PRODUCT

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

SOLUTIONS

MSPs delivering services procurement and contingent workforce programs

Adoption of services procurement or statement of work as part of broader contingent workforce programs and the approaches taken by MSPs in delivering these services.

Episode highlights


Convincing the C-Suite to prioritise SoW and CWS
Play
Simplifying the change-management process when adopting outcome-based work
Play
Outsourcing SoW management to an MSP
Play
What are the changes needed in the wider procurement tech ecosystem
Play
MSP selling SoW solutions to clients
Play

Posted by: ZivioReading time: 147 minutes

With With Mickey Pelletier, founder, CWM Strategies

00:00:00 - The changing, expanding scope of contingent workforce programs
00:11:00 - The various approaches to SoW as part of CWS
00:16:40 - Identifying, defining and classifying outcome based work
00:26:00 - MSPs' value in solving the messy areas of SoW
00:35:30 - The complexity of the statement of work life cycle
00:39:40 - Getting stuck in a worker tracking mentality
00:51:00 - Prioritising solving the outcome-based work problem with a long-term view
00:59:25 - Convincing the C-Suite to prioritise SoW and CWS
01:05:00 - Simplifying the change-management process when adopting outcome-based work
01:12:05 - Outsourcing SoW management to an MSP
01:17:30 - What are the changes needed in the wider procurement tech ecosystem
01:22:15 - Challenging the charging models of MSPs and technologies
01:32:40 - MSP selling SoW solutions to clients
01:36:00 - Thoughts on the industry

Transcript - Auto-generated. Please excuse any minor errors.

00;00;00;00 - 00;00;13;18
Jonny Dunning
Right. I'm delighted to be joined today by Mickey Pelletier, who is the founder of CW Strategies. Really appreciate you taking the time to join me, Mickey. We've got some great stuff to talk about today. How are you doing.

00;00;13;21 - 00;00;27;16
MIckey Pelletier
Jonny, I'm doing good. Thanks so much for having me. It's exciting to talk to you. This is so get into the topic. This is one I'm passionate about. So happy to kind of be able to talk that through with you and share some share some thoughts.

00;00;27;19 - 00;00;48;29
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, exactly. And this kind of came about through an article that you put out a while ago, which really some of the points that really resonated me, I thought was a great article, really asking some interesting questions. So so we're going to be addressing the topics of the adoption of services procurement or statement of work programs within broader continued workforce programs.

00;00;49;05 - 00;01;17;14
Jonny Dunning
I'm looking at the approaches that are currently being taken by MSPs, how clients receiving that in the market and how these services are being delivered and really what the opportunities are with this within this market as a whole. So that does kind of tie in to some of the great points you raised in the article. But before we get started, do you want to just give a bit of context on your experience in the industry, your background, what you're doing now with with CW and Strategies?

00;01;17;17 - 00;01;22;15
Jonny Dunning
Just to put a bit of context around where that expertise and where your thought process has come from?

00;01;22;18 - 00;01;50;18
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, thanks. I think that's helpful, kind of where I'm coming from. So I spent about 70 years in the contingent workforce industry. I started out with with Allegiance one leading MSPs and work with them, you know, on the operations side, managing MSP programs, and then moved into implementation. And I spent a couple of years at as he was back on a peace side over at Kelley, implementing solutions and standing up solutions.

00;01;50;18 - 00;02;24;24
MIckey Pelletier
They're both your regular staff of MSP, you know, And then as CW Services was starting to come into play as well, went over to center and consulted on contingent workforce solutions there, doing anything from standing up VMS technology to helping companies standardize either supplier rate cards to helping them think through organizational strategy and governance of their contingent workforce program.

00;02;24;26 - 00;02;46;03
MIckey Pelletier
Then went on to the buyer side, was over at Zillow and ran their contingent workforce program and then most recently was over at Mazda as the the head of contingent workforce strategy there. Unfortunately, part of the layoffs there that took place at the start of the year. And so after being in the industry for so long, we decided to go out on my own.

00;02;46;06 - 00;03;18;04
MIckey Pelletier
And so I started CW Strategies really with the focus on bridging leading practices with future innovations and contingent workforce. So there's a lot of great things that MSPs, VMs do, but then there's also things that people don't like, and then there's leading innovations such as your direct source and talent pooling that FMS, freelance management. What if we could pick the best of what the MSSP VMs are doing and contingent workforce management and start tying that in with those future innovations?

00;03;18;06 - 00;03;39;15
MIckey Pelletier
So I think there's a lot that could be done really to improve the contingent workforce programs, whether that's ran by an MSP or a self-managed program. There's really just a lot to elevate contingent workforce programs, and that's really what I'm here to do to help companies do that. So I have experience really on all sides of the VMs.

00;03;39;15 - 00;03;51;17
MIckey Pelletier
The MSP large consulting firm by your side as well. So really those four Four Corners kind of give me the background to be where I am today.

