Your MSP Checklist: Choosing a Provider

From the first time you consider using a Managed Service Provider (MSP), the process can seem overwhelming. You may be taken aback by the factors involved in selecting an MSP. While there are a host of suppliers out there, you have to be selective in finding an option that meets your specific needs to be an ideal choice for your company. There a variety of factors to consider before selecting an MSP that should be discussed to choose the right one for your organization. We’re here to help you understand what to look for in an MSP.

Your MSP Checklist:

Below we’ve outlined some of the questions to ask yourself when choosing a managed service provider. You will find many options available online and there will never be a perfect fit though some may better reflect your specific needs better than others. An MSP should help your organization grow faster, so finding an organization that fits your workflow and focus should be a priority.

Does the Managed Service Provider have tenure in its respective space and industry categories?

You want a healthy partnership with your MSP. This may require sifting through a series of providers to notice how they differ. How do you know what to look for? Blog posts, downloadable resources, and ancillary services may be the place to start. Regardless if you’ve worked with other providers before, don’t compromise until you find a fit for your needs.

Remember what you’re looking for in a prospective MSP vendor. Typical requirements of an MSP include overall program management, reporting and tracking, supplier selection and management, order distribution and often consolidated billing. The vast majority of MSP customers are also provided with a vendor management system (VMS). An MSP may or may not be independent of a staffing supplier, though

Ask the prospective MSP about their future to see if their values align with yours.

Can the MSP provide the complete customer experience you’re seeking?

To ensure that you’re considering qualified vendors, look for testimonials and endorsements from satisfied customers. You can’t expect to manage expectations by using a standalone website; Consider Glassdoor and Yelp reviews, LinkedIn engagement, and Facebook ratings as a place to start. You may be surprised at how many companies can have quality websites, yet lack social proof of continuous growth - often worth its weight in gold. The fact that most Managed Service Providers will take your initial call doesn’t always demonstrate the quality of work, response time, depth of relationships, etc.

Consider what you need to be comfortable with prospective providers. The first time you visit the website of an MSP, browse case studies and research to see indicators that you’ll be entering a successful partnership. Selecting an MSP starts with your comfort level in their ability to perform in the areas you need.

Does the MSP have depth and strength comparable to or better than the existing providers?

An MSP needs to be highly competent to handle your contingent staffing function. Full-service MSP prospects may tout certifications or large staff sizes though these rarely guarantee competency. Even light prompting may reveal insights on MSP management activities such as sourcing, assignment/SOW management, expenditure and invoicing management, system administration, and support and high-level reporting.

If you already know what you’re looking for in the first place, you’ll have an easier time sifting through RFP responses in the first place.

Can the MSP provide a scalable solution to grow with your organization?

The need for on-site assistance is waning as most Managed Service Support is conducted remotely. A variety of factors will influence how much location impacts your scoring of potential firms.

You may find you want to meet with someone in person to establish a connection. The process of vetting prospective MSPs should reveal insights into factors such as response time. If you anticipate your needs are likely to increase substantially in the near term, ensure that the MSP is able to quickly and confidently maintain best practices across the lifecycle of your partnership.

Does the MSP Supplier provide a formal and comprehensive service offering?

An MSP must be able to meet your complex and unique needs. Some companies will use multiple Managed Service Providers and while there are advantages this approach can be costly. When it comes choosing an MSP, narrow down your list and assess how they each approach service offerings from initial planning to implementation.

All of these steps should play a factor in your search. When it comes to making your final decision on an MSP, significant cost savings will be attained only if you conduct a thorough analysis of a staffing company/MSP partner. For your company to find a partner that specializes in office staff, you can get well on your way if you take a moment to inform our MSP/VMS department of your specific need. There is no commitment.

This is only an introductory list to keep in mind when searching for a managed services partner. You should add your own questions to this list as a starting point to build upon when searching.

Other considerations: Budget, Company Ideals, Offerings

Learn more about our managed service offering and contact our team when you’re ready.

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