#4 how to work with your MSP provider to get the best results | MSP series.

a strong and collaborative relationship is the key.

a strong and collaborative relationship is the key

If your company is like most businesses operating in today’s increasingly talent-scarce landscape, you’re probably turning to a growing pool of contingent workers. Deloitte reports that more than 40% of U.S. workers are now employed in “alternative work arrangements.” You shouldn’t be surprised to learn, then, that more organizations are working with managed services programs (MSP) providers to optimize the use of contingent workers in their organizations.

To get the most out of your MSP contingent workforce model, you need a strong and collaborative relationship with your service provider. Both parties must share common goals, but most importantly, they must develop a trust in each other that helps the program to continuously evolve and overcome unforeseen challenges.

8 benefits of MSP:

  1. get better access to talent
  2. enhance the quality of workers
  3. achieve cost savings
  4. create more efficient supplier management
  5. reduce time to fill
  6. improve spend visibility
  7. increase compliance
  8. innovative technologies and practices

get across the board buy-in at the start.

A successful MSP program requires proper alignment between key internal and external stakeholders. This begins with clear deliverables and expectations, as well as defined roles for both the client and MSP provider. Effective communication channels will help keep the program focused and on track.

For instance, executive sponsors on both sides should be involved from the start, checking progress on implementation and addressing strategic high-level activities as the relationship progresses. Further downstream, the legal teams of the client and service provider need to approach contract negotiations with a collaborative mindset.

The goal is to ensure favorable terms and service level agreements (SLAs) that benefit everyone. The employer’s designated project manager will need day-to-day support from the service provider on tasks such as training internal teams, supporting change management, and reviewing program details and reporting metrics.

The two parties should also align functional stakeholders. These include IT, accounting, procurement, HR, hiring managers and corporate communications on the client side. On the provider side, the relevant parties include professional services, technology analysts, supplier relations, operations analysts, the vendor management system (VMS) project manager and back-office personnel.

When a company adopts an MSP program as part of its total talent approach, it becomes even more critical that the client and provider build a trusting and collaborative relationship. As part of the integrated (or total) talent strategy, the MSP enables employers to gain full program visibility. This means the program manager has:

  • a view of everyone joining and leaving the organization
  • control over the entire worker life cycle
  • a clear assessment on the effectiveness of processes and suppliers

The goal is to achieve a variety of benefits, such as greater visibility of spend, enhanced cost control, increased responsiveness to business needs and improved quality of talent. Using best practices honed through the service provider’s work with other clients, the employer ensures proven structure for their sourcing, engagement, management and analytics practices. At the same time, because every engagement is different, each program is tailored to the individual client’s requirements, challenges and goals. The service provider should determine the best delivery approach and work in collaboration with the employer to optimize results.

see contingent workforce program results faster.

Typically, an effective working partnership leads to improvements almost immediately. For many MSP practitioners, cost savings are critical. This goal is often achieved through supplier rationalization, which results in more strategic partnerships and more favorable pricing. Savings can also come from establishing a supplier panel with agreed terms, basic spend analysis, panel compliance and savings baselines.

Another immediate benefit is access to cutting-edge technology to streamline key processes like procure-to-payment management, billing and payments, basic dashboards, supplier performance reporting and demand management. The introduction of talent analytics will also help determine gaps in a number of areas such as time to fill, program compliance and others.

As you achieve these initial gains, you can further improve order demand management, KPIs for better supplier performance, improved candidate selection and optimized candidate onboarding and offboarding. These initiatives will not only drive cost savings and avoidance, but also fuel better business performance.

achieve long-term value through constant innovation.

Following implementation, it’s important to ensure program stability, but that doesn’t mean that ongoing improvement and enhancements have to stop. You can work with your MSP provider to determine how a tiered roll out can continuously bring innovation, without imposing too much change too quickly. With a realistic road map for achieving future gains, a successful MSP will evolve and create value.

To achieve this, focus on close collaboration and investments in value-added services, such as a contingent talent-focused employer brand. You can even evolve the program to span all talent types, including permanent hires, as part of your journey into a total talent strategy. Using predictive and prescriptive people analytics will help you better determine workforce needs and steer your strategy toward company goals in the most expedited manner.

Some of the more recent innovative MSP practices include the incorporation of automation and creation of customized, independent talent pools. These steps will further speed access to talent, which has a direct impact on business outcomes. As organizations look to become moreagile and flexible to changing market conditions, their reliance on contingent talent will only grow. A company’s ability to acquire the best temp, independent and statement of work (SOW) talent they need quickly and cost effectively will undoubtedly drive financial performance.

working hand-in-hand.

The success of any MSP hinges on the working relationship of the employer and the service provider. Be sure you and your service provider are aligned on your company’s vision, communications and goals to fuel the growth and evolution of your program. This requires a commitment of resources from all involved to drive a successful implementation and continue supporting operational stability.

With a strong relationship in place, and both partners collaborating effectively, your program will always be able to create value for your contingent workforce model and your company’s overall human capital strategy.

want to learn more?

Find out how you can expand an already successful MSP talent model to maximize the value of your contingent workforce program in our MSP Playbook.

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