00;03;51;19 - 00;04;15;14
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, it's really interesting. So I want to come on to in a second just the what you saw by crossing that divide. But, but when you talk about contingent workforce programs and the the kind of scope for innovation and improvement and changes, it's quite amazing really, because it's a pretty well-established set up on a service. And even, you know, the big VMs have been around for, you know, 20 years plus in the market.

00;04;15;14 - 00;04;35;23
Jonny Dunning
And so it's quite a well established model. But as you say, when you start bringing in things like more use of direct sourcing, the whole freelancer management piece, the growth of the gig economy that changes things, plus technology and process and approach has to move with the times. Throw in COVID changing market conditions, different approaches to worker status, all this sort of stuff.

00;04;35;26 - 00;05;05;04
Jonny Dunning
There's a lot going on so the industry can't afford to stand still. And I've heard a lot of kind of commentators talking about how it can sometimes be a bit stagnant when it comes to innovation in the industry. But also I think when you look at how continue workforce programs can expand, to look at broader workforce channels, say, for example, statement of work services, procurement, ultimately it's all about problem solving around how organizations are getting work done.

00;05;05;06 - 00;05;23;15
Jonny Dunning
They've got different work delivery channels. It can be done in a variety of different ways. It's likely to be a question, of course is of course is basically this piece of work for a gig marketplace. Best to do this work over here with a permanent staff. This is best for contractors. This is ideal for freelancers and this outsource piece of work is statement of work and services.

00;05;23;17 - 00;05;40;10
Jonny Dunning
So there's there's a logical logic to it, but there's also quite a big difference to it. So I think that's an area as well, which obviously as we're going to cover, there's a lot of potential innovation, partly because that side of the market is is less mature, it's more embryonic.

00;05;40;13 - 00;06;07;16
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, I would agree. It's it's fascinating the continued workforce space changes very quickly, but at the same time it does then we get very stuck in our in our ways of doing things and thinking that maybe the way that we're doing it is the best way where there are opportunities to improve and change. I think we see that a lot in the EU and contingent workforce management, some of the MSPs.

00;06;07;16 - 00;06;27;11
MIckey Pelletier
It's possible that there is an innovation and you're just doing the same old thing in your statement of work, spend goes unchecked and you know, it's there's not really a control around it because at the end of the day you're the goal. You should be going for it. Contingent workforce management is that that visibility, I should say it's the one goal.

00;06;27;11 - 00;06;47;11
MIckey Pelletier
It's one of the many goals. But one of the things I see is that visibility of who's doing what, where, when, why, at what cost, you know, across all of your across all all of your workforce. I mean, that include draftees. There's the mythical total talent management that people talk about. And what does that mean that's visibility into all of your workforce.

00;06;47;11 - 00;07;08;22
MIckey Pelletier
Any headcount, including your FTE, is including your freelancers, including your statement of work, your staff, all workers. Who are they? What are they doing? Who are they? What are they costing? And being able to tie that into holistic headcount planning. And we talk about that and companies talk about that. But there's very few companies that are really doing that well.

00;07;08;26 - 00;07;30;07
MIckey Pelletier
And it's a beast of a task when you talk about these companies that have hundreds of thousands of workers, then you tie in your body of contingent workers that are not their employees. Boy, that can get a little bit tricky and taxing. Then how do you tie that all together? And what about this thing called claims employment in these big fear mongering things that that get tied into the industry?

00;07;30;09 - 00;07;58;12
MIckey Pelletier
It can be quite overwhelming for clients and then challenging for you, the MSPs, the VMs, the providers to to solve all that. Because while there's a standard way of approaching these things, each client has their own unique approach and thought of how they acquire talent and how they utilize talent and how one company visualizes that statement of work, body of work, and how that's done maybe quite different than other companies.

00;07;58;12 - 00;08;18;14
MIckey Pelletier
So, you know, I think that's one of the exciting things that there's a variance in how things are done and how things are thought of. But then there's a bit of an overarching standardization that the players in the game and have tried to create. So I guess back to my original point. Yeah, we're every day things are changing, but they're not.

00;08;18;16 - 00;08;40;22
MIckey Pelletier
And so it's really a matter of each company. What do you want to do and what is your prioritization? I honestly, I get on my soapbox way too often of that clients and their leadership don't, don't change. They don't do the right thing for contingent workforce management. I'm very passionate about that. Contingent workforce programs are not set up for success.

00;08;40;22 - 00;09;04;08
MIckey Pelletier
They're not enabled to do the right things. They're not invested in to properly manage their their statement of work population, to set up a freelance management system to honestly think about what's the best way for us to get the talent that we need to get the work done. And let's tie in some cost savings and and a bit of compliance as well to make sure that we're thinking about this holistically.

