Depending on who you talk to it can seem as though MSPs are the answer to everything or the worst idea ever. Most people’s opinions fall more reasonably on the spectrum, but where you land likely depends on what your role is and how you interact with an MSP. Procurement professionals are more obvious champions while hiring managers and suppliers might give mixed reviews. If you’re an IT manager working with an MSP you’ve certainly got your own opinion – a bane, a boon, or a little of both?
In a recent post on his blog Edge Perspectives, The Rise of Vendor Relationship Management, John Hagel writes about The Big Shift and how it is changing business. He focuses on the book, The Intention Economy by Doc Searles, a Fellow at both Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Information Technology and Society. Hagel writes with passion and expertise and his ideas and commentary are quite thought provoking. I highly recommend reading the full articles, since it is impossible for me to do justice to their complexity and breadth here. Besides, I want to focus on his comments and examine how they relate to the staffing industry. What can a staffing provider learn from all of this?
Staying on the right side of the law is something we all strive for in our personal lives as well as business dealings. The regulatory burden on businesses, small and large, is a hot topic of conversation these days, from the campaign trail to the boardroom. Whether or not current regulations are onerous, too lax or just right is not my concern today. What I want to discuss is the importance of knowing who you are doing business with and how that affects your own ability to stay in compliance.
I wasn’t able to attend the recent Staffing Industry Analysts' Contingent Workforce Strategies Summit but I’ve been listening to the MP3s. As always, they had some excellent panelists from some of the largest, most successful companies, who were willing to share their experience in building and managing programs. I’m not going to give names or go into detail here; everything is available on the SIA website if you are interested in more. I just want to share some observations that I made listening to this SIA conference and other speakers throughout the past year.
You might think that the larger a company is the larger and more complex their contingent workforce program must be. You would be correct. You might also think that because of that size and complexity, the best solution is to outsource the MSP to the experts and build a stringent program with strict guidelines that employees are required to use. You would be wrong there. In listening to the SIA’s CWS sessions, I was reminded of something. While it might seem counter-intuitive, some of the largest companies, with substantial numbers of contingent workers, have MSP programs that are managed in house and are flexible in some surprising ways. What can we learn from them? Well…
1. Outsourcing the MSP is not always the best answer