The contingent workforce is on the rise, so choosing a Managed Staffing Program (MSP) to manage your staffing suppliers is becoming more and more common for successful organizations. But along with that rise in contingent workers, is the need to grow and change your program. Sometimes, you will find that your program and MSP provider aren’t cutting it anymore. Their performance is just not where it should be. Their customer service is lacking and you need a bigger, better supplier network to cover changes in your workforce. Continuing to work with an MSP that isn’t forward-thinking will not benefit your company’s growth or financial objectives.
6 Considerations When upgrading your MSP Provider
Your managed staffing provider is embedded in your program, then changing providers can be messy and difficult. But when you can see efficiencies that need desperate improvements, you will learn sooner rather than later that change is good. Making that transition isn’t as hard as you think -- if you approach it correctly from the start.
Develop a Communications Plan
Perhaps the most important step is to communicate the change to your internal team in a timely and sensitive manner. You can undermine the process if your new provider steps into an implementation meeting only to find out it's the first time the staff is hearing the change. Have the managed staffing provider prepare examples of a full communication plan to prevent any sort of misstep with your team.
Additionally, the longevity of MSP contracts makes it hard to break off the relationship. It’s as important to make it clear to the provider why you are making a change as it is to communicate the challenges you need to address to the new provider. The goal is to give the current provider a full comprehension of the reasoning to ensure a smooth transition.
Be Prepared to Switch to a New VMS
If the new provider uses a different Vendor Management System (VMS), the system architecture can be vastly different. Prepare yourself for push back from hiring managers and your IT department. Switching to a new VMS technology could increase each area’s workload in the short term as they are trained and get acclimated to the new program. There will be an adjustment period for you and your team, but with proper training and process mapping, the adaptation period can be greatly reduced.
Data Migration & Data Collection from Your Exiting MSP
Asking for some or all of your data from your current MSP can be like picking up something from an ex’s apartment -- it's complicated. Keep in mind, all of that data belongs to you. Setting the precedent of an open level of communication early in the process will make requesting it later less awkward. Plus, it will save everyone a lot of time and energy if the providers can communicate directly with each other from the start.
Even if you aren’t switching Vendor Management Systems (VMS), don’t ignore this step. You and your new MSP provider should discuss the historical data around your program and together decide what data you absolutely need to have migrated and which would be preferred, but not critical.
Choose the Right Leader
Make sure there is a strong project leader for the transition. This doesn’t always mean it’s you personally. You will need someone that has strong relationships within your organization and ability to work with the new provider to help the transition be as seamless as possible. This person could be you, but you will need to be objective and select the right person who has the ability and desire to make the project a success. Understand the gravity of the change and analyze who would be the best person to manage it.
Accept Change Management
Accept the change management and trust that the new MSP is there because you need your program to improve. You will often hear your new MSP and new VMS Partner say “Our Best Practice” Or “We have seen that xyz is the best way to proceed based on other clients.”
While no two business are the same, don’t be afraid to implement suggested change management even when you receive pushback. You should feel free to question them and make sure you understand why they are suggesting a course of action, but ultimately you and your project manager will need to be an advocate for your company.
Be sure you are comfortable with their suggestions so you can confidently represent the process to key internal personnel. An MSP contract and relationship is a long term investment, so make sure you do it right.
Patience is a Virtue
Everyone wants to implement quickly, but understand that large MSP implementations, if done properly, can last months. This is dependent on the workforce size and complexity, organization size, locations, supplier networks, data migrations, integration development, etc. Be patient and stress patience with your internal team. Work together with your new provider on a manageable timeline so all necessary steps are taken and the program is started off on the right foot.
Though it seems overwhelming at first, a change can lead to substantial savings and organizational improvements in your MSP. Keeping these 6 points in mind before you get started will help to make the transition smooth for all.