00;09;04;08 - 00;09;18;17
MIckey Pelletier
So before I go down to many meandering topics here, you could tie me back in Johnny, as a go go down a couple of tangents because this is something that could go on and on about. But let's we'll focus. We'll focus here.

00;09;18;20 - 00;09;42;04
Jonny Dunning
There's so much to talk about. I mean, already you're bringing up stuff. I'm scribbling down notes here as you talk. It talks about you mentioned religious order. An interesting conversation with Bruce Morton, who's the global head of strategy for Religious, I guess great guy. And just some really interesting concepts we were talking about around work versus worker kind of capability and capacity versus talent.

00;09;42;04 - 00;10;06;28
Jonny Dunning
On how organizations view this. I think there's a strong cultural element, as you say, to the differences that exist within different organizations as to how they like to get things done. But the bottom line is the the C-suite need to understand what is the total capacity and capability of our organization and what is the most effective way for us as an organization to do the work that we need to do to deliver our products or services to our customers.

00;10;06;28 - 00;10;35;18
Jonny Dunning
So I think that that capability and capacity side of it which which almost runs in in parallel to kind of like the total talent management conversation, although talent management conversation has been around for longer and probably from far too much have not delivered very much in in so far. But it's really interesting when you look at it and I tend to look at it from a just it's just why is the organization getting work done ultimately.

00;10;35;21 - 00;10;59;20
Jonny Dunning
But but it's really interesting, the fact you bring up about it being different view differently in different organizations, different organizations will have a totally different attitude to whether they really value contractors or freelancers or whether they're willing to approach things like the gig economy or how they view services, procurement and statement of work. Do they view it adjacent to contingent work force, or do you end up with completely different stakeholders, you know, procurement over here and contingent workforce?

00;10;59;21 - 00;11;03;23
Jonny Dunning
All right, your talent over there. So there's loads of stuff we can get into. But

00;11;03;23 - 00;11;24;17
Jonny Dunning
So let's just go back to something that you brought up when you were talking about your background, which is where you basically crossed the divide. So your experience spans some great MSP providers, some great names on the direct side where you're working within organizations running these programs, and also the consulting element to it and the technology element to it.

00;11;24;17 - 00;11;37;25
Jonny Dunning
So you've kind of seen it from, you say, full players or all the different angles. What are the kind of main lessons that you learned from that and what did you see as the benefits of having seen all the different sides of it?

00;11;37;27 - 00;12;02;04
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, I think going from the MSSP and VMs side on to consulting and being a buyer and sitting in the driver's seat of of being a program owner or strategy owner, knowing how the MSSP operates, how the VMS operates, you just, I think, made the process smoother. For me. I knew what their methodology was. I knew what they were going to do and what what they were going to be able to bring to the table.

00;12;02;07 - 00;12;30;28
MIckey Pelletier
So I was able to challenge that and ask them for more because I knew additionally how their bottom line worked and how they were incentivized to grow their programs and how their financial, you know, planning and structure work of how they monetize the services they're offering. So you you know, I also knew the the back office services that they offered and so could ask for more things and say, hey, I know you guys offer, you know this type of supplier rationale.

00;12;31;01 - 00;12;52;09
MIckey Pelletier
Can you help me with that? You know, because there's a lot of great things that MSPs on VMs do. I just wrote an article about if you want to bring your entire your MSP in-house and do a self-managed program, the things you need to consider. But while I'm talking about moving away from the MSPs, I also give a lot of thumbs up to them saying, Hey, there's a lot of great things that your MSP offers.

00;12;52;09 - 00;13;20;00
MIckey Pelletier
You just need to be able to ask for that because the back office support and the expertise that they have is is great. So I think knowing all that, aside from that one tangent, I was able to anticipate more what they could offer and what they were going to be able to bring to the table challenged them when I disagreed with them, but then also was able to move with their methodology, which is usually pretty, pretty solid coming to the table as well.

00;13;20;03 - 00;13;42;23
Jonny Dunning
And obviously it puts you in a great position to be able to advise in terms of what you're doing now because you've been there and seen it. You understand it from from the different sides because you know, it's it would be wrong for the to be biased where one side is just saying, well, it's the fault of the MSP or it's the fault of the VMs or it's the fault of the client or whatever, whatever it may be, it's the strategy.

00;13;43;00 - 00;13;50;18
Jonny Dunning
It all has to come together and it all has to be driving towards the same objective. But you know, that is possible. And there are some great programs out there.

00;13;50;21 - 00;14;10;28
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, yeah. It's funny, I did not interject, but you talk about the faults. I mean, I've written too about this, that the lot of struggles that companies have, it's not necessarily their MSP, it's it's often buyers can't get out of their own way to do the right thing. And yeah sometimes the MSRP drops the ball or it's not the right partner and maybe they are the right partner.

