Pontoon hosted a roundtable discussion at SIA’s CWS Europe on the topic was Regional vs. Global MSPs. While there are clear advantages and difficult challenges to both, here are 5 takeaways from the roundtable audience:
Flexibility is critical to a program spanning multiple countries and regions. Within a single program, there needs to be considerations and adjustments to comply with regulations, culture and operational differences from location to location. The global program strategy must allow for each region to customize their operations to be conducive to the local environment where they operate. Strategic physical locations, shared service centres and on-site program teams are indicators of a well-constructed provider that can support clients from a global position.
2. A phased approach works well in terms of a global roll-out
Highly structured implementations yield the most long-term success. By rolling out programs in phases, we learn what has worked and which elements have less traction providing positive lessons to take into the next phase of the implementation.
A full-scale big bang approach could present issues program-wide resulting in long rebuilds and lead to instability.
3. There is caution around a single MSP and their ability to truly deliver globally
If an MSP lacks experience in expanding a program beyond its home country or region, it will be very clear in the early planning stages. Leading MSPs can deliver through methodical and strategic expansions. It is important to recognise that one size does not fit all and whilst operating within a skeleton framework the foundations for success of a global MSP are built on implementing solutions that are tailored for each region. Local knowledge and expertise are also vital in dealing with positive communication and change management. Appreciating the cultural variations across countries and regions is essential in program adoption and future success.
The benefits of one global provider versus several regional providers include a holistic view of global headcount and spend, robust reporting, consistencies in operations and delivery, and a greater volume cost-savings.
“A global governance structure enables consistent delivery and alignment to client talent strategies across multiple regions. Additionally, supplier strategies can be deployed across multiple regions creating greater scale and investment from suppliers to prioritize talent to the client.”Andy Woods, Portfolio VP of Global MSPs at Pontoon
4. Third-party supply chain management is very important to ensure the continuation of supply and adoption
A healthy mix of suppliers that can deliver candidates in both quality and volume is a must for MSP programs whether regional or global.
With global programs, MSPs need to curate a diverse supplier pool that can fill the range of skillsets that a client has. Additionally, suppliers that are familiar with local laws, cultures and behaviours of the market’s where clients have locations is extremely important.
The supply base should be continually reviewed to ensure there is an optimal supply of candidates for every market that the client operates in. By strategically aligning trusted and skill-specific suppliers to business lines where they have found success in other programs, there will be an increased level of adoption and satisfaction with the program.
5. Excellent stakeholder management skills are essential
Continuous consultation and open communication are two of the most critical factors to a successful program when it comes to a stakeholder partnership. With constructive dialogue from the initial conversations to regular pulse checks, providers and clients will feel strongly aligned as they have clear expectations of the program.
Relationship building with stakeholders locally and regionally must start from the ground up if there are ambitions to expand globally. Regions often have varying expectations from one to the next so having a strong foundational understanding and ability to develop customized strategies will positively contribute to the success of the overall program. Regular global reviews and collaborative forums will lead to best practice sharing, diversity of thought, and innovation.
In addition to program-level interaction, it is also extremely important to have executive sponsorship from both the client and the MSP. Having executive-level buy-in will drive change management through the organization which will positively result in successful program adoption.
Through flexible solutions that include regional considerations, a phased implementation approach, and consistent global governance, a global MSP can yield powerful results for an organization going on the international journey.