The contingent workforce has been on the rise for years now, so choosing a Managed Services Provider (MSP) to manage your contingent labor needs is becoming more and more common for successful organizations. But along with that rise in the contingent worker population, is the need to grow and change your existing 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 provider to handle 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 Changing Your MSP
Your MSP is likely embedded into your talent acquisition program, so changing providers can be messy and difficult. But when you can see opportunities for improvements, you will learn sooner rather than later that change is good. Making the transition can be easier than you think — if you approach it correctly from the start.
1. Develop a Communication Plan
Perhaps the most important step is to communicate changes to your internal team in a timely and sensitive manner. You risk ruining the process if your new provider steps into an implementation meeting only to find out it's the first time the employees are hearing about the change.
Additionally, the longevity of MSP contracts makes it hard to break off the relationship. Making it clear to your new provider why you're making a change is just as important as it is to communicate the challenges that need to be addressed. The goal is to give your provider a full comprehension of the reasoning to ensure a smooth transition.
2. 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 potential push back as this can be a significant change. Switching to a new VMS technology could increase each area’s workload in the short term as they are training and becoming 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 - and the new VMS will be worth it.
3. Data Migration & Data Collection from Your Exiting MSP
Asking for some or all of your data from your current MSP can be a complicated process. 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 to a new VMS technology, 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 data would be preferred, but not critical.
4. Choose the Right Leader
Make sure there is a strong project leader in place for the transition. It's best to appoint someone that has strong relationships within your organization and also has the ability to work with the new provider to ensure a seamless transition. Companies need to be objective, understand the gravity of the change, and then analyze who would be the best person to manage it.
5. Accept Change Management
Accept the change management and trust that the new MSP is there to improve your program. You will often hear your new MSP say “Our best practice” or “We have seen that 'xyz' is the best way to proceed based on other clients.” While no two businesses are the same, don’t be afraid to implement the suggested change management processes even when you receive pushback. However, you should feel free to question your provider to make sure you understand why they are suggesting a course of action, rather than accepting anything they say.
Ultimately you and your project manager will need to be an advocate for your company. Be sure you are comfortable with your MSP's course of action so you can confidently represent the process to key internal personnel. An MSP partnership is a long term investment, so make sure you do it right.
6. Patience Is a Virtue
Everyone wants to implement their new program quickly, but understand that large MSP implementations, if done properly, can last many months. This is dependent on the workforce size and complexity, locations, supplier networks, data migrations, integration development, etc. Be patient and stress patience within your internal team. Work together with your new provider on a manageable timeline so all necessary steps are taken and the program starts off on the right foot.
Though it seems overwhelming at first, change can lead to substantial savings and organizational improvements with the help of your new MSP. Keeping these 6 points in mind before you embark on a new program will ensure a smooth transition for all.