective resourcing channels for your industry, so you can rapidly identify and hire workers with the necessary skills. With a robust, global platform, you can make staffing decisions quickly, and even redeploy workers from one site to another.

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Empowered to respond rapidly to a challenge, opportunity, or crisis

Capable of engaging skilled external workers quickly, where and when you need them most

Flexible to scale resources up or down as you need them

The Results

 

Philips triples production of critical healthcare equipment in rapid and resilient response to COVID-19

 

When the pandemic hit, Philips urgently needed to ramp-up their production lines of healthcare equipment and increase the number of skilled workers quickly. They turned to their innovative external workforce strategy with SAP Fieldglass to make it happen.

  • Production lines tripled to 24-hour uptime
  • 97% of its contingent workforce managed in 25 countries
  • €500 million in yearly contingent workforce spend effectively administered

 

“To meet a surge in demand for our health monitors and ventilators, we went from one to three production lines and moved from one shift a day to 24-hour uptime. Thanks to SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Management, we were able to quickly locate workers with the right skills so we could speed the ramp up of our activities.”

Martin Thomas, Head of Total Workforce
Management, Koniklijke Philips N.V.

03.
“Every department has a different process for hiring external labor and services.”

The Challenge

 

Typically, a company’s Human Resources department manages salaried or hourly employees while the Procurement department manages goods. But who is responsible for managing contract workers and people-based services like maintenance companies and marketing agencies?

The lack of clarity makes this “gray area” of spend ripe for inefficiency, mismanagement, and human error.

Without an enterprise-wide external workforce management solution, companies risk wasting time and money on incompatible and inefficient systems that may require hours of research and reconciliation.

03.

“Every department has a different process for hiring external labor and services.”

The Solution

 

SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Management and Services Procurement solutions can help bring your external workforce into one unified view. Manual and time-consuming functions can be automated and streamlined.

With one application, your HR, Procurement, and other functional areas can share data and “talk” to each other. Access all workforce data in one place, with advanced reporting and analytics to help inform future workforce decisions.

Challenge pictogram

The Risks

Manual processes consume too much valuable time

Disconnected, multiple processes lead to confusion

Time-consuming research and reconciliation required for accurate reports and audits

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Streamlined, efficient processes enable you to get more work done in less time

Single enterprise application means everyone is on the same page

Generate automated reporting and deep analytics

The Solution

 

SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Management and Services Procurement solutions can help bring your external workforce into one unified view. Manual and time-consuming functions can be automated and streamlined.

With one application, your HR, Procurement, and other functional areas can share data and “talk” to each other. Access all workforce data in one place, with advanced reporting and analytics to help inform future workforce decisions.

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Streamlined, efficient processes enable you to get more work done in less time

Single enterprise application means everyone is on the same page

Generate automated reporting and deep analytics

The Results

 

Siemens reduces end-to-end processes by 40% and saves $17 million

 

With a fragmented management system and multiple technologies in use, Siemens implemented SAP Fieldglass to centralize their external workforce management and streamline processes. The company soon proved the value of the solution through cost savings and process efficiencies.

  • $17 million saved since launch of the program
  • Cycle time reduced by 25%
  • 40,000 paper invoices eliminated

 

“The process effort in terms of the end-to-end requisition through to invoicing we estimate is reduced by 40% [with SAP Fieldglass solutions] . . . and we’ve taken about 40,000 invoices out of the process.”

Phil Biddle, Global Commodity Manager,
Temporary Labor, Siemens

04.
“How can we get better quality and value from our services providers?”

The Challenge

 

After the agreement is signed, are you actively tracking the quality of work and progress against milestones of your services providers?

To derive maximum value from your services providers, the workers assigned to your account or project should be held accountable for delivering high-quality work on time, and on-budget.

Otherwise, you risk missing crucial deadlines, approving unsatisfactory work, going over-budget, or re-hiring services providers who have not met performance or quality standards in the past.

04.

“How can we get better quality and value from our services providers?”

The Solution

 

SAP Fieldglass Services Procurement solution can help ensure your services providers are qualified, compliant, and delivering maximum value.