00;14;10;28 - 00;14;34;25
MIckey Pelletier
It's just not the right people from the operating team on that MSP operating the program. And so maybe the stars don't align there. But yeah, people want to throw the MSPs under the bus a lot. But I mean I think some some of the time, even majority of the time it's the buyer that can't make the decision, that can't get the right stakeholder buy in and they can't enable themselves to do the right thing.

00;14;34;27 - 00;15;06;25
MIckey Pelletier
So it's hard as a partner to elevate your clients when they're maybe not ready, you know, to get out of their own way to do the right thing. But I think that's an important thing to call out there is and as we get into the statement of work conversation, that's a big component, is just the readiness and the the capability and the capacity of client side, your buyer, stakeholders, people that are interested in statement, statement of work to get out of their own way and be able to do the right thing to it to enable the appropriate change.

00;15;06;28 - 00;15;28;16
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, totally. And it's it's interesting when you look at that, when you look at statement of work, which some people don't like, the term, you know, should be referring to IT services procurement. If you talk to pure procurement people, they'll say, well, what is services procurement? You know, I've got complex, so I've got different categories of procurement, which services flows across a lot of them, some simple, some complex.

00;15;28;19 - 00;15;55;06
Jonny Dunning
You know, it's so ultimately what we're talking about is engagements where organizations are getting a service delivered under a statement of work engagement. I'll pay you X to deliver Y outcomes, outputs, deliverables, milestones. That's that's the central factor that we're dealing with here. But some organizations would consider either all of it or a portion of it as being quite closely linked to that contingent workforce approach.

00;15;55;09 - 00;16;35;00
Jonny Dunning
Whereas in other organizations you might get a small portion that is considered kind of in a gray area between, you know, broader procurement I.T, services, procurement or legal or marketing procurement, etc., and that contingent workforce lives. So it's it's really interesting for me to see how the MSPs are trying to navigate that space because one of the problems and one of the hurdles and ultimately this is all about hurdles because it's a very nice and part of the industry so far is one of the hurdles is actually just the recognition of the problem and the definition of the problem, who owns the problem and that kind of sophistication and maturity within the clients to be

00;16;35;00 - 00;16;47;25
Jonny Dunning
able to accept the help that they need. So so my question to you is, do you think that most organizations have a problem with SSW spend? Would you say that's fairly common?

00;16;47;27 - 00;17;09;23
MIckey Pelletier
Oh, easily, yeah. Oh, without a doubt. With the sort so w span, I think it can go a lot of different ways with that. I think in the you started to allude to this here, but definition, you know what what falls under statement of work services procurement. You know to me at the end of the day anything that is has headcount it's tied to it.

00;17;09;25 - 00;17;32;14
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah. Whether that's coming through the staff org directly from a staffing agency or you know a thousand person outsourced call center through a statement of work, that's still there's still headcount tied to that. You have people accessing systems, you have people accessing buildings, you have people doing work for you on your behalf. All that needs to be tracked and managed.

00;17;32;17 - 00;18;02;24
MIckey Pelletier
It's about that visibility, about who, what, where, when, why, what? Cos I'll probably say that six more times during this, during this call. But that definition companies struggle to do that and then to be able to bring together h.R. Talent acquisition, procurement, legal and i.t. To all say yes, this is this is services, procurement, and hey, here's the process we're going to follow for that.

00;18;02;26 - 00;18;23;08
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah. I think companies have a problem with definition and then getting the stakeholders all on board to be able to move forward with, you know, a synchronized process to go through the stages of, of acquiring and onboarding, you know, statement of work services, procurement talent.

00;18;23;10 - 00;18;46;23
Jonny Dunning
Yeah. And it's very interesting because one of the things I see sometimes that I don't necessarily agree with is where there's kind of like a copying paste in terms of process approach from a continuing worker program to an ISO program. I mean, even things like, you know, the fact that some of it is going to be time based within, within some segments of what there is, there are going to be days of consulting.

00;18;46;26 - 00;19;10;26
Jonny Dunning
You might be there might be an installation where there is a service engineers delivering installation as part of a a project that a supplier does outsource to a supplier to deliver the outputs. There's still an element of, of of people's work within that. I guess the kind of maturity curve is where organizations start moving away from, you know, what's the name of that person?

00;19;10;26 - 00;19;35;29
Jonny Dunning
How many of the hours that they've gone to it flows up to the supplier level where it's looking at, okay, within that supplier who's engaged within that supplier, we need to be able to clarify who they are for security and access purposes. But actually, it's not about an individual person's timesheets, it's about service delivery, possibly on number of days or number of days of a particular type of qualification or category of service provider person.

00;19;36;01 - 00;20;05;01
Jonny Dunning
But it's not about the individual, it's about the service provider delivering that service. Yeah, that kind of flows up the chain. Yes, there is. You know, there's a huge this huge conversation around misclassification and that is something where MSPs can really apply their expertise to clear up the edges, demarcate the different zones and make sure that companies are operating in a more compliant manner so that they can utilize contingent workforce effectively when they need to, and they can utilize statement work engagements effectively where that is the best route.

