The MSP MVP - Why it takes less effort than you think to get an MSP off the ground
Ben De Wulf

5 minutes

The MSP MVP - Why it takes less effort than you think to get an MSP off the ground

Procurement and HR teams responsible for large contingent workforces are increasingly realising the business case for working with an experienced Managed Service Provider (MSP). However, for those that have yet to see the benefits, many come to us with a common misconception: Implementing an MSP takes a lot of time.

For already time short teams, the idea of changing something they deem is already working understandably feels unnecessary. But truth be told, it takes less effort than you think to get and MSP off the ground, and it saves time and money in the long run. Here’s what you need to know.

The benefits of MSP recruitment

For those managing a sizable temporary workforce, partnering with an MSP enables businesses to unmask unmanaged spend, eliminate invoicing inaccuracies, bring precision to worker classification, and implement process improvements.

MSP programmes also bring an unrivalled level of visibility and control, with Vendor Management System (VMS) technology an MSP enables businesses to closely monitor supplier profit, oversee suppler usage, and collect and utilise valuable information.

HR and procurement teams may find the thought of moving to an MSP overwhelming. However, the implementation is similar to IT implementation and should be viewed as akin to a ‘refresh’ of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. You won’t necessarily have to add resource – your MSP will work within your current structure.

Less time and effort than you may expect

When it comes to actually implementing an MSP programme, the heavy lifting is around the business model that surrounds the VMS – but this software and its implementation will be managed by the MSP. Our clients are often pleasantly surprised that the amount of time we ask for from their personal resources is much less than they originally assumed.

In fact, the two individuals who we require the most time investment from are usually the sponsor and the project manager, which is to be expected. And, from them, we only look to have less than 25% of their time over an average 18-week implementation phase. That usually translates to just five to 11 hours a week, on average. We may ask for 50 hours total from others in the team, such as a HR or procurement lead, however, over the same 18-week period – that equates to just a couple of hours a week for the entire project.

To put the process in perspective, we typically have over 550 lines of implementation tasks on our project plan – and, of that, Guidant Global is responsible for 80%.

Of course, this resource requirement tends to be weighted, with the ‘discovery phase’ heavier for the client. By the time we move to the ‘design phase’ - presuming there’re no integrations – little effort is needed of our clients. When we reach the ‘sign-off’ stage, the heavy lifting has been completed and you’re ready to realise the benefits of MSP recruitment.

The process

Just to recap, there’re five stages to implementation:

1. Initiation – where we define the master service agreement with you, identify what clauses need to be flowed down into the supplier contacts, put in place a project team, governance structure, project charter and agree timelines

2. Discovery – where we learn about the key stakeholders and contractor populations, look at volumes, review the supply chain and identify who has been performing well Document existing process and establish areas of pain, inefficiency and begin to get a feel for what good looks like

3. Design – here we build workflows from start to finish and decide how these are reflected in technology, communications, and operational material

4. Build and test – the programme is constructed and tested to ensure that every element works seamlessly

5. Deployment – you’re ready to go!

Are you ready for MSP?

For large organisations, or those managing a large contingent worker population, MSP makes complete sense. Having experts to focus on attracting difficult to find talent, managing legislative complexity while simultaneously saving costs is clearly beneficial. 

For smaller organisations or those with a predominantly permanent workforce, an MSP is unlikely to be the best solution. To decide if an MSP is the right option for your firm, ask yourself:

- Is my contingent workforce becoming more complex?

- Am I concerned about risk, control and visibility associated with temporary workforces?

- Are contracts held between hiring managers and suppliers?

- Am I using more contingent labour than previously?

- Do I have concerns about the compliance of my temporary workforce?

- Is having visibility of contingent workforce spend throughout the business a challenge?

- Am I struggling to find the talent you need to drive business success?

- Does recruiting and managing contingent workers distract my managers from their core priorities?

If your answers to any of these questions are a firm ‘yes’, then the chances are, an MSP solution could be the right for you. If not, it may be worth considering other options.

Defining a minimum viable product

Once you’ve identified that an MSP is right for your business, we need to determine an achievable starting point, or MVP. After success is demonstrated within that limited scope, then a programme can be expanded gradually in the future.

By understanding what your core requirements are, and keeping the service offered as close to that as possible, businesses stand the best chance of building a programme that delivers benefits from day one – and matures into a programme that truly works for your organisation.

Of course, you can add ‘bells and whistles’ – but realistically do you need these from the off? Let’s not overcomplicate the process: doing so detracts from the main requirements of why you need an MSP. Don’t get bogged down with the challenge of trying to add all available components from the beginning. Instead, highlight areas where you can potentially grow in the future.

If you’re considering taking the first steps on your MSP journey, be assured that an MVP can be delivered with little investment of time and resources - on your part. What’s more, you don’t have to navigate this unfamiliar landscape alone: your MSP provider will lead the way so that you can begin benefitting from MSP recruitment quickly.

Workforce insights in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter with the latest workforce management news, insights, analysis and more.


Suite 1403, Level 14
309 Kent Street
NSW 2000

United Kingdom

First Floor
Mulberry House
Parkland Square
750 Capability Green
Luton, LU1 3LU

United States

27777 Franklin Road
Suite 600
Michigan 48034

Part Of