With a single, cloud-based solution, you can track milestones and deliverables of your projects to ensure a supplier has delivered according to plan and budget. You can also assess the quality of services at the time of completion, and even flag “do not re-hire” if the work is unsatisfactory.

Challenge pictogram

The Risks

Missed deadlines can put your project, and budget, at risk

Unsatisfactory work goes unchecked, resulting in potential future repeats

Costly rework may be required, causing budget overruns

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

On-time and on-budget projects deliver better value

Validate the work and hold the services provider responsible for the quality

Re-hire only the services providers who are high performers

The Solution

 

SAP Fieldglass Services Procurement solution can help ensure your services providers are qualified, compliant, and delivering maximum value.

With a single, cloud-based solution, you can track milestones and deliverables of your projects to ensure a supplier has delivered according to plan and budget. You can also assess the quality of services at the time of completion, and even flag “do not re-hire” if the work is unsatisfactory.

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

On-time and on-budget projects deliver better value

Validate the work and hold the services provider responsible for the quality

Re-hire only the services providers who are high performers

The Results

 

Allstate can now assess the quality of work and services delivered – and re-engage only the high performers

 

Insurance leader Allstate looked to the external workforce to provide fresh thinking and hard-to-find digital skills. But they wanted to manage it more strategically. With SAP Fieldglass, Allstate established greater visibility into its external workforce, tracking the quality of the work delivered and ensuring compliance with industry standards.

  • “Single source of truth” established
  • PCI compliance training made mandatory
  • Off-boarding is automatic and secure

 

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the way we manage services providers. For example, we are shifting from managing hours towards managing deliverables, and holding services providers accountable for the quality of the work they deliver.”

Cynthia Moore, 
Sourcing Lead Consultant & Procurement Solutions at Allstate
 

05.
“I worry about security with so many temporary workers coming and going.”

The Challenge

 

When it comes to temporary and contract workers, strict security protocols are critical.

Have all of your external workers passed background checks? Have they been properly trained and certified for specialized work? Will access to company assets and locations be terminated when the job is completed?

These questions and more can plague businesses - risking data leaks, security breaches, and stolen IP.

05.

“I worry about security with so many temporary workers coming and going.”

The Solution

 

Many industries – banking, healthcare, aerospace, and utilities, for example – are routinely entrusted with confidential information and must defend against both internal and external security threats. Enterprises must be able to trust that their external workforce has been properly trained in security protocols, and that their property and confidential or proprietary information cannot just “walk out the door.”

SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Management can help you track, manage, and maintain strict standards for tight security. Within one application, you can ensure that each contingent worker is tracked with an assigned security ID and all worker data – including background checks, industry certifications, access to company facilities and equipment, and more – is saved and available in the database. If any security protocol is missing, an alert will be issued for your immediate attention.

Challenge pictogram

The Risks

Unvetted workers pose security and compliance risks

Untrustworthy actors can wreak havoc

Stolen assets, IP, or confidential data can do real damage

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Vetted, trained, and highly-specialized talent is at your fingertips

Strict security protocols maintain consistency

Secure your data, assets, and IP

The Solution

 

Many industries – banking, healthcare, aerospace, and utilities, for example – are routinely entrusted with confidential information and must defend against both internal and external security threats. Enterprises must be able to trust that their external workforce has been properly trained in security protocols, and that their property and confidential or proprietary information cannot just “walk out the door.”

SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Management can help you track, manage, and maintain strict standards for tight security. Within one application, you can ensure that each contingent worker is tracked with an assigned security ID and all worker data – including background checks, industry certifications, access to company facilities and equipment, and more – is saved and available in the database. If any security protocol is missing, an alert will be issued for your immediate attention.

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Vetted, trained, and highly-specialized talent is at your fingertips

Strict security protocols maintain consistency

Secure your data, assets, and IP

The Results

 

Sikorsky successfully deploys SAP Fieldglass under intense pressure and strict security

 

While being acquired by Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky sought a new solution for external workforce management and services procurement. With their previous workforce management platform slated for decommissioning, the company needed a flexible platform that could be implemented quickly. SAP Fieldglass’ speed, agility, and robust integration capabilities made it the right choice.

