Yesterday, Beeline, provider of Vendor Management System (VMS) software, announced that its parent company, Adecco Group, has acquired contractor / freelance management solution OnForce. The acquisition will place OnForce’s freelancer management system (FMS) under the Beeline umbrella of software and services, and presents the industry with a cloud-based offering that can effectively manage, source and engage all types of freelance and contract talent.
OnForce, headquartered in Lexington, MA, is a provider of FMS technology and assists enterprises in managing their networks of contract talent, specifically freelancers and independent contractors (ICs). The provider was founded in 2004 and currently has 50 employees. According to the Beeline team, OnForce will continue to operate as an independent entity, and the merger will not affect existing integrations or partnerships.
“Within the extended workforce, the focus has been on contractors and consulting firms providing statements of work. However, there is an important and growing segment that has been overlooked- freelancers,” Doug Leeby, president of Beeline, told us yesterday. “We in the VMS world have failed to provide viable and valuable solutions for clients who want to source and manage independent contractors/freelancers. Combining a VMS with an FMS (Freelancer Management System) closes this gap and provides a solution that can truly enable the enterprise to manage the entire extended workforce.”
This acquisition sparks yet another shift in the contingent workforce management (CWM) marketplace, as more and more enterprises are actively seeking alternative means from which to source high-quality, top-tier and specialized skillsets. By bundling OnForce’s FMS services under the greater Beeline offering, companies can not only leverage the robust capabilities of a VMS platform (analytics, supplier management, SOW management, etc.) but control the identity management issues that plague the engagement of freelance contingent workers.
Adecco’s acquisition of OnForce speaks to a few key progressions in the greater CWM industry:
- The evolution of talent engagement has reached a point where enterprises require more control over non-traditional workforce sources, such as online labor marketplaces and freelancer networks. Due to concerns regarding compliance and general issues around controlling spending and maintaining visibility, automation in this regard is certainly needed in today’s CWM world.
- The fragmentation of management in the “new normal” of contingent workforce management meant that companies who leveraged all contingent labor types in the Contingent Workforce Management Framework had to integrate systems and entice cross-functional coordination to effectively capture all talent under a single program. The combination of OnForce’s FMS capabilities and Beeline’s contingent workforce services and SmartView offerings will help their users not only engage all talent types, but manage them under a centralized system and program.
- Collaboration is a prime capability in the CWM Framework, and this acquisition proves that the walls between procurement and human resources must be torn down in order to manage non-traditional talent effectively. A major gap between the two functions has always been twofold: control and automation. The integration between VMS and FMS not only offers a level of automation not seen before in the CWM industry (application of procurement principles to specific non-traditional workforce types), but it assists enterprises in exhibiting control over compliance measures in how ICs and freelance talent are managed within the greater organization.
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