It’s been a tough few years for US procurement teams. The labour market has presented a wealth of both challenges and opportunities. Skills shortages and an increased reliance on the extended workforce has altered the resourcing demands for most businesses. In this environment, we’re seeing ever-increasing desire for a shared services MSP model – and it’s the future of truly strategic solutions in my view.
Getting off the island
Historically an MSP solution gave an end client a dedicated programme team. That team only worked on that account. There were certainly pros to this approach: you knew who was working on what and you had faces you could put to names. The challenge is that this team is often sitting isolated on their own island.
This has worked in the past and even today there’s merit to this approach for some businesses and situations. But, in a fast-paced and ever-evolving environment, the ability to flex and pivot at a moment’s notice is putting pressure on this island approach.
As we expect in any time of economic uncertainty, there will be ebbs and flows of demand. An MSP solution will need to grow or contract with both corporate demands and wider market conditions. Having restrictions around who is delivering a programme will create some limitations.
Drivers of change
It’s not just the current economy and the fall out of the pandemic that’s driving this mindset shift. We’ve seen this movement picking up pace for some time now and many of those I speak to are referencing a range of influencers, including:
- The ‘norm’ is being questioned (rightly so!): We’re no longer operating in survival mode meaning that procurement leaders have the head space to start reviewing and challenging current suppliers and ways of working. It’s been difficult to grab a moment to step back and assess what improvements can be introduced. But with the economic future uncertain across most major markets, now is the time to question why services are being delivered in the way they are, and what return they really offer to your business.
- Knowledge centres deliver more value: A transactional approach to talent solutions isn’t viable in today’s talent economy. MSPs should be demonstrating their value beyond resourcing numbers – and if you’re not seeing that from your MSP, you need to ask. Removing the island approach gives access to broader expertise and insight.
- MSPs have staff turnover too: As much as it’s been a tough talent market for you, suppliers have felt it too. If an MSP model has a small team on a programme, the loss of one member will be felt.
- Goals are constantly moving: At Guidant Global, our solutions are bespoke because we know that every firm’s talent challenges are different. While the right team might be attributed to a client today, that doesn’t mean they’ll be the right team in six- or 12-months’ time. A shared services model means you get the right people, working on the right deliverables, at the right time.
- Those looking at a second-generation model need more: There’s also the simple reality that moving from a first- to second-generation MSP programme requires an evolved approach that the island team approach won’t always deliver. If you’re looking at evolving current processes, change is a given. That change includes how the service is delivered. Check out our guide to building a business case for 2nd generation MSP for a detailed guide that serves as a roadmap for organisations to help decide the future of your MSP programme.
The benefits of a shared services model
One thing that all of the above-mentioned drivers of change have in common - real benefits can be seen by shifting to a shared services model of delivery. You have access to greater insights, from a greater number of individuals and subject matter experts, gained from their experience of other global programmes. The solution is completely scalable. It’s possible to benefit from the input from more suppliers (for Guidant Global customers that means access to the knowledge of thousands of organisations). And much more.
But the crux of the message from me is this: a programme needs to deliver real value to your business and you. If you’re becoming frustrated with results, not seeing the return on investment, aren’t feeling heard by your partner or feel as though things have stagnated, maybe it’s time to get off that island and jump ship.
Want to find out more about our shared services approach to MSP programmes? Contact us today.