  • Implementation in only four weeks prevented disruption
  • Compliance with corporate and government security protocols
  • Tightly controlled access to systems and facilities

 

“Not just anyone can design and build a military helicopter—the helicopter engineer is a rare breed of talent. With SAP Fieldglass, it’s much easier now to find and manage such highly specialized talent.”

—Julius Rivers,
Engineering Strategic Sourcing Leader, Sikorsky

06.
“Are we getting the right talent at the most competitive rate?”

The Challenge

 

Bringing in fresh external talent can also mean bringing in fresh ideas and skills to keep your company competitive in a digital world.

But you need to find the right external talent at the right cost globally - and the old ways of finding external talent are cumbersome and growing more obsolete. Are you fully equipped to send out a requisition, quickly evaluate candidates from preferred agencies, then negotiate the contract and onboard quickly – all within one application?

Without a solid strategy and a robust, enterprise-wide solution, you may be over-paying for less qualified talent. When this happens, you not only drain budget and resources, you also risk losing out on new marketplace opportunities to help drive your business forward.

06.

“Are we getting the right talent at the most competitive rate?”

The Solution

 

With SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Management, you can find the right talent at the right price – every time. Customize your job templates and enable preferred staffing firms to submit candidates first. With advanced resume screening and Candidate Portal, you can use advanced comparison tools to view candidates side-by-side, from skills to pay rates and much more.

Along the way, you are also strengthening relationships and building resources, like a customized Talent Pool, so you can fill future roles from a vetted contingent talent base.

Challenge pictogram

The Risks

Antiquated processes slow you down

Unable to quickly evaluate candidate’s qualifications and pay rates side by side

Over-paying for mid-tier talent drains budgets and resources

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Real-time recruitment sends out immediate notifications to candidates

Evaluate external talent from preferred agencies and build a customized talent pool to fill future roles

Primed with the right talent at the right cost, your company gains a competitive edge

The Solution

 

With SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Management, you can find the right talent at the right price – every time. Customize your job templates and enable preferred staffing firms to submit candidates first. With advanced resume screening and Candidate Portal, you can use advanced comparison tools to view candidates side-by-side, from skills to pay rates and much more.

Along the way, you are also strengthening relationships and building resources, like a customized Talent Pool, so you can fill future roles from a vetted contingent talent base.

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Real-time recruitment sends out immediate notifications to candidates

Evaluate external talent from preferred agencies and build a customized talent pool to fill future roles

Primed with the right talent at the right cost, your company gains a competitive edge

The Results

 

MUFG Union Bank NA now engages top quality external talent in real-time

 

MUFG Union Bank deployed SAP Fieldglass and established real-time communication with its talent pool of contingent workers. Now the company benefits from cost savings and increased engagement with better qualified candidates.

  • 2,500+ talent base built and introduced through 98% referrals
  • Higher quality of job candidates attracted and retained
  • Consulting costs saved by directly sourcing contractor

 

“SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Management has jetted our recruitment into real time. As soon as I open up a job, our contractors are already notified and primed for deployment.”

Sandra Buhler, Director, 
Contingent Workforce, MUFG Union Bank N.A 

07.
“What if we get audited?”

The Challenge

 

Whether it’s a tax audit, compliance audit, or payroll audit, your company needs to have its records in order.

Labor laws and tax tables vary with geography. Manual and disparate processes can impede verification of your financial records and transactions. Meeting compliance standards such as PCI or HIPAA require careful safeguarding of sensitive data and privacy.

Without a clearly documented audit trail, your business risks incurring fines or even legal action.

07.

“What if we get audited?”

The Solution

 

SAP Fieldglass solutions can help your business simplify the complexity of audits by consolidating all external workforce data in one solution.

Our cloud-based platform is available in over 180 countries and 21 languages, ensuring global corporations are in compliance with local labor and tax laws, meet all data privacy standards, and document security certifications for all highly regulated industries. In addition, financial data such as invoices and payroll are always available on-demand through the advanced reporting and analytics functions.

