Ask Your MSP
Fostering Constructive Disruption Through
We believe that asking assumptive questions challenges thinking and fosters constructive disruption, improving all relationships—with clients, supplier/vendors, non-employee workers, the tech ecosystem, and the MSP itself. Below is an expanded list of questions to ask your Managed Service Provider (MSP) to ensure a well-rounded understanding and cooperation.
Key Questions to Ponder
How can we improve our program governance? Establish a governance framework that includes executive sponsors, a quarterly steering committee comprising representatives from Finance, HR, IT, Legal, Procurement, and high-volume business users, and strategic suppliers; and a monthly business user team for operational reviews. Effective governance enhances communication and creates accountability, facilitating continuous improvement.
Talent Acquisition and Retention
What are we doing to compete in the labour market? Given the competitive labour market, what is our plan to attract and retain top talent? Are our strategies effective, and if not, what can be improved?
How are we managing change? Ensure that change management methodology incorporates a clear communication plan and takes a 'safe-hands approach' to manage change for all stakeholders, including clients, suppliers, and workers.
Innovation & Industry Involvement
What innovations has the program delivered this year? Inquire about the MSP's involvement with industry leaders to stay informed about best practices and emerging technologies.
What is our strategic program roadmap? Request the MSP to provide a strategic roadmap that aligns with long-term program success and meets the agreed-upon objectives. Forward-thinking and proactive planning are critical success factors.
How do we ensure compliance with labour legislation? Perform an audit of the MSP's compliance practices. Quarterly audits help ensure adherence to ever-changing labour legislation. Ask detailed questions and request transparency, considering non-compliance penalties can be severe.
How are we managing vendor diversity? Evaluate the MSP's engagement with registered diversity vendors and their genuine commitment to their development and performance.
How do we reward vendor performance? Ensure the MSP conducts quarterly vendor performance reviews. Recognise and acknowledge well-performing vendor partners, considering formal awards and other best practices.
How do we mentor vendor partners? Evaluate how the MSP creates a trust-based environment with vendors. Inquire about their plan for mentoring vendor partners and ask when they last surveyed vendors, their results, and the actions taken based on the feedback.
Data Analytics and Reporting
How can we improve analytics? Expect the MSP to exceed standard Vendor Management System (VMS) reporting and provide advanced data analytics. The MSP should objectively analyse data, leveraging technology to eliminate human error and deliver actionable insights... ideadlly predictive analytics that help improve performance and internal customer satisfaction.
How well are we managing costs? Program governance is essential for aligning key stakeholders and creating awareness. For example, will a headcount reduction impact an urgent project?
How do we know vendors are providing their best candidates? Emphasise the importance of neutrality to increase supplier commitment and performance.
What are vendors saying about our vendor neutrality? Consider conducting a vendor survey directly with your organisation’s involvement, as the opinion of vendors often carries more weight than the MSP's perception.
Direct Sourcing Metrics
How do direct sourcing metrics compare with vendor metrics? Explore the impact of non-traditional direct sourcing technology and how it drives innovation. Curated talent pools can be valuable sources of skills often overlooked in traditional sourcing models.
Additional Questions for Comprehensive Understanding
What are the key performance indicators related to client satisfaction?
What are the sustainability measures in place within your MSP operations?
How well-equipped is the MSP to handle global requirements, including compliance with local laws and regulations?
What is your dispute resolution mechanism?
What are your financial stability metrics?
How often does your technology platform undergo updates, and what's in the pipeline for future tech innovations?
What ethical guidelines does your MSP follow, especially concerning data handling, employee treatment, and vendor relations?
What is your emergency response plan for unforeseen situations like pandemics or natural disasters?
How does the MSP ensure the security and privacy of our data?
Is the MSP model still providing us with the best value?
Does your MSP have expertise in our specific industry, and if so, how is that reflected in the services offered?
By addressing these questions, organizations can gain a 360-degree view of their MSP’s capabilities, alignment with their own strategic objectives, and identify areas for improvement.