CWS 3.0: June 29, 2011 - Vol. 3.15

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Heard on the Street: Get That Buy-In

“We are finding that many corporations are moving forward to bid and engage an MSP and a VMS without having the full organizational support to do that. That causes both providers and clients a lot of trouble — not to mention lengthening the contract phase. It’s crucial to get buy-in before the bidding process.”
— Kip Wright, VP and general manager of TAPFIN, a provider of human capital solutions. The company is part of ManpowerGroup.

Buy-in from the C suite is crucial when implementing a vendor management system or a managed service provider for your contingent workforce program. But it’s not just about the executive suite. Change management experts claim that seeking initial buy-in from a variety of leaders in the organization is key to successfully implementing a CW program. While approval from the top tells employees “this is the way it should be,” supportive leaders in business units can provide ongoing support and help in smoothing the inevitable bumps in the road toward implementation.

Unfortunately this is not always the case in the CW arena. “In some of our opportunities, once we win a bid we see two key challenges that occur,” says Kip Wright, VP and general manager of ManpowerGroup Solutions TAPFIN. “Various constituents in the company become aware of the program (after the award decision) and all sorts of concerns are raised. As a result, the contract phase is lengthened dramatically — to even three times as long as it was before,” Wright says. This means time and money are being spent in unforeseen — and therefore unbudgeted — areas.

“The second challenge that manifests itself is in the actual deployment of the program,” Wright says. When other business units come in at a late stage, they raise all kinds of issues that need to be addressed.

“Make sure that you are getting organizational support from the start, because it just makes it so much easier to implement these types of programs,” says Wright. Otherwise it’s all about damage control and putting out fires. As an alternative, companies can engage a firm up-front to help do the analysis of MSP/VMS systems and work out the return on investment.

Today, contingent labor touches many units in a company. It pays to build a business case for establishing a CW program and get people on board. The earlier this is done, the better. “After the fact means increased costs and idle resources waiting to be leveraged that have already been dedicated,” says Wright. Why delay an implementation that can be so beneficial to a company? So do your homework first and get executive support for these programs. And along the way, if you can get support from other departments, even better.

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