Challenge pictogram

The Risks

Disparate external workforce data can lead to inaccurate records and reports

Non-compliance and miscalculation of regional tax, labor, and privacy laws can put your company at risk

Violation fees or legal action may result

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Accurate, consolidated data simplifies records and audits

Compliance with local tax, labor, and privacy laws in 180+ countries

Enterprise-wide transparency provides a single point of reference

The Solution

 

SAP Fieldglass solutions can help your business simplify the complexity of audits by consolidating all external workforce data in one solution.

Our cloud-based platform is available in over 180 countries and 21 languages, ensuring global corporations are in compliance with local labor and tax laws, meet all data privacy standards, and document security certifications for all highly regulated industries. In addition, financial data such as invoices and payroll are always available on-demand through the advanced reporting and analytics functions.

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Accurate, consolidated data simplifies records and audits

Compliance with local tax, labor, and privacy laws in 180+ countries

Enterprise-wide transparency provides a single point of reference

The Results

 

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) manages its external workforce with SAP Fieldglass – because even the auditors get audited

 

To comply with strict federal guidelines, the ATO required total visibility into its external workforce. With SAP Fieldglass, the organization improved its external workforce visibility with a single point of reference for its users and sped up the procure to pay process.

  • 15 weeks to full implementation
  • Launched program with 300 IT contingent workers, then shortly doubled in size
  • Expanded use of the solution to SOWs and broadened the scope of the company’s spend management

 

“By standardizing and automating our contractor engagement processes, we have achieved greater visibility into spend and supplier performance. The VMS provides a single point of reference that agency hiring managers, suppliers, workers and the Panel Management Team can utilize to facilitate all processes from requisition through to payment.”

Peter Walker, 
Assistant Commissioner, IT Commercial Services, ATO

08.
“How can we reduce our ‘time-to-fill’ rate?”

The Challenge

 

Finding the right talent for an open position is often subject to inefficient processes and risk, like manual job postings, incomplete background checks, and inconsistent on- and off-boarding.

As a result, you may be slow to make the job offer and lose out on top talent to faster competitors – or worse, hire the wrong (unvetted) contractor for the job, leaving your company vulnerable to security breaches, IP or real property theft.

08.

“How can we reduce our ‘time-to-fill’ rate?”

The Solution

 

The SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Management solution is designed to help you find the right talent, faster. You can customize job templates and distribute the posting to preferred providers first. Quickly identify qualified candidates with Candidate Review. Interview, perform secure background checks, check market rates, and negotiate the offer – all in one place.

Be assured: you not only securely hired the right worker at the right price, you also did it in a fraction of the time.

Challenge pictogram

The Risks

Manual processes tether you to inefficiency and inaccuracy

Inconsistent access to reliable workers slows you down

Slow "time to fill" = wasted days before project starts

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Automated processes enable you to hire the best talent, faster

Reliable Candidate Portal connects you to top talent

Quicker “time to fill” = your project gets a jumpstart

The Solution

 

The SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Management solution is designed to help you find the right talent, faster. You can customize job templates and distribute the posting to preferred providers first. Quickly identify qualified candidates with Candidate Review. Interview, perform secure background checks, check market rates, and negotiate the offer – all in one place.

Be assured: you not only securely hired the right worker at the right price, you also did it in a fraction of the time.

Solution pictogram

The Rewards

Automated processes enable you to hire the best talent, faster

Reliable Candidate Portal connects you to top talent

Quicker “time to fill” = your project gets a jumpstart

The Results

 

Nestle Purina accomplished a 49% reduction in “time-to-fill”

 

With 200,00 employees globally, Nestle Purina need a single solution to achieve stronger management of its growing external workforce. Within two years of implementing SAP Fieldglass, the company reaped significant rewards.

  • “Eye-opening” cost savings of $1.5 million
  • Streamlined and secure processes
  • Centralized, legally- compliant contracts

 

“We took 90-120 days to fill positions prior to implementing Fieldglass. We are running now 22 days on average – that’s about a 49% reduction – and that’s incredible in two years.”

– Stepheny Aden, 
HR Manager, Nestle Purina

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