OPEX Improvements Renew MSP Program Strength



In a study from Accenture, 75% of HR executives say that ensuring their operating model provides a competitive advantage is a major challenge Our global investment banking client had over $300M in CW & SOW spend with MSP operations in US, EMEA, and APAC. Our client faced challenges within their program attributed to governance, data quality and an outdated organizational structure – which was all attributing to a lack of consistency, quality and speed across the global program.

Our Approach


To address these issues, our OPEX team first had to do a full program assessment that allowed them to settle on five opportunities of improvement: lack of global governance, improvement of the escalation plans, poor data integrity of the VMS, limited non-VMS tech being utilized to better enable processes and outdated organization structure not aligned to client value-drivers. Pontoon’s OPEX team then consulted and led the client through our OPEX toolkit which included the use of LEAN methodology and our transformation approach of discovery, design, implementation, and finally stabilization of several new solutions to improve operations within this MSP program. In addition to these improvements, they had a program-wide goal of increasing the overall program efficiency and enhance the NPS score across all stakeholder groups. Led by an OPEX director, acting as the conductor for this project they coordinated and aligned all other parties to ensure success – Process Managers, multiple Tech Business Analysts, Financial Analysts, HR & Training, and Operational Executives.  The transformation approach our OPEX Team took consisted of 6 key parts:

  • To start, the team established a deep dive analysis of the Voice of Customer, Voice of Processes, and Voice of Data to understand the core challenges facing the operation, then created a solution matrix that would outline the path to improvement
  • Next, a matrix of meeting cadences between various stakeholder groups was established. The meetings were intended to improve transparency, awareness, and alignment of operational activities and project.
  • From there, they deployed our CRM instance with a structured escalation protocol coupled with defined issue categories and actions.
  • The OPEX team rolled out a new org structure that shifts processes and roles into Advisory, Sourcing and Onboarding. This new design streamlined activities and outsourced sourcing and onboarding to staff with specialised skills and technology to complete those tasks. The new structure distributed costs more evenly to allow more resources in tactical work, and apply leadership training, development, and market intel for those in advisory roles to further consultant and lead the program and client. The OPEX team along with the program team and client stakeholders co-designed multiple dashboards to better display and assign VMS requisition activity and designated thresholds to prioritize work.
  • On top of this, OPEX partnered with our Emerging Tech team to deploy multiple techs including Spotfire for KPI dashboards, TalentNeuron for Market Intel, Teaddl a cloud-based team huddle solution, and SalesForce.com for issue tracking and resolution, and DocuSign for visa-letter management.
  • The team also built a visual supplier scorecard dashboard that put all supplier performance indicators at the fingertips of users to better align distribution matrixes and efficiently manage and drive our supply chain across the global program.
Client Results


  • Reduction in sponsor escalations by 75% and improving issue turnarounds to 90% resolution in less than 48hrs.
  • Open reqs have never exceeded 80 –originally at 300 – and req aging has never exceeded 40% beyond the established 4-week threshold.
  • 40% shortlist to hire ratios on from active suppliers in key IT job categories

By allowing our OPEX team to revamp processes and operations within this program, the outcome was renewed client involvement which ensured change management and tech adoption went smoothly.  With minimal upfront investment to execute all of the work mentioned above, client sponsor adoption was easier and ultimately the stakeholders trusted our OPEX methodology- allowing us to first investigate then execute fixes based on the detailed findings. Additional support from client SMEs also produced actionable business requirements, review of solution designs, and removal of implementation roadblocks which all contributed to a successful outcome.

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