An MSP Miracle Cure: Alignment

180932025Many of us who have been involved with MSP since its inception have undoubtedly uttered the words, “all managed services programs are unique” countless times. And we’ve probably heard an equal number of times from buyers that they “want a best-in-class solution” for their MSP programs. Unfortunately, the use of such descriptors as “unique” and “best-in-class” are open to vastly different interpretations; the various parties involved with any MSP engagement, from program stakeholders and services and technology providers, to the market at large, each have their own ideas of what qualifies as “unique” or “best-in-class.”

Given such varied ideas about what constitutes the best approach and service for the MSP program, it is difficult for providers and buyers to ensure they are on the same page. Indeed, refining program specifications in pursuit of a measurable vision is an art, necessitating a fluid architecture and actionable success metrics. This is perhaps best achieved through the simple, yet all too often elusive, concept of alignment.

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Most companies seek out MSP solutions to meet several common objectives of their staffing programs – from achieving greater cost controls, risk mitigation and compliance, to gaining competitive access to talent, better visibility and enhanced process efficiency. These very functions, however, are fraught with varying definitions and are further complicated by different applications of success metrics. Moreover, buyers and providers alike can let their eagerness to achieve quick wins distract from the necessary pre-engagement investment of both time and resources to clearly lay out a long-term vision and strategy. Without doing so, it will be difficult to ensure continued and successful maturation and evolution of the program.

We live in a world of instant gratification, and organizations expect their MSP program to deliver immediate results. While they are likely to experience significant improvements within the first year of MSP implementation, without proper alignment, it is more likely – if not certain – that as the migration continues up the value chain, the strategic aspects will delineate from the tactical. As a result, stakeholders on both sides must ensure everyone is on the same page in terms of the program’s blueprint, which is the best indicator for continued improvement.

Achieving alignment requires time, sufficient resources, candid dialogue and a commitment to a robust governance and decision-making framework. Therefore, addressing the tactical elements of any program should be a prerequisite. When both sides commit to spending time and energy on aligning expectations, priorities, objectives and metrics on a regular cadence, they can ensure long-term optimized results of their MSP engagements.

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John Piazza

John Piazza
John Piazza is senior VP, Payroll and Independent Contractor Solutions (PICS), Randstad Sourceright

John Piazza

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