00;20;05;04 - 00;20;22;05
Jonny Dunning
And so I think there's been a lot of progress around that sort of stuff with the way that triage works, the way that organizations are looking at misclassification. But like you say, it also comes down to the the maturity of the customers as to how they break out and understand the way they're getting work done already.

00;20;22;08 - 00;20;39;01
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, and I think that's when I say definition, I should build on that a little bit more. And you were just starting to touch on that. You know, what is staff log work versus SSW work? Because one of the big problems is that there is a fair amount of work being done that is truly, you know, contractor staff.

00;20;39;02 - 00;21;16;02
MIckey Pelletier
Org a temporary agency, whatever you want to call it, that's more hourly based. It unfortunately gets bundled underneath the statement of work side at a terrible markup and work that should be done. Know maybe on the agency side bought by a temporary contractor is being done. Understatement of work because they the company has good trust in this vendor partner and so there's a lot of cost savings that's missed out on and misclassification because I think too it also comes down to the treatment of the work.

00;21;16;08 - 00;21;38;23
MIckey Pelletier
You know what statement of work, worker services, procurement, typically you're pretty hands off with those workers. You say, Hey, go build this widget, go implement this solution where with your staff org workers, you're more hands on, you're more in the trenches with them. Typically for those listening, this is you know, it's not a black and white case. There's, you know, typical themes that go along with this.

00;21;38;23 - 00;22;02;08
MIckey Pelletier
But on the statement of work side, it's there's there's less hand-holding. You know, there's maybe touch bases of, hey, what's what's going on. But there's no day to day management of the workers. They maybe there's interaction with the account owner or the project lead, but typically you're fairly hands off. And then whether it's time and materials, yeah, you can have some time in material workers.

00;22;02;08 - 00;22;23;16
MIckey Pelletier
Understatement of work. But majority of that work is deliverable base output base there's there's a guarantee there's a warranty with it that hey we're going to build widget X was it kind of sucks you need to fix it and we're not paying more until you do it. Okay, that's the guarantee under SSW where if you're doing that under staff log, you know, it's an hourly thing.

00;22;23;16 - 00;22;46;13
MIckey Pelletier
It's not necessarily output based. It's you worked 40 hours, we're paying you for 40 hours whether the widget was built or not. That was, you know, and that may be why you go the services procurement route because you're looking for ultimately you have some sort of milestone output deliverable. And I think that's where companies get caught up a lot, particularly when you look at offshore services.

00;22;46;16 - 00;23;12;04
MIckey Pelletier
A lot of companies love to use offshore services, whether that's, you know, in Eastern Europe or an air park, there's some cost savings that can be done there. But unfortunately, what I see a fair amount of companies is that in the I.T. space, we're going to go to these workers, you know, this the service provider in Ukraine and and we will have them work on our i.t.

00;23;12;04 - 00;23;49;14
MIckey Pelletier
Team under a statement of work. But they're in the trenches every day being managed by the by the FTA is and they're working side by side with these efforts and these workers under the statement of worker that that's starting to blur the lines of temporary services, employment and statement of work. And so when you finally find that out under an MSP or statement of work program, you start looking at things and you realize, boy, that they're these workers under the statement of work, they've been here for five, seven, eight years, and they're doing the same work as an FTE and they're just outsourced to another country.

00;23;49;17 - 00;24;12;06
MIckey Pelletier
When you go in and tell that company, No, no, no, you shouldn't be doing that. And here's the reasons why they don't like that, because these people are they've been working for us for a long time. They're under the statement of work and they do good work. They don't like being challenged because that shakes up the way that they've been doing this, the way they've been getting work done.

00;24;12;08 - 00;24;35;01
MIckey Pelletier
So I think that's when we talk about definition and maturity model, that ability to shift away from that behavior of, yeah, you could have these people under statement of work, but you can't be managing them hands on like you are every day treating them like an employee, including them in meetings that maybe have nothing to do with the actual project work that you're doing.

00;24;35;03 - 00;24;58;07
MIckey Pelletier
I think that's where companies get into, you know, a little bit a little bit of hot water. And some of the companies I've worked for in the past, most cases that they get into were legal needs to get involved. Majority of the time it is under the Services Services procurement statement of work. And that's a good example of of what often gets escalated when those types of cases get found out.

00;24;58;07 - 00;25;26;10
MIckey Pelletier
And and I'm cautious. I'm no legal expert and I'm not going to sit here and tell you X, Y, Z means you are out of compliance or you are a staff org worker, a statement of work worker. But there are themes and I would say standardization. But your typical behaviors and treatments that help define these workers that depending on, you know, company and how they utilize those can help define that work.

00;25;26;10 - 00;25;57;09
MIckey Pelletier
And I think that lack of definition can get companies into a little bit of hot water where they've had these people under a statement of work that are really should be, you know, agency workers based on how they're being treated, but they're not. So that's a long winded way of saying, again, definition can really drive how it could just drive issues with compliance and and what really constitutes your statement of work work.

