We listen. We align. We deliver.

Using SAP Fieldglass to Set Up Your External Workforce Management

Sap Field Galss Man Wearing White Hard Hat Holding 2 Way Radio 1078879

What Is External Workforce Management?

The external workforce is revolutionising the way business gets done. While once upon a time there needed to be an in-house department or — at the very least — an in-house specialist required to handle each role, this has not proved cost-effective. This results in rigid business structures, out of which expansion and evolution were difficult simply because businesses could not draw upon the required resources.

The digital age has brought with it a more flexible approach to the workforce and how this workforce is managed. Surveys suggest that around 44 per cent of the total workforce is now external, and this level is increasing.

How SAP Fieldglass Makes All the Difference

SAP Fieldglass provides an overarching digital solution from which to manage all aspects of your external workforce, from creating jobs and filling roles to filing invoices and paying wages. With Fieldglass, you know:

  • Who's working for you
  • What they are working on
  • Where they are located
  • Which of your facilities they are accessing
  • How much they are getting paid

By answering these key questions, your business will be able to:

  • Simplify the engagement of the external teams and operatives needed to fulfil key roles within your business
  • Structure your approach to the external labour force and to payment (supported by automated features)
  • Ensure security and compliance, even if no direct payment is being made (for example, you know who has access to your facilities)

These are the key tenets of SAP Fieldglass, but there are other benefits you can expect from the solution, too:

  • Increased efficiency through process standardisation
  • Cost savings through rate controls on external workers
  • Full visibility from a single data repository coupled with powerful reporting
  • Legal and regulatory compliance
Sap Fieldglass 2 Man On Construction Site During Daytime 159306

How to Set Up External Workforce Management with Fieldglass

Setting Up and Getting Started with Fieldglass

The user begins the process by setting up SAP Fieldglass. This is achieved via a four-step procedure.

Register with the Ariba and Fieldglass networks.

SAP uses the Ariba network to handle communication and transfer of files between Fieldglass and SAP ERP. This means that users will need to register for both networks before they can begin.

Set up the Fieldglass account.

With the registration on both networks now confirmed, the user simply needs to complete the set-up on their Fieldglass account. This includes reviewing settings and parameters and making sure these reflect your own needs for Fieldglass.

Provide training and education to users on how to utilise the Fieldglass account.

In order for Fieldglass to be effective, your teams need to be able to process work items in the Fieldglass account. This means individual team members should have the training and support needed to use Fieldglass efficiently and effectively, managing the external workforce in a way that achieves targets in terms of flexibility and agility.

Provide training and education to external teams and other members of the external workforce.

Using Fieldglass to connect with remote workers is a two-way channel. The external workforce needs to be able to respond to support requests and posted tasks, just in the same way as your internal teams need to be able to access the platform to post these tasks. External teams also need to be able to access timesheets and other resources. Make sure that such teams are able to access this effectively.

Follow the Category Management Checklist

Before you can begin to properly manage your external workforce, you need to follow SAP Fieldglass's category management checklist. Take a look at the following points and ready your business for external workforce management.

Bring the top levels of management onboard.

Upper management needs to be on board with the project from day one, providing their complete support each and every step of the way. Hold initial meetings to make sure that this is the case, and schedule regular meetings in the future to keep all levels of the company engaged in the process.

Manage external talent under a centralised platform.

This is the SAP Fieldglass solution. Fieldglass provides businesses with a centralised platform they can use to keep on top of the external workforce effectively. We've already taken a look at the initial set-up phase for Fieldglass, so make sure that this is completed.

Agree on clear responsibilities.

Each member of the team who is cleared to use Fieldglass for work orders and other management tasks must agree on their responsibilities ahead of time. Make sure every duty and every task is covered, and that every member of the team is clear on what they need to do.

Expand strategic cooperation with staffing agencies.

There may be times when your business needs are particularly acute, and you require more external support to plug the gaps. There may also be times when these needs are less intense and urgent. Connecting with staffing agencies via the Fieldglass portal will ensure that your needs are met.

Put each process through rigorous testing.

The category management checklist is almost complete, but you still need to make sure that proper testing has been carried out. Think about how you will be using SAP Fieldglass and put each process through its paces.

Defining Your Supplier Management Level

The next phase is to define which level of supplier management you are currently at so you can chart your progress over time. The levels are:


At the decentralised level, you will have several suppliers that you will manage internally. Procurement will be handled on an ad hoc basis.

Preferred Supplier

At this level, you will have a selective set of providers and contracts or service-level agreements (SLAs) with each of these suppliers. 

Master Vendor

At this level, you may only have a single supplier who manages other suppliers on your behalf. This means only one point of contact and direct cost savings on bill rates via customised SLAs.

Managed Service Provider

A business at this level has only one contact point for their suppliers. They will leverage direct cost savings on the billing rate, leading to a better management of total spend.

Total Talent Management

This is the level everyone is aiming for, characterised by a reflexive and agile management set-up that is achieved via the Fieldglass platform. At this stage, suppliers are engaged and managed as and when required, with no gaps or shortfalls.

With your current level defined, you gain a clearer idea of what you need to do to reach the next level. In this sense, working with SAP Fieldglass can give you a better understanding of how your business is operating.

To learn more about how to get the best from Fieldglass or how to make the solution your go-to for external workforce management, reach out to our team to learn more.

Companies we work with