Art of Managing Consultants in MSP

Managing Consultants Within an MSP Solution


Harnessing a mixed worker population of consultants and contingent workers

The client was exploring a solution to remedy time and materials work misclassified as SOW with a portion of workers coming from consulting firms. Pontoon identified this area as an opportunity to bring additional cost control, visibility, and compliance to the client to manage consultants that were part of the project solution.

Our Approach

Improving visibility to facilitate successful pro-based work

Building on from the expertise and success of the global MSP program already in place, we adapted the existing VMS technology, Fieldglass, to account for the time and materials contractors. Pontoon analyzed the rogue SOW spend across the institution and quickly realized the varying degrees of governance across a mixed worker population. A key area was to include consultants, who came from consulting firms to complete project work, into  Pontoon’s MSP compliance requirements and program controls.

Pontoon architected the Contract Labor Project (CLP), which is a hybrid between temporary workforce management and SOW – we see it as SOW lite. For requisitions that lean towards time and materials as project-based work from large consulting firms, our team works with the client’s hiring managers to facilitate the bid process via RFx, pursue competitive pricing and house the bid-related information in the VMS. By using VMS technology in this capacity, Pontoon can use the same use rigour and controls for IC’s we do for contract labour. There is also critical visibility between hiring managers and Pontoon for project-wide contributors that help facilitate seamless budget approvals and administration for al related expenses throughout the project.

We are responsible for distributing, facilitating and assisting the hiring managers in their vendor selection based on our proven experience working with consulting firms in this capacity. With our recommendation, the hiring manager will select the firm for the project and we will guide the firm through the necessary steps of implementation and onboarding for worker just as we do in the wider MSP program.


Significant cost savings discovered and an unmatched customer experience

Pontoon saved $29M in the first year of implementing the CLP. We introduced proper classification measures and reduced project budget approval time from 6 weeks to less than a week. As a result, we discouraged program suppliers from circumventing the MSP to create SOWs. CLP accounts for approximately $582M of the client’s $1.1B annual spend.