Sometimes, we MSP providers forget that the typical answer doesn’t always have to be our answer. Sometimes, the best answer to a business problem is the less obvious answer, the one staring us in the face if we pause to look. This is the case when it comes to procuring a provider for a small to midsize project.
As an MSP, we know in our gut that the “big boys” may over-charge or over-scope these projects. They also tend to over-formalize the PM process, managing them to death. But we sure won’t get hassled for making that recommendation.
So, passing on the obvious answer, who’s right in front of us? Our professional staffing suppliers. The companies we know and count on that are loyal and dedicated to our customer, and deliver day after day. Wait – hear me out!
While we weren’t looking, some of our suppliers were growing and maturing, expanding their offerings and acquiring impressive successes under their belts. They developed high-quality back offices and employee management practices. Their service management is sound and reliable, and their partnership mindset has developed. They stretch and are creative. As a good MSP, we know who they are and we have an obligation to bring their full abilities to bear in service to our customer. Just because they have a staffing service, doesn’t mean that’s the only business relationship we can have. In fact, we could say that procurement rules, which prevent augmentation providers from also being solutions providers, do a disservice to their company all in the name of Category. We MSPs should work in partnership with procurement to overcome perceived obstacles in this space. This is especially true if the supplier holds an M/WBE or other certification.
Small and midsize projects are ideal for these suppliers, and these suppliers are ideal for the customer. Everyone knows one another. The supplier is well-acquainted with the customer’s organization, culture, technologies, and processes. Any gaps can be bridged by the MSP. Solutions can be parsed into manageable scope segments reducing risk and allowing for flexibility, and costs are moderate due to lower overhead and opportunity value. Knowledge transfer is inherent via the relationship and the long-standing relationships are conducive to a win-win effort. After all, everyone has skin in the game, and they each know where the other lives. Trust me, the supplier will deliver!
The last benefit for the customer: a deeply loyal supplier that definitely understands the big picture. Each has invested in the other’s success and everyone benefits, from the individuals involved to the community at large. And, while the MSP may have had to live with a little hassle, there is no doubt they did their job.
They saw the answer right in front of them.