The SOW Spend Management Shift

Christopher Dwyer of Ardent Partners continues to demonstrate his grasp of the evolving contingent labor industry in his latest post at CPO Rising The VMS Link to Talent Management.

I wonder how long it will be until quality vendor selections for SOW projects and services supplant the spend management of it all like Chris so deftly shows us is happening with talent management in his article.

What’s the bigger prize – Savings or ROI??

Transactional savings during the SOW lifecycle can be material and should not be discounted. Savings derived from competitive bidding, reduction of leakages, etc. are commonly in the range of 5-20%+, depending on pre-program baselines, and are often the business case foundations used to justify investment in MSP & VMS lead programs. However, the bigger prize is clearly the ROI (return on investment) of the underlying project or service that the SOW engagement represents. The selection of the SOW service provider has a dramatic impact on the realization of that ROI.


Spend management savings are measured by fractions of the SOW $ amount, while ROIs are measured in multiples.

Talent quality is replacing spend management (i.e. savings) as the primary industry goal of contingent labor sourcing; it will be years before SOW vendor quality follows suit. But no time like the present to start charting the course. And the first step is programitization of SOW spend management.  More commentary on this topic soon!

Michael MatherlyComment