00;25;57;12 - 00;26;19;19
Jonny Dunning
Yeah and yeah I was the demarcation for me is it's work not worker and you know ultimately if you're paying for a person's time as a contractor or a temporary worker, if you're paying an a supplying company for an outcome or an output that's a that's a piece of this contract, they take liability. There's this responsibility. You're managing them.

00;26;19;19 - 00;26;54;14
Jonny Dunning
They just they're just solving the problem for you that delivering the solution. But I think when you break it down in that context, you know, well, I think MSPs end up the first thing they're faced with on the services procurement side are probably the messiest possible scenarios because they're the scenarios that sit in that gray area. And as I was alluding to before, when you look at organizations and look at services procurement in the broader context, you know, how many contingent workforce programs that talk about getting involved with statement of work, you know, look after the full I.T services category, probably very few.

00;26;54;17 - 00;27;16;17
Jonny Dunning
It's where you get this kind of so you that the organizations are term there's like a problem area of you know smaller consultancies or individual consultants and that sort of work that kind of blends into that C contingent workforce sort of thing. So the MSP is kind of getting a bit of a baptism of fire by probably being led into those more difficult, harder to define gray area scenarios.

00;27;16;17 - 00;27;39;16
Jonny Dunning
But I think you're absolutely right. There are some there's some basic steps that can be put around that to to push compliance. And that as a technology service provider in that area, the way that we approach statement of work is very much from a services procurement first point of view, which automatically takes people down the steps of if you're going to put a statement of work together, it needs to look, smell, sound and taste like a statement of work.

00;27;39;23 - 00;28;14;29
Jonny Dunning
And that is that is one way which an MSP program enabling technology can move that sort of thing forward. But the potential opportunity for MSP providers in the broader services procurement context is so massive because organizations, you know, ask the question, do you think people have an answer B problem? The answer clearly yes. I know from from our outreach into the market, dealing with chief procurement officers is that massive organizations all around the world, pretty much every organization, has a problem with how they buy and manage services because they are difficult to define.

00;28;15;06 - 00;28;41;26
Jonny Dunning
They're difficult to manage. There's something that's grown really rapidly outside of the kind of technology and service provider ecosystem where continued workforce has been well catered for and is a pretty much a solve problem to a large extent. And the procurement of goods materials is a social problem to a large extent, but the growth of services and the complexity of what you're buying and how it's delivered has massively outpaced the way that services are being provided by intermediaries.

00;28;41;28 - 00;29;17;01
Jonny Dunning
And the way that technology handles it has been to a certain extent left behind. So I think if MSPs can really cross the divide and actually build, build their credibility as providing their services in services, procurement and statement of work alongside the contingent workforce side, they can add a massive amount of value to organizations because there's huge savings to be made and they can add a massive amount of value to value to their own organizations in terms of the the opportunity to make revenue from it whilst providing a huge cost saving and ROI benefit to their customers.

00;29;17;01 - 00;29;36;07
Jonny Dunning
So it's an interesting space and that's where I was going to ask you. Kind of like what size do you think the problem is? But I mean, the typical thing, like CEO spend matters, it's kind of like four times the size of the contingent workforce value is the typical easily.

00;29;36;07 - 00;30;15;19
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah. How big is the problem for individual clients? Some individual clients into the billions easily. Yeah. Because I think when you talk about being able to you service that from them MSSP side you talk about this earlier but trying to apply hey here's how we handle contingent worker contractors. Let's apply that to the services procurement side and I mean there's similar processes in a sense where you have a need, you fill a requisition, you put it on a work order, you know, you have things like that, you know, at a small level, yeah, it's the same.

00;30;15;19 - 00;30;49;15
MIckey Pelletier
But the complexity around the statement of work, you can't have the same people managing those services you need procure mid specialists, category management, people that know how that side of the business works, from contract negotiation to statement of work creation to, you know, managing that supplier relationship. I mean, you could have one supplier manager on one supplier because that one supplier has 15 different SCA W's with, you know, a thousand total workers underneath it.

00;30;49;18 - 00;31;28;19
MIckey Pelletier
There are firms out there that that's very common, and each SSW has its own unique body of work for different business units within this greater organization. That's pretty complex and how do you tie that together? It's likely all under one master service agreement, 15 statements of work underneath it. Each statement of work has, you know, X amount of workers and a fair amount of those statements of work service excuse me, statement of work workers are like swapped in and out all the time because they're either not needed at that phase of the work or yeah, there's just churn and turnover, things like that.

00;31;28;20 - 00;31;48;18
MIckey Pelletier
Think of think of call centers. You know, there's new heads in and out every week. So being able to track that, you know, in a sophisticated technology can certainly be will be a lot to do and so you have the procurement side and then you have that headcount side of, hey, we have this churn of workers going in and out.

