The Number One Rule for Managed Service Provider Success – First, Do No Harm

RulerThe Latin phrase “primum non nocere” – first do no harm – is generally associated with the Hippocratic Oath. However, the basic precepts are certainly relevant to the sale and implementation of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) program as well. Thank you, Miss Massa, my high school Latin teacher – wherever you are!

The most commonly articulated value proposition for the adoption of an MSP program to manage temporary labor is centered on visibility to spend, cost savings, compliance and risk mitigation. These benefits resonate loudly with the procurement and HR stakeholder groups. But what about the areas of focus for the user community? The Procurement and HR teams must be mindful to not “harm” what is currently working efficiently for users of temporary labor. It is incumbent upon the MSP provider to gain an understanding of the objectives, pains and procedures currently experienced by the users.

The voice of the users is becoming more strident in the MSP sales process. Invariably, their concerns are based on the potential disruption of their current processes. For the IT Manager who is trying to complete a project, or the Plant Manager who is dependent upon temporary labor to get product out the door, cost savings, compliance and risk mitigation take a back seat to the assurance that there is a reliable pipeline of contingent labor.

How do we ensure that not only will the migration to an MSP “do no harm”, but will ultimately bring greater ease of use?

  • Understand the current supplier community – depending upon the MSP model, in many cases the high-performing suppliers will be adopted into the program. The ability to retain the suppliers and emphasize – if applicable – that the MSP is not going to act as a master supplier often mitigates the greatest concerns of the local user.
  • Understand the current requisitioning process – how are the orders placed? Is it a process that can be replicated?  Improved?  Marginalizing the impact of the potential technology is another key element of the change management process.
  • Retention of current temporary workforce – the migration to an MSP program does not equate with the loss of the current temporary labor. The transition process – often understood and endorsed by the HR community – should be made clear to the users. The assurance that a very high percentage of the workforce is retained will provide added confidence in the MSP solution.

There are several additional values realized through the effective adoption of an MSP program, ranging from reduced OSHA recordable incidents to improved KPIs. However, the basic concept of “doing no harm” to what is currently working is a first step in gaining the advocacy of the user community.  Bona Fortuna!