OnForce Blog POWERING THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS AND WORK

Freelancing Is Alive and Well

Thursday, Jun. 27th 2013

Almost every day I see news articles that highlight the growing trend for freelancers and, in turn, the thriving independent workforce. For example, this latest article from Parade.com – 4 Reasons Why Freelancing is the New Career – offers very compelling reasons why freelancing works and is likely here to stay. With advantages such as having the flexibility to work locally or globally, being your own boss and determining your work schedule, there’s a lot to like!

Demographic data today shows that there are almost 17 million independent workers in the U.S. and that this is expected to grow to 50% of the American workforce by 2020. At OnForce, we clearly see this trend continuing within the IT sector. Our business forecasts continue to show growth opportunities demonstrating that freelancing is working and thriving in the IT space through the OnForce platform.

Whether you are a company looking into the benefits of leveraging independent workers or a seasoned veteran in the world of managing variable labor, there’s no question that the individual economy has arrived. Are you taking advantage of it?

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Posted by Bill | in Information Technology, International, Marketplace Trends | Comments Off

Who Would You Trust As Your Business Partner – an Innovator or an Imitator?

Tuesday, Jun. 25th 2013

Peter Cannone, CEO, OnForce

Recently, I’ve been seeing announcements from alternative labor platforms who are only now offering insurance programs to their community of independent contractors – with the promise that such coverage will offer freelancers the ability to capture the most lucrative work contracts. These platforms have discovered what OnForce has known for years – enterprise customers only want to work with a trusted workforce solutions provider that offers industry standard insurance coverage. These customers want assurance that they are protected.

This is why several years ago OnForce created its unique General Contractor Model. This model, among other key advantages, ensures that every service event completed through our platform is backed by comprehensive insurance coverage; protecting the customer, the independent contractor and OnForce. Bottom line: OnForce was not only the first workforce solution provider to offer this innovation, but also is the only source today that gives you end-to-end coverage with every service event!

Don’t Be Deceived. Alternative platforms have been telling you that they, too, carry insurance so why are they now announcing a newly available option for independent contractors within their networks to get coverage through an independent insurance broker? That’s right, I said option – not every independent contractor on these alternative platforms carry insurance. Are you prepared to take the financial risks associated with that exposure?

How do we know our General Contractor Model works? Our growing roster of Fortune 100 companies tells us that we’re doing something right. Today, we see alternative platforms trying to imitate our solution offerings but can only scratch the surface in comparison to the value and level of protection that we provide with every service event.

So, who would you trust as your business partner? An innovator and market leader like OnForce that delivers proven and protected workforce offerings, or alternative solutions that are poor imitators that put you and your business at unnecessary risk?

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What’s Happening In the Labor Management World and Why I Joined OnForce

Thursday, Jun. 20th 2013

Bill Price, COO of OnForce, Shares His Perspective

For the last seventeen years I have worked in the IT staffing industry. I started out as a software developer and worked my way up to senior management positions in technology. Over the years the business has treated me very well but it has gone stale.

I’ve always felt the professional staffing business was ripe for change. The process of manually capturing a client’s labor need, bringing that need to a recruiter, then sending resumes back to the client before finally (and hopefully) placing a candidate was outdated and inefficient. It felt like a fundamental change was needed and then the Vendor Management Services and Managed Service Provider business models were introduced. This was exciting at the time since technology could empower a service buyer and offer overall labor cost efficiencies through automation – a step in the right direction. But this wasn’t really a new model, it was simply an improvement on the existing model and certainly nothing revolutionary.

The primary functions of staffing agencies are sales and recruiting (with some cost saving benefits). At one time, staffing models made sense since they could retain teams of professionals that served their clients. However, as professional staffing companies grew nationally, and cost and profit pressures increased, these companies were not able to maintain a consistent stream of talent. At the same time we’ve seen the quiet rise of the independent contractor and the continued evolution of the transient nature of IT professionals. The result: staffing companies began vying for the same pool of talent! Where is the value add? What differentiates these staffing organizations now? Virtually nothing except possibly reach and maybe quality or speed to deliver but these aren’t enough. Next enters, commoditization, another step on the path to change.