00;31;48;18 - 00;32;19;29
MIckey Pelletier
We need visibility to that. Okay, How are we going to handle how are we going to handle the the layering that over layer of of the procurement of, you know, the greater statement of work management and getting it to a spot where it is more just head count tracking and milestone management. Right? So there's sort of phases within the lifecycle of of a statement of work that can require either a different specialist to handle at different times or more of a jack of all trades that knows the lifecycle very well.

00;32;19;29 - 00;32;56;07
MIckey Pelletier
It can hop in regardless of where that statement work is, to be able to provide the service either to the manager, to the supplier to ensure that, you know, the process is staying fit to it should be and that they're getting the visibility and that payments getting made and that milestones are being completed on a timely basis. Then you tie that in with the project manager or the delivery lead from either the client side or the supplier side, and you've got this whole other layer of management within it that isn't typically done in a VMs or any technology.

00;32;56;10 - 00;33;19;27
MIckey Pelletier
You know, how are we we know that Mickey and Johnny are doing this. So w Great. We know they're tied to these milestones. Great. But then on the supplier side, they have their whole other way of managing their resource is in tracking things internally and that becomes just additional layers. So the complexity just grows and grows with each persona within the process that you look at.

00;33;19;27 - 00;33;45;17
MIckey Pelletier
So having somebody to manage that going back to my original point, can require lots of different skill sets and capabilities just to handle various parts of that lifecycle. And I think that leads into new the complexity and why this has lagged behind in getting the buy in, not the buy in, but the and maybe the buyer's is the right word and the use case, the use cases there.

00;33;45;17 - 00;33;50;08
MIckey Pelletier
But it's May and that's that's a lot to do and a lot to think about.

00;33;50;10 - 00;34;17;25
Jonny Dunning
Yeah. I mean you know, you talk to some procurement people and they'll say MSPs that they would continue work or shouldn't be anywhere near all services procurement because their expertise is in staffing. And you know, there's a point to that. But, you know, you're seeing more and more of the kind of like well-respected, large some some of the medium sized MSPs bringing in specific expertise who are, you know, teams who understand the procurement side, the services procurement side of it.

00;34;17;27 - 00;34;38;19
Jonny Dunning
But when you actually break it down, it is a quite similar problem solving exercise. You know, staffing companies are really good at solving problems. When you look at continued workforce programs, they're really good at creating a process, ensuring compliance and managing managing spend effectively. So you need to be able to create a requirement, just like you need to be able to create jobs back.

00;34;38;21 - 00;34;58;08
Jonny Dunning
You need to be able to match with the right suppliers, engage them contractually and show that you're actually getting the right delivery, you know, trucking heads and things like that. I think the more you go down the kind of really fully blown services procurement route, the less that is important in terms of a mindset of how many workers is that taking.

00;34;58;08 - 00;35;19;27
Jonny Dunning
But clearly it's still extremely important in terms of onboarding, onboarding system access, building access. I'm potentially looking at price breakdowns through that lens as well. But but there is there is a crossover of kind of type of process, problem solving scenario, but that expertise is required. And as I say, we're seeing much more of that in the industry now.

00;35;19;27 - 00;35;55;25
Jonny Dunning
But it's a bit of a chicken and egg scenario because the more it's kind of just tacked on to a contingent workforce program is something super basic. There's just headcount tracking. The less you kind of need those specialist people and it does it it doesn't foster that growth. But also the less of that expertise exists within MSPs and the less willing they are to invest in that, then the less likelihood is that their clients are going to take them on to deeper involvement in services given for various reasons, one of which because it's a massive overspend, it's critical service delivery, critical to their capacity and capability of their business.

00;35;55;28 - 00;36;14;29
Jonny Dunning
But also you're dealing with more sensitive information, actual project level information, whereas within the Continued Workforce program is job spent. So it is quite different, but it's fascinating see how that's developing. But it does feel like it's it's not it's not going as far and fast as it could do.

00;36;14;29 - 00;36;32;13
MIckey Pelletier
So there's two things you said that I was sort of want to pick on there. The first was around you. Procurement may not excuse me, certain areas of an organization may care about different parts of the SSW lifecycle.

00;36;32;15 - 00;36;57;04
MIckey Pelletier
Procurement may not care so much about the headcount and the visibility into the workforce where h.r. And legal might they really care and they want to know. They want to have that visibility, but they may not care about the statement of work in the spend that's being calculated. And so it's it's interesting because various parts of an organization care about various parts of that statement of work lifecycle.

00;36;57;06 - 00;37;22;15
MIckey Pelletier
And so that's why you know the people that are running the program, whether that's an internally run program or a MSP running it, it requires, like I said, either a jack of all trades or very sophisticated people to handle various parts of that service on behalf of a company. And procurement likely doesn't want to give up some of that that work.

