Overnight, the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic affected every sector of the market. From travel to tech, no industry was spared significant disruption. Today, entire supply chain networks, built over decades, are having to reroute, rebuild, and reconstitute.
With coronavirus cases continuing to rise, fall, and rise again globally, buyers continue to struggle with sourcing as suppliers struggle with moving goods and services.
But as experienced, this disruption is not just about goods and services; it’s about workers as well. That is where SAP Fieldglass partners like Qwil are stepping up to fill gaps and support business continuity.
I recently spoke with Johnny Reinsch and Ron Suber of Qwil, a new financial SAP Fieldglass application extension partner that aims to repair and reenergize the procurement pipeline by facilitating increased flexibility in supplier payments. Qwil offers a dynamic discounting practice for suppliers of contingent labor, thereby improving liquidity for both the consumers and suppliers of talent.
Qwil’s early payment solution also helps SAP Fieldglass customers attract more niche and diverse contingent workforce suppliers worldwide. In smaller markets, for example, foreign-denominated invoices can be converted to local currency, expediting global deployments of contingent workers.
Supporting contingent workers at this time is more important than ever as the gig economy continues to fill gaps in readily available labor.
In the immediate future, customers might look to invest in technology that continues to support remote work and assess ways to address their supply chain issues. They may also want to invest in risk assessment strategies and data insights to help prepare for another potential supply chain breakdown and damage to the buyer-supplier relationship.
If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that the value of contract and freelance workers should not be underestimated. The 2008 recession saw investment in more contractors and freelancers versus full-time employees, helping mitigate risk amidst economic turbulence. I think that we will see this trend continue, as successful organizations intelligently use contingent labor to complement their full-time employees and talent strategy. SAP Fieldglass and partners like Qwil are uniquely positioned to help customers manage this paradigm.
At a time when immediate, seamless payments can make all the difference, partners like Qwil are helping ensure that gig workers get paid on time and on their terms. As companies grapple with ongoing challenges, access to capital management and the ability to quickly onboard contingent labor may make all the difference in thriving in the new normal.
Bob Baker is global vice president of SAP Procurement Solutions and the Application Extension Ecosystem at SAP.