How Sara Lee outsourced its way to a stronger, thriftier contingent labor force.
By Caroline Storey-Sabetti
For many years Sara Lee, a global provider of brand-name food and household products, managed its contingent workforce via a master supplier model. Sara Lee’s master supplier was contracted to staff all of its contingent needs for approximately 200 domestic facilities. Light industrial positions represented the bulk of their contingent labor usage, with information technology, professional, and administrative positions making up the rest.
Over time, dissatisfaction with contingent worker quality and unfilled requisitions had caused end users to source their contingent workers outside of the program and rely on overtime hours. In 2006, Sara Lee estimated that in excess of 30 percent of their total contingent usage was outside the program. To address end-user dissatisfaction as well as the risk and lack of visibility created by rogue spend, Sara Lee procurement assigned a team to assess the master supplier program. The team was responsible for conducting a thorough current state analysis and for making recommendations on how to better manage the contingent workforce going forward.