on-demand workforce innovation labor force flexibility

What does on-demand workforce offer to companies?

Companies do not always have sufficient resources at their disposal to operate with the agility needed to deliver results. Due to the current market environment, 90% of executives surveyed by McKinsey believe that how the business will be done in the next 5 years will change substantially. However, only 1/5th of surveyed executives believed that they have the needed expertise, resources and commitment to pursue growth successfully in the new market environment.

Source: McKinsey Report - Innovation in a crisis: Why it is more critical than ever

In light of these events, Harvard Business Review (HBS report) recently published a paper in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group, named “Companies can transform their talent model— and business strategy—by using digital talent platforms to access highly skilled freelancers”. The paper analyses multiple business models and companies offering on-demand talent. As highlighted, there are three broad value propositions for utilizing an on-demand workforce. They are

  • Speed to market
  • Increase the rate of innovation
  • Increase labor force flexibility

Below we have researched and identified case studies from various industries to demonstrate the above mentioned advantages for the companies.

Accelerated speed to market

Case Study: CompuVision

Post-merger, Cara Bedford, Director of strategic marketing at CompuVision had little to no budget for marketing, meaning she could neither hire a full-time worker or hire any agency. While at the same time she was given the responsibility to build and run the complete marketing function of the company.

She was told: “You're going to have to prove that this company needs internal marketing.”

Cara sought the support of the on-demand workforce via digital platforms. She started to find and contact highly skilled workers. Cara ended up managing 112 projects, working with 12 core freelancers and having an extra 35 on-demand as per the need of the project or need for specialized skills. Not all projects went as planned but in their first year, their team’s output was four times and in the second year six times what an agency had done previously. In addition to the speed and 70 % of cost savings, CompuVision also pointed out that on-demand talents proved to be flexible and agile at scaling.

Today Cara, single-handedly manages the complete marketing function of the company. This way of working has become so popular in the company that other functions have also adopted it.

Today, we’re a well-oiled machine. My one-person marketing department produces as a fully functioning team.” – Cara Bedford

Additionally, it also lets her and in-house teams to focus on their strengths and deliver with increased productivity.

Innovation through new business models

Case Study: Enel

Enel, an Italian multinational manufacturer and distributor of electricity and gas, signed the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Now they were faced with the challenge of meeting these goals. They also realised that they would not be able to reach this goal purely with their internal resources.

The managers now had the responsibility to generate new ideas for sustainable innovations.

Enel’s managers turned into crowdsourcing platforms ‘InnoCentive’ to access and source ideas from their 400,000 ‘solvers’ for help.

This effort – to generate strategies for sustainable innovations and development – resulted in many high-quality innovative ideas at a low cost. Engineers received ideas from people across the globe and in parallel industries (industries other than the energy industry). By mid 2020, Enel had collected 5,000 ideas from more than 100 countries, unlocking millions of euros in value. What started as an ambiguous and a big-hairy-goal, resulted in innovation in Enel’s resource recruitment processes and access to new talents.

These results led Enel to change their current processes and launch their own crowdsourcing platform to keep up with the innovation.

Increased labor-force flexibility

Case Study: PGA 

The engineering team at PGA of America struggled between working on defined projects, expected by stakeholders, and building new ideas. They did not have the time to build ideas.

Kevin Scott, Head of Technology at PGA of America, sought a different way to test new ideas without compromising their timelines and team focus.

Kevin gave his team a budget and broad permission to contract developers from Upwork. The goal Kevin had was to enable his team-members to test their ideas in form of proof-of-concepts, at a rapid pace with minimal resources.

By allocating testing ideas to talented on-demand freelancers, the core team members had time to focus on higher-value projects. Additionally, the projects were completed 3x faster and they resulted on average in 50% of cost savings.

When employees aren’t limited by internal skillsets and resources, they can leverage their time to create bigger improvements and changes that help the team overall.” - Kevin Scott

Where to start?

StrategyCo.Global supports organizations in their development activities with its on-demand workforce. Executives can utilize its on-demand workforce to conduct quick deep-dives and test hypotheses to progress forward.

StrategyCo.Global’s specializes in business-domain topics primarily in the area of strategy in supply chain, business development and operations.

Read about our latest cases in the case study section

Have a similar requirement?

Contact us today to learn more about on-demand workforce and accelerate development on your most pivotal projects!

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