During the last two decades we’ve seen many examples – eBay, Craigslist, Angie’s List…etc… – of how technology has advanced to match a buyer and seller. So why can’t we match the needs of staffing buyers directly with a network of labor resources using technology without the middleman? This would be a truly revolutionary idea. The answer is we can!  This is exactly what OnForce does (and has been doing for several years). In fact, OnForce is a pioneer of this new business model. We offer our clients an on-site, W2-like experience for task-based assignments using independent contractors. This is exactly why I joined OnForce: to help lead the path as a pioneer, to be a game changer. With the rise of the independent worker and the shift into the individual economy, OnForce is well positioned to drive the revolution and I am very excited to be a part of it.

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Latest Mobile App Innovations From OnForce

Friday, Apr. 19th 2013

v 5.59 – released Apr 18 2013

We’re very excited to let you know about our latest mobile app updates that are driving continued efficiencies as service work gets done in the field.

OnForce Pros using iOS devices can grab the updated app from the App Store. Android users can sign up for our beta release today. We hope that you take advantage of these latest innovations to help you get work done more quickly and efficiently.

What This Means For Service Buyers

We have created an eco-friendly, time-saving solution that enables OnForce Pros to collect customer signatures right on their mobile device. The signature functionality even works offline!

Instant upload of documents

OnForce Pros can now send service buyers the OnForce Work Signoff document before they have left the job site.

To enhance control over work order document requirements, we have made our Document Management System available to all OnForce service buyers. For buyers not already using OnForce to manage the return of work order documents, visit our Feature Spotlight page to learn more.

Additional enhancements include:

  • Out-of-the-box Work Signoff document

    The OnForce Work Signoff is an out-of-the-box solution for capturing end user signatures. Service buyers can optionally choose to require the Work Signoff on any or all work orders. OnForce Pros can return documents using the Document Management System via their mobile app, fax, email, or direct upload.

  • Increased limits on managed work order documents

    Service buyers can now attach up to ten required documents on a work order, to be managed by the OnForce Document Management System.

What This Means For OnForce Pros

New work order action menu for iPhone and Android

As we continue to add new features to the OnForce app, we need a place to put them all! We’ve added a new action tray to the accepted work order view. Use the menu button in the upper right corner of the screen or swipe left to reveal the tray and access all work order actions: from checking in, to uploading photos, to adding a note, and more.

Get the OnForce Work Signoff document signed through the OnForce mobile app! Enter the service details and on-site notes, then hand the device to the end user for them to review and sign the work order. No more faxing, scanning, emailing, or uploading the Work Signoff!

Work offline from your mobile device

All accepted work orders are now available offline for Pros using the OnForce mobile app. Access notes, contacts, and work details. Get documents signed offline and they will be submitted the next time the Pro’s device establishes a network connection.

Send a copy of the signed work order to end users

Include the end user’s email address when filling out the service details form in your OnForce mobile app and they will automatically be sent a signed copy of the work order by email.

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Posted by Scott Epple | in Product Release | Comments Off

Platform version 5.56.2 released

Wednesday, Feb. 27th 2013

v 5.56.2 – released Feb 27 2013

We’ve released the latest update to the OnForce platform this morning. Behind the scenes, we made a handful of improvements that will improve the speed and performance of the OnForce application for our users. In addition to those changes, there are a couple feature enhancements of note that we’d like to share:

As an OnForce service buyer, the Work Order Realtime Monitor gives you a live view into your routed work orders, allowing you to react and respond in real time to incoming offers, questions, and other responses from OnForce Pros.

In this release, we’ve enhanced your visibility into key information about the Pros you interact with through the monitor. By clicking on a Pro’s name, you can see:

  • Routing priority
  • PPN status
  • Counts of active and completed work orders with your organization
  • Lists the Pro belongs to
  • Distance to site
  • Standard and extended travel range
  • Date and time on which they last viewed your work order
  • Question details
  • Offer details
  • Other work orders currently routed to the Pro by your organization

Receive notifications when a work order escalation is submitted

OnForce Pros will now receive a push notification to their OnForce mobile app for iPhone or Android, or an SMS notification when a work order they are assigned to is escalated by the buyer.

With OnForce sending over 20,000 push notifications each day, more and more OnForce Pros are relying on these messages to stay informed about work order updates in the field. Now Pros can make sure they are aware the moment a service escalation arises, resulting in faster resolution times and happier customers.

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Posted by Scott Epple | in Product Release | Comments Off
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