I had the pleasure of sitting down recently with Eric Washer, Vice President of Product Strategy at Workday, for a webinar titled “Innovations in Workday Spend Management Using Utmost.”
During our discussion, we talked in detail about how Utmost complements Workday Financials by bringing visibility for external labor into a complete picture with Workday. We talked through several use cases by industry to give participants some real-world examples of how our technologies work together. We also announced a new product innovation that will fundamentally change the game for the Professional and Business Services (PBS) industry.
While we frequently articulate how Utmost extends Workday HCM for extended workforces, it was nice to spend time talking about how we complement Workday Financials, particularly in financial management and spend management.
Workday Financials update
Workday is focused on providing a built-in-the-cloud, modern intelligent data core to help mid-to-large multinational organizations across all industries manage their HR and Finance back-office operations. Eric emphasized ‘Intelligent Data Core’ as a strategy, meaning data isn’t locked away in silos like traditional ERPs do across their disjointed suites. Instead, Workday centralizes it, builds intelligent processes around it (i.e., their HCM and Financials suites), and quite literally FUSES data intelligence into the business processes to drive smarter and more informed decisions in the applications.
“I represent the Product on the Financials or CFO side where the need for data intelligence INFUSED throughout the Financial Planning (FP&A), Financial Transaction, Revenue Mgmt, and Reporting are critically important,” Eric said. “This becomes Workday’s differentiator in the marketplace.”
Of particular importance is being open to a broader ecosystem and helping financial professionals bridge into industry datasets to ingest and manage unique elements of their industries. This allows for the dissolution of these silos and the ability to manage the entirety of the business. Some examples include:
- Claims/Policies in Insurance
- Credits/Investments/Loans in Banking
- PSA and billing in Professional Services
- Grants in S&L
- Student Management in Higher Ed
- Patient Scheduling in Healthcare
- Merchandising in Retail
Being open and built on a modern data core enables industry-specific solutions. That is Workday’s strategy to help leading Financial Professionals manage the totality of their operations.
We focused our attention on three key industries and use cases within: Healthcare, Financial Services and Insurance, and Professional and Business Services, and trends Eric is seeing related to the external workforce. Utmost believes that we can accelerate outcomes for Workday customers in these industries to get non-employee workforce data into Workday Prism and Adaptive Insights to bring visibility to that spend.
Industry use cases
Workday strives to support industry-specific drivers to help Finance Professionals manage the totality of their Finance operations. When you think about these three industries from an extended workforce perspective, it is no different:
- In Healthcare, all about patient care. The patient is the revenue source and the cost driver. Assuring proper staff, supply, and space is critical to support that patient care and Finance is increasingly leaning into to optimize these criteria for both (quality care and costs). With the dynamic and ever-changing nature of patient care, specialized staff, extended flexible staff, alternative ways to manage the supply is increasing.
- In Financial Services, with the continuous modernization of technologies to meet their customers where they are, investment in skills to develop and support this changing revenue/client landscape is in high demand – requiring vast amounts of specialized external labor to support these strategic initiatives.
- In PBS, where people are the supply chain to drive revenue. Assuring the right skills and experience levels are on the right customer projects is paramount to their top-line revenue. Competing for and retaining these skills is increasingly leveraging external pools of talent. Engaging them and tracking utilization properly is important to assure accurate billing, customer satisfaction, and ongoing margin management.
It goes without saying, healthcare has significantly been impacted the past 16 months. I asked Eric how Covid changed the conversation around workforce planning. “This ‘leaning in’ from Finance to better plan all aspects of their costs has accelerated,” he said. “More financial leaders are striving to centrally see and manage staff, space, and supply as it pertains to expected patient care visits all together.”
Planning for drastic fluctuations of everything consumed -- from supplies, staffing, space -- and doing so on top of a central data core is strategically important. This means all workers supporting the business. We’re seeing this need at a large healthcare client that requires visibility for external workers in Workday Prism and Adaptive, enabling them to shine a light on their workforce in totality.
Financial Services & Insurance
Insurance and Financial Services also has an interesting use case because of their workforce model. For example, insurance agents (paid on commission of policy sales) and how they are classified. Eric agreed: “Insurance is interesting and is a great example of requiring an industry-specific Data Core to co-mingle traditional HR and Finance data with Policy and Claims information so Finance can manage the totality of their business.”
Eric mentioned a unique use case in Field Resources representing the insurance company in the market. Policy Writers and Claim Adjusters are increasingly external workers but engaging directly with the end revenue source (the customer). We’re seeing this too in one of our clients that has over 15,000 independent sales agents in the field as non-employee workers.
Professional & Business Services
Utmost has a lot of conversations with customers in the professional and business services space around staffing firms using billable sub-contractors and time approval workflows. I asked Eric if he sees an opportunity to complement Workday projects and Professional Services Automation (PSA).
His resounding answer was yes! These firms, which are much broader than staffing firms (think accounting firms, architecture, outsourcing, marketing and design, advertising, construction, etc.) are all industries where humans are the supply chain. Humans are the revenue driver. With Workday’s PSA and Revenue Management capabilities, we are enabling the management of customer contracts, tracking (time, milestones, etc.), and accurate billing per the terms in these industries. Humans are a mix of internal and external resources, and the need to pull from all labor pools to drive customer satisfaction and revenue is in heightened demand.
PBS is interesting because the people, the human supply chain, are directly generating the revenue. Utmost has been solutioning this for a while, and we announced a new offering during the webinar: Utmost PayBill.
This new offering will help PBS firms optimize administrative operations, enhance client service delivery, and obtain strategic business insights. Compared to current systems being used to fill a gap poorly, Utmost PayBill will provide PBS customers with several benefits:
- Enhanced reporting with worker-level details, inclusive of time, expense, pay rate, history
- Fusing with Workday PRISM to ingest Utmost data within the Workday Intelligent Data Core
- Automation between Utmost and Workday to eliminate manual back-and-middle office processing
- Better worker experience leveraging the Utmost mobile app and a user experience that uses a Workday-friendly UX and has harmony with Workday product roadmap
- Operational visibility at the worker level from organization charts to revenue/cost profiles, providing insights to more quickly optimize territories and mobilize talent
In addition to the Utmost Core capability to track and engage external talent, Utmost PayBill takes certified time and integrates it seamlessly with Workday Financials. Our solution supports complicated use cases such as adjustments and pay-when-paid subcontracting scenarios.
Staffing firms, accounting professional services, and other Workday PSA and Workday Financials customers will derive benefits such as cost savings, future-proof growth, and the ability to deliver a great experience for the workers themselves.
The use of external labor on the rise. The opportunity to extend an organization’s existing Workday investment using Utmost to bring visibility to that spend and to achieve total workforce planning is here. What’s more, having that visibility of external labor in Workday offers customers one view across the entire workforce.
Our partnership with Workday allows companies to plan, execute, and analyze, with Utmost serving as a data source with PayBill. Workforce planning, budgeting, creating operational efficiency, driving better margins, reduced time to fill, getting the right people into the organization -- all of this will enable the business to be successful.
“The opportunity is unlocked when breaking down the silos of external labor and fusing that with the data model with Workday,” Eric said. “Extending the data model within Workday with what Utmost is doing unlocks that opportunity to leverage other Workday assets.”
If you want to see the webinar in full, watch below or click here.