How an MSP is implemented
As an organization grows, the need for an extended workforce quickly starts forming to fill the accompanying skills gaps. This could be for specialized knowledge needed on short term projects, or to keep long-term incentives to a manageable level while driving towards corporate goals. In Life Sciences, this could look like high volume Clinical Operations support as you advance your trials or Manufacturing and Quality Control technicians to furnish a new manufacturing facility.
With 36% of employees being classified as independent workers, according to a McKinsey survey, having a strong extended work force program is critical to ensure your contractors are managed appropriately and your spend is visible and controllable, with minimal stakeholder disruption. A Managed Service Provider (MSP) excels in this regard.
An MSP is a comprehensive solution that organisations use to manage various aspects of their extended workforce. The extended workforce includes contract, freelance or other non-permanent employees who work for an organisation for a specific period or project. An MSP helps streamline the talent acquisition process of sourcing, managing, and tracking the contingent workforce. And in doing so, achieving efficiency, cost savings, compliance, and quality control.
What does a successful MSP look like?
A successful MSP goes beyond transactional interactions, focusing on building a long-term strategic partnership that aligns with the client’s overall workforce strategy by aligning with the organization’s unique business goals, workforce needs, and industry-specific requirements. This allows the organisation’s resources to focus on their core business activities without the burden of managing the extended workforce. Care should be taken in choosing the right MSP partner as well as during the implementation process. A thoughtful implementation will dictate the success you feel with your MSP partner.
Stages of an MSP implementation
An MSP is an enterprise program that positively impacts stakeholders across an organization, and steps need to be taken prior to implementation. A key component is aligning stakeholders. Stakeholders can be heavy users or senior leaders in their respective function; procurement, finance, IT, human resources, and legal are likely members that need to be bought into the program from an operational standpoint. While pursuing an MSP, these groups will be brought in to discuss the scope of agreement, the contract, rates, and agree upon timelines proposed by the project manager leading the implementation. A good MSP partner will be proactive in helping achieve this buy-in and alignment from all parties involved. The MSP’s success is dependent on their success.
After buy-in is achieved and contracts are signed, the MSP strategy needs to take shape. This is a discussion with some of the key stakeholders who were involved in early conversations which will ensure their input is considered when formulating the strategy. During this time, it’s important to understand the challenges you’re trying to address and what your needs and goals are for the program.
Discovery and Data Collection
The discovery process for collecting accurate data is critical and during this phase of implementation, the MSP will begin process mapping to identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and other overarching areas of improvement. They will review your current suppliers, what their terms are, vertical market performance, and quality of hire. Then, historical performance will be assessed for opportunities to improve, such as time-to-fill, cost-per-hire and time to onboard. The MSP partner will assess current technology to determine if it’s fit for purpose and consult with you on technologies that can streamline or automate your workflow, if needed. This allows your extended workforce program to be customizable to fit your needs.
After the data is gathered and disseminated, designing your MSP will begin. During this process your talent suppliers will be selected, technology will be implemented and configured, SLA’s will be agreed upon, compliance will be established, and customized reporting will be designed. A good provider will test the program components, correcting any bugs or functional gaps to ensure a smooth program operation.
Once a program is designed to fit the organization’s needs, the provider will initiate training on the new workflow and processes for all impacted individuals. They will set time with suppliers, managers, internal users, and any legacy contractors that will be incorporated into the new program. This should be a smooth and painless process, with streamlined workflows and provide lift to various functional groups. A good MSP partner will approach training in a bespoke way, ensuring ease of understanding of new processes and continued buy-in.
After all discovery calls have concluded and training is complete, it’s time to launch your new extended workforce program! Even with the most efficient team and best made plans, there are always scenarios that can only be felt during real time execution. In the infancy stages of a program a good MSP partner will provide the Hypercare to work through such issues. The MSP team will provide intensive support and continued post-implementation testing to refine the program and its execution. After Hypercare the provider will solicit continued feedback from program users and incorporate any opportunities for improvement. Ultimately, striving for continued program evolution as your organization changes size and shape, to meet your new goals and challenges.
How will our suppliers be impacted?
A good MSP provider will be conscientious of legacy supplier relationships and will strive to keep high performing vendors in the fold, however, they will need to adhere to a new process. Suppliers will get a centralized point of contact and will receive access to the new technology which will streamline their workflow and increase reporting capabilities around their performance. Suppliers will be required to adhere to the MSP terms and pricing structure, leading to an improvement in spend, and reducing untracked spend. An MSP will optimize your vendor pool, score carding your suppliers while maintaining relationships with high impact suppliers and managing underperforming suppliers.
Pursuing an MSP can feel like a daunting task, but the right partner can make it feel simple. Before pursuing an MSP, make sure you know what challenges you’re hoping to address. An MSP will be designed around any problems your organization is facing, and goals your company has in mind for the future. Knowing the challenges you hope to overcome and selecting a partner that aligns with your business is critical to ensure the greatest success. We see examples of this regularly with Life Science organizations, when a customer and MSP partner are aligned in EVP and domain expertise, the impact of an extended workforce program can be felt immediately – resulting in spend reduction, improved contingent labour outcomes, and administrative lift across your organization.