23 Mar Using a Managed Service Provider (MSP)
You’re a growing business, and you suddenly realize you need a lot more support in areas like IT or accounting. Or maybe you have a short-term project that needs a lot of people, but not forever. Or you have a lot of temporary support from a variety of agencies, but its time-consuming to manage them all. One solution could be using a managed service provider.
Things to know when considering using a managed service provider:
What is a MSP, really? Managed Service Providers are, at a basic level, the idea of working with a third party who will provide you with a team of people to execute a certain function of your business. They also can manage multiple third party resources – for example, if you regularly use temporary employees from multiple staffing agencies, they can oversee billing and management and coordination across the various groups.
Why would you use an MSP? Not only can they bring in and manage their own teams, MSPs can also oversee others, and if you do a lot of temporary hiring (say, you have regular spikes in business due to the seasonality of your industry), many MSPs have a vendor management system (VMS). A VMS serves multiple purposes but is a technology platform that can show clients prospective temporary employee candidates, track billing, review goals, and other data.
What are common industries for MSPs? One of the most popular areas historically has been in IT. For some businesses, technology is not their core business, but they heavily rely on tech to operate. If you want to really focus on managing and training your sales force (where the revenue is generated), but you want to be confident that your technology needs are being met, you could work with a MSP to manage the IT needs.
Which functions other than IT can be supported by a Managed Service Provider? Managed Service Providers now function in a variety of industries beyond IT. They can help with accounting, legal services, human resources, and other specialties.
[bctt tweet=”Some people serve as a support function, but not part of your core service, and it might not be efficient for you to manage them day-to-day.”]
And if you have one or two temporary staff in each of these support roles, all coming from different agencies, it could be useful to have a MSP to manage them.
Why not just use temporary employees? Like temps, a MSP team is not on your payroll. The Managed Services Provider is the employer of this team, or responsible for the administration of all the employers (usually staffing agencies) of the individuals working in a temp capacity.
A MSP can be an efficient way to get the talent you need, as well as the administration and management of them. The MSP will oversee their performance, manage quality of outputs, and generally are responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the group.
A Managed Service Provider can be cost-efficient. Usually, a MSP will charge you a flat monthly fee for their services. While they may require a certain minimum time commitment, the advantage is that if you only need them for a specific project, it’s a much more flexible (and possibly less costly) alternative to hiring.
Managed Service Providers have been around for some time, but were fairly concentrated in a few capacities until recently.
But now, they offer a wide range of services, arrangements and skill sets. Before you take on the management and cost of a full time hire, or even directly supervising a team of short-term help, you may want to consider the advantages of using a Managed Service Provider.