Pumpkin Carving and MSPs: 3 Eerie Similarities

Pumpkin carving and managed service programs?  It may seem like a stretch, but there are indeed a few spooky correlations.

Talent – I don’t want my pumpkin looking like a failed pincushion.

Sure, one can certainly carve a pumpkin without talent, just as one can run and operate a business without it.  Thing is, without talent, no one will want to see the resulting pumpkin outside of the most supportive friends and family members (who will secretly be grimacing inside, even as they clap you on the back). Similarly, a business without the right talent will run very, very quickly…into the ground.

The whole purpose of the MSP is to channel prime talent into a company to facilitate growth and prosperity.  Your MSP provider should be an active partner, consistently collaborating to enhance processes and evolve service parameters.  This becomes even more critical as MSPs evolve to manage wider ranges of talent and productivity.  Gone are the days when MSP processes concerned themselves only with temporary staffing.  Today, forward-thinking MSP providers work to generate efficiencies and savings across the full talent landscape, including independent contractors, SOW-governed vendors, providers of goods and services, and even recruitment process outsourcing (RPO).  Boiled down, all talent acquisition and management processes must focus on getting the right type of talent to get the job done well.

Planning – Do I want my jack-o-lantern to be goofy or gruesome?

These things matter and there are a lot of things to consider!  What is the culture around Halloween in your household?  Is your yard replete with goofy ghosts and odes to candy corn, or do skeletons creepily line your sidewalk?  Planning for the right talent is important, and so is a plan of carving action.  On our jack-o-lantern, we don’t want our intended nose being mistaken for an eyebrow, after all.

With an MSP, planning is perhaps the most important aspect of the MSP providers’ responsibilities.  An astute MSP partner will work closely with your company’s stakeholders to uncover true goals, and then to set those to KPIs and SLAs.  In planning, it is important to be pragmatic.  As the old service adage goes:  Speed, Quality, Savings…pick two.  Benchmark your current operations, and then decide which two parameters are most important to your stakeholders.  We would all love to have industry-leading time-to-fill statistics, the highest quality talent with the lowest attrition rates, all working for the lowest possible pay and markup rates, but—while improvements can often be made across each of these KPIs—which are most critical to the company?  On which will your MSP focus?

Tools for the Job – I could use a butcher knife, but then I might also need to use an ambulance.

There are many ways to skin a…pumpkin.  We make our gourds gourd-geous with all types of knives and saws and chisels and drills and scoopers.  Different tools work wonders for different skill levels and to produce results against varying goals.

Highly successful MSPs, too, are often powered by tools.  Today’s leading vendor management system (VMS) providers understand—and reflect—each nuance of customers’ talent needs and program goals.  But, just as in jack-o-lantern-ing (verb for a day!), different tools offer different strengths.  For instance, what types of talent are sought and does the VMS have the capacity to source and manage each?  Some even offer wizards to help hiring managers determine the most appropriate type of resource for their need, e.g., contract worker, IC, SOW vendor, etc.  Some VMSes are custom-fit—like Broadleaf’s Work Nexus—to precisely match customer requirements, workflows, and lexicons.  Others are served as off-the-shelf solutions.

Final Touches

So, as we plan to present the most spectacular pumpkin displays this Halloween, we should be sure to consider our talent at hand (do we need to call in help?).  How our jack-o-lanterns be perceived by trick-or-treaters (awww, that’s so cute or ewww, that’s so gross).  And what tools we need to execute our vision (leave the cleaver in the butcher block!).

A lot to consider, right?  Thankfully, we only have to do this pumpkin carving thing once a year.  With MSPs, though, the work is year-round.  Somehow, that can seem an awful lot scarier…but, with an MSP partner like Broadleaf, it doesn’t have to be!