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MSP Rock 'Em Sock 'Em

Let's face it, the Managed Service Provider (MSP) and non-employee labour market are competitive and can sometimes leave the vendors feeling transported back in time to 1964 -- ROCK 'EM SOCK 'EM ROBOTS®, a world favourite by Mattel. In the centre ring, we have MSP vs Vendor.

Most of us have experienced the game either 'in the ring or ringside' watching what can sometimes put a vendor out of business. The game begins when economic conditions shift, Customer growth slows, and pressure is on the MSP to deliver cost savings.

What's next?

The 'scramble' - the MSP and vendors begin closely scrutinising margins, often making reactionary operational adjustments, and everyone is stressed to deliver more with less.

Moreover then...

Customer pressure continues creating an immense strain on the MSP/Vendor relationship. Depending on the strength of the Customer and vendor relationships, the MSP can begin trending away from the once role of proactive partner and quickly turn reactionary. A reactionary (emotional) response damages the long-term Customer and vendor relationship – and that's when the Rock' Em Sock' Em Robots take over, vendor commitment rapidly declines, and performance metrics suffer. There are no winners.

What if...

The MSP is strategic, relationship-minded, and turns a challenge into an opportunity?

To avoid further disruption, the MSP and vendors come together to find solutions - they strategically align to share thought leadership and successfully deliver on the Customer's objectives. This partnership approach creates a venue for vendors to have a 'voice at the table' and strengthens the relationship triangle for the longer-term - Customer/Vendors/MSP.


  • Leverage Vendor Tier Structure: lessen vendor competition and increase commitment

  • Workforce Analytics/Data Science: forget perception, remove emotion, and focus on the story told by the data.

  • Cloud Recruitment Technology: embrace our future!

  • MSP Customer Portfolio Review: sharing best practices across all MSP customers. Let's not reinvent the wheel.

  • VMS Technology Optimisation: is functionality fully utilised? Not in most programs!

  • Vendor Conferences: vendors often know best where to find improvement opportunities

  • Expand Geography: where else can the MSP deliver value to offset the Customer downturn?

  • Expand Scope: what other solutions or skills can the MSP provide not already included in the program scope to offset the Customer downturn – i.e., Statement of Work - SOW, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), IT Project Management Office (PMO), or?

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