Is your MSP taking the steps necessary to reach your CW program’s potential? Highly performing MSPs are differentiating themselves by actively managing program operations and suppliers, while leading program governance and continuous improvement efforts. These efforts are supported by skilled and informed MSP teams that are proactive and flexible in today’s changing market. Here’s what you can expect from a highly performing MSP.

Program operations. Today, most programs are familiar with the core program management activities, and MSPs are delivering at varying levels of success. MSP management activities such as sourcing, assignment/SOW management, expenditure and invoicing management, system administration and support and high-level reporting are standard today.

Highly performing MSPs are taking program management to the next level with robust reporting strategies that result in actionable metrics and findings gleaned from standard headcount, spend and cycle time reporting in addition to utilizing less standard aging, cost savings, attrition/contractor quality, contractor utilization, tenure, onboarding/offboarding, rate compliance and rate analysis reporting. MSP program teams document comprehensive procedures that serve as the first point of escalation for questions resulting in less client involvement and also serving as the go-to place for program training for both the client and the MSP, increasing the knowledge transfer during team member transitions.

Supplier management. No one should be closer or know the program performance better than the MSP, which makes the MSP’s role in supplier management critical to success. MSPs should be assessing the performance of suppliers by labor categories and locations against client-agreed performance measures and weightings which are aligned with client and program goals. This in-depth knowledge can be used for supplier tiering and to recommend supplier additions when necessary and removing suppliers when there is a saturated or poor performing population of suppliers. As the point of contact and escalation for suppliers, the MSP must have open communication lines, for both positive and negative dialogue with their partners.

Program governance. MSPs should participate in and support the client’s governance model, where CW program goals are aligned with client enterprise initiatives. MSPs should take an active, if not leading role in strategic program planning, supported and documented through a program roadmap. The program roadmap should outline short-term and long-term initiatives and outline risk mitigation and compliance opportunities, managed by the MSP.

Continuous improvement. Highly performing MSPs know there are always areas to improve. MSPs should provide consistent SLA and performance reporting. Ideally, this reporting highlights the success of the program, but at minimum reporting should reflect quarter-over-quarter improvement. The increase interest in market trends and insights should provide MSPs an opportunity to showcase their industry knowledge and allow proactive recommendations related to legislation changes (ACA, AWR, sick-time), rate management/alignment and labor trends. Top-tier MSPs have communication and change management strategies that include activities such as surveys, forums, trainings, newsletters, program updates and success stories to audiences both internally to the client but also externally to suppliers.

These MSP management components, activities and initiatives are the framework for success. That being said, each CW program is different. MSPs need to listen to the needs of their clients and carefully balance those needs with industry best practices and clearly communicate client-specific recommendations and action plans.