MSP and VMS: Supporting positive workforce outcomes for midsize companies
Beacon Hill Marketing Team | 10.19.21 - 8:20 AM

Acquiring the right talent at the right time is a foundational requirement for every business.

Growing companies face complex challenges related to maximizing their workforce's throughput. Utilizing contingent labor helps midsize organizations address specific operational needs by selecting specialized talent who can effectively support important shorter-term initiatives. This focused support drives competitive advantages that help successful organizations to outperform competitors.

However, managing the extended workforce population and its process becomes more complicated as non-employee headcount grows and more vendors join the process.

An experienced managed services provider (MSP) offers targeted and valuable support in these situations. The right MSP program empowers businesses to continue benefiting from the relevant and efficient use of a contingent workforce while streamlining logistics, centralizing communications and increasing project and spend transparency.

The benefits offered through an MSP provider become even more impressive when that business partner implements a vendor management system (VMS) that matches your needs. A VMS, sometimes called a VMS system or VMS platform, is software that facilitates the oversight and control of information related to a company's contingent workforce and the suppliers who provide this specialized talent.

The advantages of an MSP powered by VMS technology

The benefits of these digital tools are hard to overstate. A professionally managed VMS can:

  • Increase efficiency and productivity: A VMS centralizes all data related to each staffing agency utilized for sourcing non-employee headcount. Instead of maintaining a series of emails, documents and spreadsheets, which are all disconnected from each other, a VMS provides a centralized system of record that organizes and archives accurate information related to the contingent workforce. This system saves significant amounts of time and effort for HR staff, hiring managers, C-suite and departmental leadership and other stakeholders, allowing them to focus on their core business duties.

A VMS tool supports but does not directly manage the contingent workforce. For a truly complete strategy around vendor and non-employee headcount management, businesses combine an MSP program and VMS software tool to achieve comprehensive management of the extended workforce group.

Why an MSP/VMS combination supports the most positive outcome

While both an MSP program and VMS provide advanced support and services, it's relatively easy to break them down into separate categories:

  • An MSP program focuses on and is overseen by people. It's led by experienced professionals who understand the finer points of effective management in terms of vendor relationships, a contingent workforce and the needs of hiring managers and department leadership. These specialists take the lead in simplifying all program communication between client stakeholders, suppliers and the hired talent who support an organization in a non-traditional capacity. The MSP's sphere of coverage spans from original project need determination through candidacy and selection stages into project fulfillment and, ultimately, closing things out with the off-boarding of this growing and important workforce population.
  • A VMS is an especially valuable digital application. It provides streamlined and reliable processes for vendor management and the acquisition of competent, skilled and relevant contingent workers. Crucially, it supports MSP program staff by offering detailed and centralized information related to vendors and contingent labor.

A combination of these valuable assets means more holistic — and effective — support for midsize organizations.

"Companies are amazed by the level of efficiency, transparency and overall value a dedicated MSP can bring to their organization," says John Williams, Executive Director of Beacon Hill's Solutions Division. "An MSP with technology can be the critical decision that a company makes to allow them to refocus on their internal priorities, core competencies and other areas of opportunity while we bring best practices and client-specific customization to build a successful long-lasting program and relationship."

Why midsize businesses have plenty to gain from the MSP/VMS pairing

While organizations of many sizes can benefit from an MSP program that leverages a customized and integrated VMS, there are especially important considerations specifically for midsize businesses. They include:

Effectively managing rapid growth

Midsize businesses that are good candidates for MSP programs are often in the midst of a fast expansion. Growth is a clear positive, but can also push companies into unfamiliar territory. And the faster a company develops, the easier it becomes to lose track of the contingent workforce, vendors and their associated costs.

As an organization takes on more work and expands its reach, certain internal assets, like an HR department, can take time to grow along with the overall business. Bringing an MSP program into the fold — especially one that can deploy a customized technology, like a VMS — can quickly and capably address this concern. A nimble MSP will scale along with their client, as its needs change, so will the appropriate level of service support.

Maintaining strong relationships

A midsize company's contingent workforce, along with every vendor who supplies that talent, are incredibly valuable assets. Relationships with individual contractors and freelancers, as well as the vendors that place them, need to remain positive to maintain access to this top talent. Talent satisfaction is absolutely crucial to remain competitive and grow as a business.

As companies expand, additional responsibilities and more complex situations that demand the time of key staff members can put the contract worker and vendor relationship on the back burner. The lack of emphasis on these interactions can both harm your company's reputation with contingent talent and vendors and, ultimately, harm your brand reputation. If workers and partner companies have negative or inconsistent experiences, it becomes more difficult to bring in the top talent for contingent roles and maintain strong partnerships with trusted service providers.

An MSP program that leverages a VMS platform will help companies stay on top of their responsibilities related to non-employee headcount and each associated vendor. When experienced professionals focus on supporting your company's contingent workforce and strengthening relationships with vendors:

  • You can count on skilled management and oversight of contingent labor on a continual basis.
  • Your hiring managers, HR staff and others can now dedicate their time to their own core responsibilities.

Contingent workers, vendors and other stakeholders will benefit from responsive, informative and up-front communication, and will recognize this higher level of service. This ultimately translates into stronger relationships across the board and greater access to higher-quality talent.

Taking the next step toward an MSP and VMS

Beacon Hill Solutions builds custom-designed supplier and talent management solutions. Our teams have the experience, dedication and expertise to resolve current and potential issues while identifying and maximizing opportunities related to the contingent workforce.

To learn more about how our MSP program and VMS solution can make a difference in your organization, get in touch with us today.

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