03 Jun How an MSP Can Leverage New Technology to Better Serve Customers
A very long time ago, one of my previous mentors told me that, “technology is all about getting to your bottlenecks faster.”
His point was technology is developed to automate a process or interaction. And ultimately, this technology can uncover the gaps in service is or the bottlenecks preventing efficient operations. As organizations can spend hundreds of millions, even billions on their contingent workforce, any gaps in the hiring, onboarding or worker management processes can have a significant impact on cost, compliance and risk while preventing organizations from achieving business results. Enter MSPs. Organizations hire these third-party experts to address service gaps and to optimize the technology solutions they are managing.
Ever since receiving that guidance, I’ve observed how technology has evolved rapidly and how new technologies are being created to address almost any challenge when it comes to hiring and managing the contingent workforce. The need for service providers to manage an organization’s contingent workforce continues, however. This is evident in the fact that 62% of companies with more than 1,000 employees use an MSP. MSPs are evolving their services to keep up with these trends, and some have invested in technologies to provide better support for their customers while driving automation to reduce their total cost of ownership. The goal is to evolve their capabilities to provide new strategic-level services. But in a majority of cases, MSPs are dependent on the capabilities of a vendor management system (VMS), which determines the service model that must be deployed to serve a customer.
As organizations and service providers look at different contingent workforce platforms on the market, they need to consider their ability to bring forth the following tools to better service the hiring manager community and achieve the best results.
Integrated Service Management: Having a platform that can easily connect users with their support teams to quickly resolve issues is essential. It’s safe to say that every service provider has some sort of ticketing or case management application to provide support to their customers. Some have even built chatbots or texting features to better interact with these key operational tools. However, these tools are not optimized if they are not embedded in the technology. These tools can also become difficult to manage if they’re not integrated within the VMS, making it almost impossible to effectively track performance. This can result in several manual activities, such as manual calculation and the tracking of service level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs). Given the maturity of these technologies, and with the integration tools available, there is no reason to manually track performance.
Push, Not Pull, Analytics: As a service provider, there may be nothing worse than being caught off guard about a service issue. Reacting to problems once they’ve arisen, instead of identifying them before they arise, is not optimal and may have both short- and long-term impacts on customer satisfaction. Having the analytical and artificial intelligence (AI) tools that push data about hiring needs not getting filled to hiring and program managers, the remarketing of candidates coming off assignment, or even the capacity of the MSP resources, is vital to better-managed teams and improved customer satisfaction. If you are using a VMS platform with native AI, then you can pro-actively identify problems today as well as potential future issues.
Automation: Leveraging AI tools like robotic process automation (RPA), chatbots and natural language processing (NLP) can drive efficiency while simultaneously providing a better customer experience. Numerous automation tools on the market can plug and play with enterprise systems. Several MSPs leverage these tools already, but without these tools being integrated into the technology where their customers spend most of their time, are these tools being optimized to their fullest?
New Application Development: I’ve seen MSPs having teams of more than 80 resources to support an individual customer. This is not because of the numerous activities associated with a high volume of hiring, but because of the need to support workaround solutions to address gaps in technology. Technology exists today such that if a business has a problem, then a piece of software can be built to solve it the next day. The world of low-code and no-code tools allows technology firms to quickly build business applications. For instance, if a unique situation such as a pandemic arises, then organizations can seamlessly change their hiring needs and processes. Instead of throwing bodies at a problem, organizations can first look at how technology can solve it. If your legacy VMS provider cannot react quickly enough, then it probably doesn’t have the capabilities to rapidly build solutions that enable agile responses to today’s business challenges.
All the above technologies exist and have added tried and true value in terms of better serving customers better. Service providers need to evaluate technologies for their own operations and their VMS partners. They must figure out which platform will optimize their delivery teams and better integrate with the investments they have made to better serve their customers.
Mark has over 25 years of experience in the workforce solutions industry. Mark has been responsible for implementing, operating, and transforming contingent workforce solutions for hundreds of organizations worldwide. Mark has also led technology teams that built and managed VMS solutions and other technology solutions to digitize and transform extended workforce solutions