Getting the Most Value From Your MSP

hidden savingsWhen you implemented your MSP, you probably had very specific year-one and possibly year-two cost reduction targets. Now you’re three or more years in, and want to make sure you see continued value growth in your program. Closing some common gaps within MSP programs can help create incremental value in years three and beyond.

Develop the relationship. Probably the most important factor to consider is the relationship between you and your MSP – a relationship that begins with a solid foundation of visibility and accessibility. Your MSP needs the opportunity to fully understand your operating environment and your business as they evolve. The MSP should have exposure to nearly every level in your organization, from field managers through senior executives. As your contingent workforce and business strategies change, the MSP needs to know in order to better serve you.


Leverage technology. According to the Standish Group, more than 60 percent of software features are rarely or never used. A solid, strategic-level relationship with your MSP will help you ensure that you’re using all the relevant features, data and reporting from your VMS to help drive both strategic and transactional value. If you consider the amount of data captured by these tools, much information can be extracted and used.

Many times the value of the MSP service can be hindered by technology that doesn’t work the way the MSP expects, or a technology provider that can’t or won’t make configuration and customization changes. This has become more common for organizations that don’t use an integrated solution — where the VMS is owned by the MSP. We also find that an integrated solution usually allows for greater customization, better and more complete adoption, and overall better visibility and data transparency.

Explore other worker types and services. A mature MSP should be able to handle worker types beyond traditional agency-supplied labor, including company alumni, independent contractors, statement of work consultants and outsourced engagements. Consider rolling these additional worker types into your MSP program to create additional value. Your MSP may also provide a number of additional services, such as independent contractor compliance, payrolling, alternative sourcing solutions, employee screening solutions, and diversity management. While the MSP should be recommending these to you where appropriate, you may want to review their solution suite to discover opportunities or process synergies that will reduce costs, save time, reduce risk, or reduce resource needs.

Fine-tune your supply chain. Your supplier base should be a target for continuous improvement. While many MSPs simply look at the metrics and periodically remove or swap out non-performing suppliers, that’s not enough. Your MSP should have a relationship with the supplier base, and should mentor all suppliers about how they can improve within the program and become more effective. This creates opportunities for improvement for the lower-performing suppliers and an atmosphere of partnership within your higher-performing suppliers. Also, make sure that the suppliers continue to meet your business needs. Do you have the right number of suppliers? Are you getting the high-quality talent you need, when you need it? Are you meeting diversity targets?

Get tough with rogue spending. The final way to ensure you’re getting value from your MSP is probably the simplest — make sure all your contingent workforce spend is actually running through it. Rogue spend creates risk and dilutes the benefit of your MSP by acting outside of it. Your MSP will likely be able to capture some of it, but periodic audits of purchase orders, expense reports, and security logs can augment their work and help ensure that you’re getting all the value that you deserve.

MORE: The Key to MSP Success: Organizational Readiness

Harold Mills

Harold Mills
Harold Mills is CEO of ZeroChaos.

Harold Mills

Harold Mills is CEO of ZeroChaos.

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