Leaders from global healthcare technology giant Philips and global managed services provider (MSP) Randstad Sourceright described how Philips’ total workforce management strategy enables the company to be agile in this time of uncertainty in a keynote address today at Procurement Reimagined, a new virtual event for procurement, supply chain and external workforce management professionals hosted by SAP SE (NYSE: SAP).


Martin Thomas, Philips’ head of total workforce management, talked about the value of having a holistic view of employees, contingent workers, and service providers to actively manage its total workforce with true agility. In fact, earlier this year when the pandemic hit, Philips’ visibility into its total workforce was critical in two significant ways. First, it enabled the company to protect all worker types by knowing who they were, where they were and the buildings to which they had access. Second, it enabled the company to quickly ramp up its production of monitors and ventilators, deploying its flexible workforce in new ways to meet the rapidly increased demand for these critical pieces of equipment.

Thomas explained:  “Our driving purpose at Philips is to make lives better, so when the pandemic hit, we wanted to do everything we could to increase the production of the monitors and ventilators that were in such high demand. Visibility into our highly skilled external workforce allowed us to shift and redeploy resources quickly to do that and keep our people safe.”

In the session, Thomas described Philips’ “zero base” approach to total workforce management: to examine the work that needs to be done first and then compare resources based on skill, capability, location, cost, and availability in the marketplace to make informed decisions about the best resource to get the work done. This approach requires a holistic view of the myriad workforce options, as well as strategic alignment across procurement and human resources (HR). Critical to its success is what Thomas describes as a three-way partnership among its HR team for talent acquisition, its procurement team to manage services procurement, and Randstad Sourceright, its MSP managing the global contingent workforce located in more than 25 countries.

Randstad Sourceright manages Philips’ large contingent workforce from requisitioning through invoicing and payment with SAP Fieldglass solutions. The MSP also provides detailed reports that give Philips’ leaders the insights to make informed decisions about how to complete work and maintain compliance with labor regulations, which vary in each country of operation. The team recently brought services procurement into the fold, a significant step in the execution of its total workforce strategy, as Philips maintains a sizable number of services contracts representing a significant amount of spend. Visibility into the skills, certifications, security needs, and compliance requirements of individuals working under a services provider contract is equally important to the success of Philips’ total workforce strategy.

Philips’ digital transformation and adoption of SAP Fieldglass solutions are driving positive outcomes, including significant cost savings, and most important, agility during these uncertain times to get the work done on time, at the highest quality, at the right cost.