How to extract maximum value from your managed services provider (MSP)

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How to extract maximum value from your managed services provider (MSP)
Emma Brown

4 mins

How to extract maximum value from your managed services provider (MSP)

Choosing the right managed services provider (MSP) and building a collaborative relationship is vital for ensuring a successful partnership.

The relationship between your business and your MSP partner will be one of the most important your organisation is ever involved in. If your partnership flourishes, so too will your contingent workforce — and you’ll be furnished with a whole host of business benefits. If the relationship is beset by problems from the start, you’ll have little to show for your investment. 

As we explored in a previous blog, the advantages of using an MSP are numerous. By bringing transparency to your contingent workforce and implementing agile programmes across your organisation, a managed service provider (MSP) solution can help you attract and retain the best contingent talent, futureproof your workforce, iron out inefficiencies and drive business growth.

To truly maximise the value and potential of the partnership, however, you need to choose the right managed service provider. This requires laying the groundwork for what you’ll need from the MSP and what you expect them to deliver. With a little preparation, you’ll sow the seeds for a fruitful partnership that brings out the best in your workforce — and positively impacts the bottom line, too.

Is an MSP solution right for my business?

This is the first question you should ask if you’re considering outsourcing the management of your workforce to an MSP.

If your organisation has a medium-to-large contingent workforce, a managed service programme may prove the ideal solution. Whether you’re looking to improve visibility, compliance, or control, or simply want a fresh recruitment strategy with a new partner, managed service programmes can be tailored to address the key challenges your business faces.

That said, managed service provider solutions don’t work for every business — particularly those without sizeable contingent workforces. If you’re a scaleup or a startup with a smaller contingent workforce, for example, another recruitment service may prove a better fit.

When deciding if an MSP is the best way to fulfil your contingent goals, you’ll need to turn your gaze inwards.

Step 1: Conduct an audit of your business needs

An outsourced workforce solution is a big commitment for any HR or procurement leader.

Confirming your requirements, engaging potential providers, picking a suitable partner and implementing the programme can all take upwards of a year. But the business value — both operational and financial — which can be unlocked from an MSP is significant enough to warrant serious consideration.

To figure out whether an MSP is right for your business, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you employing more contingent labour than before?
  • Is your contingent workforce becoming more complex?
  • Is the compliance of your temporary workforce a concern?
  • Is having visibility of contingent workforce spend throughout your business a challenge?
  • Are you struggling to find the talent to drive business success?
  • Is recruiting and managing contingent workers distracting your managers from their core priorities?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, then an MSP solution could be the right option for your business.

How to choose an MSP partner you can trust

You’ve decided that a managed service programme is the right solution, but which provider to choose? There’s certainly no shortage of managed service providers out there and the abundance of options can feel overwhelming.

Before launching yourself into a partnership with an MSP, make sure to build a clear picture of what your business wants to achieve from the arrangement.

Do you want to close the skills or resource gap at your organisation? Do you want to leverage new technologies to drive digital transformation or relieve pressure from the IT team? Or do you simply require assistance with a specific workforce problem that cannot be dealt with internally?

Setting clear goals or objectives will form the bulk of your brief to prospective MSPs and help you measure success down the line.

Step 2: Interview prospective MSPs

You should perform due diligence by asking prospective MSPs a series of questions to assess their compatibility with your organisation. For instance:

  • How long has the MSP been operating? 
  • Are they transparent about financials?
  • Are they able to grow with your company?
  • Do they understand your brief?
  • What investments have they made in technologies and support tools?
  • Do they provide reporting? If so, what sort of reporting is it?
  • What services are outlined in their internal SLAs?
  • What recruitment processes do they follow?
  • Will the CEO or Managing Director be involved?
  • What are the MSP’s ethos and values?

Acquiring this information from the responses of each MSP on your shortlist will help you form a clear picture of which one best aligns with your company values and project goals. 

Step 3: Choose your MSP and adopt a collaborative approach from the outset

Once you’ve decided on a particular MSP — one you are confident will really take your workforce management to the next level — aim to really take the time to get to know them.

Build relationships with key stakeholders, get to grips with their SLA and make sure that your respective strategies can evolve together in an agile manner. After all, it’s likely you’ll be working with them for years to come. 

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