Highlights from the 2012 CWS Summit

highlights-from-2012-cws-summit_blog_staff-management-SMXI had the opportunity to attend the 2012 CWS Summit in San Diego, CA with a number of my Staff Management | SMX colleagues on September 20-21.The summit featured a variety of interactive panels, program topics and speakers for contingent staffing buyers and other attendees.

The program agenda was designed to address concerns and issues for a wide variety of contingent labor users and sourcing professionals. The round-table discussions, in particular, were relevant to the varying levels of experience in contingent labor utilization among sourcing professionals.

The topics included:

• Managing CW Talent and Quality
• Managing Spend/Ensuring ROI
• Functional Discussions
• Program Management Challenges
• Managing Suppliers
• Managing Risk and Compliance
• Globalization
• Expanding Program Scope

Anne Osty, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Staff Management | SMX, facilitated a well-attended and highly interactive session, “Evaluating Which Program Model Works Best for You.” It was clear that this topic struck a chord with many attendees. Our featured panel members included Margie Durham, Director, HR Talent Services at Dell Inc. and Lisa McKillop, Sourcing Manager, Raw Materials and Facilities at Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC (PGW). The session provided insights into the relative merits and challenges associated with Master Vendor solutions, Vendor Neutral MSP models, preferred supplier models and hybrid MSP models. The panel members effectively demonstrated, through real-life examples, the pros and cons of each solution. The attendees clearly appreciated the level of hands-on knowledge of the panelists.

A prevailing theme of the conference was “expansion.” Expansion both in terms of the labor categories included in the program and expansion to additional global markets. Panel discussions included topics on the risks associated with Independent Contractor misclassification, the addition of the Statement of Work (SOW), expanding your program to Asia and Latin America, outsourcing opportunities within your contingent labor program and global governance. The panelists were consistent on the risks and benefits associated with these expansion initiatives and provided cogent insights for the attendees.

In my observation, the level of sophistication within the buyer community is continuing to rise; correspondingly, the expectations for tangible program benefits are also increasing. Sessions on measuring and defining cost savings, mitigating risk and the role of procurement in HR-driven programs were met with positive feedback.

Despite the success of the panel discussions, it seems that the greatest value is derived from the peer to peer interaction among the attendees. SIA does a fine job in bringing together a broad range of sourcing leaders and their willingness to share their experiences in the management of contingent labor programs remains the leading benefit of these conferences.