As companies across the world grapple with shortages of skilled labor, they are increasingly turning to freelancers, contractors and consultants to fill the gaps and get projects over the line – these are known collectively as contingent workers.
However, it can be tricky for HR and finance departments to keep track of contingent workers, and particularly pay them on time. This is where technology can change the game.
Founded in 1999, US-based vendor management system (VMS) Beeline has been providing tech solutions for employers like Disney, Amazon, McDonald’s, Meta and Pfizer who rely on a large number of project-focused contingent workers.
Over the past few years, Beeline’s growth strategy has included acquisitions – examples include OnForce in 2014 and JoinedUp last year.
It has now added a fourth acquisition by buying European-headquartered Utmost, a next-generation extended workforce company – it is spending some money from its recent influx of funding from Stone Point Capital.
Utmost was founded by two former Workday product experts – it aims to help organizations have a better view of their employees and contingent workforce, and therefore identify (and fill) skills and talent gaps more quickly and efficiently. It is particularly focused on small and medium-sized businesses.
Talking about the acquisition, Doug Leeby, Beeline CEO, commented: “The future of work is powered by technology that unlocks the potential of every worker, regardless of classification.
“We have a disciplined history of only acquiring companies that are rightful technology leaders that will deliver further value to our customers.
“The Utmost acquisition is particularly exciting in that it complements and accelerates our strategic roadmap and delivers clever and unique solutions to our customers on day one.”
Utmost co-founder and CEO Annrai O’Toole added: “Beeline shares our vision of using technology to bring extended workforce management to every level of the organization and value to every stakeholder of the contingent workforce ecosystem.
“Beeline’s innovation is not only centered on current workforce challenges but is driving the optimization of tomorrow’s workforce.”
Analysts share their expertise
When the news of Beeline acquisition of Utmost broke, consultant and venture capitalist Thomas Otter wrote a blog post. He shared that VC firm Acadian Ventures, where he works as a general partner, has previously invested in Utmost and that he has known the founders for many years.
“Watching the idea of Utmost develop into an MVP [minimum viable product], and then go on to win deals at enterprise scale has been enlightening and exciting. They grasped the idea that the workforce is more than just the employees in the HR system and ran with it”, wrote Otter.
“The traditional VMS and its business model are ripe for disruption, and they have developed the most compelling product to do just that. Utmost is on a journey to define the extended workforce category”, he added.
Otter continued: “Utmost will give Beeline a modern, enterprise-grade product that far eclipses what SAP has with its venerable Fieldglass product. This is a smart move by Beeline.
“Beeline has an enviable and broad customer base and this will dramatically speed up their product and stack modernization efforts, it will also spur European expansion.
“I expect the combination of Beeline and Utmost to accelerate the enterprise transition away from legacy VMS. Utmost’s analytics and front door solutions will serve as a compelling customer ramp on and quick win.”
Analyst and Aptitude Research founder Madeline Laurano also shared her views on the acquisition on LinkedIn.
Watch this space, let’s see what the future holds for contingent workforces and the VMS tech that underpins their relationships with organizations.
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