The speed of contingent hiring has accelerated rapidly in the last 18 months as huge numbers of businesses experienced an urgent need for a more flexible workforce. Almost overnight, employers faced a drop in demand in some areas while other, unexpected avenues of revenue spiked. As budgets tightened in the initial phase of the pandemic, those already tapping into contingent labour pools were under pressure to cut costs where they could.
And as employers look to grow their flexible workforces, HR and procurement teams are turning to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for long-term contingent workforce solutions. The challenge, though, is to present a persuasive business case for MSP in the boardroom – one that helps your board see it as the no-brainer you know it to be.
Building a robust business case for MSP: what do you need?
A strong business case can be the difference between getting approval on the budgets you need and not. So, how can you create a successful MSP business case?
Here are five things you can do to increase your chances of getting senior stakeholder buy-in:
- Provide an executive summary: Summarise the key information for the business case you’re building. But remember, its main purpose is to provide high-level information that grabs the attention of the decision-maker - so don’t delve into too much detail. Focus instead on highlighting the pain points that the business case will address.
- Define the problem: It may seem obvious what the problem is from a HR and procurement point of view - after all, you’re fully embedded in contingent hiring on a day-to-day basis. But for the decision-makers you’re presenting the business case to, you need to clearly define the issues and, perhaps more importantly, the business impact if this goes unchecked.
- Anticipate the outcome: What do you believe an MSP partnership will deliver for the company? This particular section will be the benchmark for success once you get the buy-in from the decision-makers, so be honest and realistic (don't be afraid to seek advice from a potential MSP partner beforehand to ensure the right information is being included).
- Make informed recommendations: As with the expected outcomes, many of the recommendations you put forward will come from a Managed Service Provider - or should at least be steered by them. So, ensure you seek and collate the advice of an MSP for this part.
- Go big on benefits and ROI: For many decision-makers this section will have the biggest influence. Highlighting the financial benefit of an MSP to the business in the long term will be hugely appealing, so ensure you’re armed with all the ROI information to demonstrate this in the business case.
It’s also important that any business case for MSP speaks directly to the stakeholders. Aligning the benefits and recommendations with corporate strategies will certainly be beneficial, as will including language that is commonplace for the decision-makers you’re addressing.
Tips for developing an MSP business case roadmap
One critical element to include when you build a business case for utilising Managed Service Providers is a roadmap. This will tie into the anticipated outcomes and recommendations and will help the audience you’re speaking to visualise exactly what will happen. Perhaps more importantly though, it provides you with a solid foundation to build on once you have the buy-in from the business.
The roadmap needs to outline the scope and purpose of what you’re trying to achieve through an MSP solution and how it will be executed. To make this overview of plans realistic and achievable it’s advisable to gain the input of key stakeholders to define the specific business challenges that need to be met, and then feed this information into the roadmap.
But what should your MSP business case roadmap include? At the very least, it should include the following five elements:
- Project scope
- Goals and objectives
- Assumptions based on the current state of the contingent workforce
- Potential risks and how to avoid them
- Milestones and an anticipated timeline
For a detailed breakdown of each point and a handy template, see our guide Building a business case: Second-generation MSP.
Get the full guides
Developing a compelling business case for MSP solutions does require an investment in time, but the results are worth it. If you need to get buy-in from business decision-makers, you’ll find the knowledge and experience of a Managed Service Provider hugely beneficial - whether you’re implementing an MSP for the first time or looking to evolve an existing solution.
For more advice on creating the business case for MSP and developing a roadmap, download our guides: