Power To The People: Providing MSP Services To A Regional Transformation Organization

ROI Facts

  • 6% markup reduction for highly-skilled IT and engineering roles
  • 30+ suppliers managed as part of the MSP program
  • Full Insights into total supplier spend, delivering savings at every turn 
PJM Case Study

What DZX Brought To The Table

  • Managed Services Program 

Degree of Difficulty

  • 8/10
  • Medium-sized organization increased the need for a nimble process and team
  • Shift from master vendor to vendor neutral program required new diversification of suppliers
  • Managed suppliers for highly-skilled technical roles requiring federal background checks

The Dilemma

Millions of people rely on the electrical grid every day to ensure they have access to the electricity needed to power their homes and offices. A Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) coordinates, controls, and monitors a multi-state electrical grid to provide that power supply to people efficiently and reliably. As such, a critical conduit for providing a region with its power, an RTO requires a team of talent acquisition experts to effectively deliver certified teams and engineers to take care of the electrical grid.


The Strategy

This long-term relationship saw every variety of MSP DZConneX (DZX) provides. Initially partnering with the RTO as a master vendor back in 2006, DZX eventually shifted to a fully vendor neutral model and has been in this role ever since. Now, DZX manages up to 30 suppliers at any given time to fill highly-skilled IT and engineering roles, along with the entirety of the company’s robust internship program. From managing the hiring and onboarding process to working with the client to handle all pre-onboarding requirements and federal security checks, DZX touches every aspect of the total talent acquisition process to ensure the best talent is delivered quickly and effectively.


The Impact

With a vendor-neutral MSP from DZX, cost savings and visibility are top priorities. In the now 13-plus year long relationship, DZX has reduced markups, decreased average bill rates and delivered high-performing talent. Throughout the partnership, DZX continuously reviews its processes and procedures to ensure the structure, scalability, and visibility fit comfortably within the client’s ever-changing total talent needs.


Industry Fast Facts

10 regional transmission organizations and independent system operators across the U.S. and Canada

186,411 miles of electricity lines in the continental U.S. power transmission grid

$86,040 average power system operator salary1

60% of U.S. electric power supply managed by RTOs2

2/3 of U.S. and Canada covered by RTO/ISOs3


1 https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Power_System_Operator/Salary
2 https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=790
3 https://isorto.org/#about-section

The importance of reliability in the U.S. energy grid cannot be understated. Many Americans depend on receiving a consistent supply of power to their homes and offices every day. And while it can be easy to think of energy as the simple flip of a light switch, there are many talented people working behind the wires to ensure that power can be supplied to people efficiently and safely at all times.

Today, 10 RTOs across the U.S. and Canada are responsible for coordinating, controlling, and monitoring multi-state electrical grids. An RTO’s role is to ensure the electrical grid can efficiently and reliably get power to the people across state and international lines.

For more than a dozen years now, DZX has been working with a U.S. RTO to oversee its highly-skilled talent and suppliers through a DZX-customized managed services program (MSP). During those 13-plus years, the program has evolved to meet the client’s growing needs and fluctuating market demands. But throughout this long-term partnership, what hasn’t changed is the high-touch, high quality approach DZX delivers in every talent relationship.


DZX Procurement Focus


Talent At Lightspeed 

As an organization that needs a great number of highly-skilled engineers and IT professionals uniquely qualified in the energy industry, this RTO required a talent partner with deep regional and skill-based relationships. In 2006, DZX was brought on to be the MSP partner for the RTO acting in a master vendor capacity. With this type of relationship, DZX designed a program to deliver talent directly to the client through its own dedicated delivery teams. For a five-year period, DZX was responsible for total talent delivery, onboarding, reporting and tracking, and off-boarding to about 200 contingent workers each year.

However, as the client’s needs grew significantly over time, the decision was made in 2012 to move from a master vendor program to a vendor neutral program. With this MSP format, DZX oversees an entire roster of suppliers from all across the region to ensure the client receives not only the best talent, but through negotiation with each supplier, the best talent at the best price.

The primary goals in a DZX-managed, vendor neutral-style MSP are supply chain diversification and organization. With DZX in charge, the client was guaranteed the best talent the marketplace has to offer with little work on their part. Today, DZX manages up to 30 different talent suppliers to source, sort, and clear the hundreds of roles the client needs each year. In any given week, DZX supervises between 10-20 open requisitions for positions ranging from web developers and model engineers to scrum masters and IT professionals. And because RTOs are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), DZX works closely with the client to confirm each new hire has the appropriate drug screenings, background checks, security clearances, and other training requirements before they begin their assignment.


Generating Consistent Results And ROI

Beyond expert teams, total talent management, and efficient delivery of talent, a DZX MSP program installs supplier competition to deliver savings on a company’s most valuable resource – its talent. DZX's dedicated teams have extensive market knowledge and experience across industries, which has allowed them to reduce the client’s markups in some cases by more than 6%. Through it all, DZX has also consistently decreased average bill rates without sacrificing any talent quality.

In terms of program visibility, this is where DZX's talent solutions really stand apart from the competition. Each quarter and at request, DZX provides a detailed report of the client’s total cost savings and budget validation, with individual workforce reports customized to each manager’s team. DZX provides headcount reports, spending reports, overtime usage reports, time-to-bill, interview and new hire ratios, supplier spend, and total turnover analytics. These reports along with new hire and exit interviews give clients insight to see where opportunities for growth and career enhancement lie.

Even with a 13-plus year program, complacency is never an option. Each year, DZX reviews its processes and procedures to ensure the structure, scalability, and visibility adapt to fit the client’s ever-changing talent needs. If a program component needs to be altered, improved, or removed, DZX works with the client to meet that need.

Long-term client-vendor partnerships don’t come easily. They come only when trust and reliability are central tenants of the relationship. DZX shows they are a great talent partner when they have a 13 year and counting relationship to prove it.

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