00;37;22;20 - 00;37;50;16
MIckey Pelletier
You know, they don't want to hand it off to the MSB either. A That trust isn't there. B They want the control of doing it themselves. So if an MSP is going to do it, they really need to come in with the right level of expertise, depending on where in that SSW lifecycle it is, because different people care about different parts of it and all of it's important at the end of the day and the whole scope and each part is important to the various pieces of the organization.

00;37;50;19 - 00;38;13;21
MIckey Pelletier
The second piece you talked about is like headcount tracking. And I think there there's a bit of a maturity curve that goes on with your statement of work and services procurement management. Typically when the MSB comes on, they say, Hey, let's let's do headcount tracking. You have these 30,000 services, you know, quote unquote, services, procurement workers. Let's just get them going through headcount tracking.

00;38;13;21 - 00;38;47;12
MIckey Pelletier
There's no finances tied to it. We know that we have Mickey and Johnnie tied to Supplier X, and they're here from, you know, September 7th until January 23rd, and it starts there. And that becomes sort of a front doorway to get people on board and through the tool. But it gives no visibility. Oftentimes programs get stuck there with the goal of that being a front door of, hey, now we have this visibility, Now we can start moving them into the services procurement module that that that's a great goal.

00;38;47;12 - 00;39;11;25
MIckey Pelletier
But I've seen that just get stuck for where for years and years it's just stuck in headcount tracking. So that maturity model takes a long time to take off. And how do you get past just that headcount tracking model? And oftentimes that's where we start to have pilot programs and maybe one supplier or one country or even one statement of work starts to go through the services procurement module.

00;39;12;00 - 00;39;38;25
MIckey Pelletier
And that's how that maturity model starts to take off. But the head contracting is interesting because that often, like says the front door, the gateway that MSPs will use as a way of just getting just the lightest little grasp on the headcount that goes under, you know, the services procurement side. So I just wanted to dissect that a little bit because I think that's an interesting piece that that I've seen on lots of different clients, lots of different projects.

00;39;38;27 - 00;39;54;11
Jonny Dunning
So so when you look at programs that get stuck in that work of tracking that work tracking step, why do you think that is? What do you think are the main reasons for it for the program's kind of stopping now? A lot of the time.

00;39;54;13 - 00;40;29;28
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, I think it's several things. And this some of stuff wrote about in the article. I mean, I think from the client side there's that investment to take the, you know, invest the money, the resources, the time into being able to stand up a statement of work module and being able to not just collect that Mickey and Johnny are under supplier X for ABC dates, but okay what's the statement of work that they're tied to the milestones, the finance, the financials, the sales, the KPIs, the deliverables, everything else.

00;40;29;28 - 00;40;50;18
MIckey Pelletier
How do we get that into a system? And Mickey and Johnny have swapped in and out on that. So W two or three times. That's a lot of work and requires all a large effort to do that. I think there's resistance as well from the supplier side. Some of the big companies, they don't want to go work with an MSRP or work under an MSRP.

00;40;50;19 - 00;41;20;22
MIckey Pelletier
They love their direct relationship with the managers that they have that's one of their gateways into new business is because they buddy buddy up with their from the manager to the supplier. And that's great relationship based work is is okay until it's just status quo and you're paying for a name versus actual dependable work. But I digress. And I think as well, you know that supplier adoption is a big piece.

00;41;20;25 - 00;41;53;07
MIckey Pelletier
The visibility to cost becomes a lot more. That visibility is there. And so suddenly, you know, wow, I'm paying 350 an hour for a worker that is doing the equivalent work of $150 an hour project manager I have coming through one of my staffing agencies. So suppliers don't want to give up that visibility. And I think just the size and complexity I alluded to that earlier with the investment in the resources and everything that ties in a statement of work.

00;41;53;09 - 00;42;20;01
MIckey Pelletier
Man, that that's that's a law that that time that you need to take requires an army of people from all all facets of the organization. And that's that's a huge commitment. So unless you have this buy in from a leadership standpoint from the C-suite data says, no, we're going to do this, we're going to invest the time, money, resources for it, It's really difficult to do that.

00;42;20;01 - 00;42;40;01
MIckey Pelletier
And then I think overall, just that general resistance to change. Look, we've done it this way. It's okay. You know, we like the way things are done and maybe we don't need all this and they just don't see the value of that resistance I think stems from, you know, that overwhelming feeling of the work that needs to be done.

00;42;40;01 - 00;43;16;23
MIckey Pelletier
And and maybe there's a prioritization of of money elsewhere that we don't need to do this right now. And I think it just keeps getting put off and put off. And then then you go and have to lay off a fair amount of the company. The timing's never right. And that resistance to change just continues to perpetuate, you know, as as a as an over overarching theme to to all of these other reasons why, you know, adoption and change becomes difficult with you getting services, procurement management, you know, brought on in an efficient and productive way.

00;43;16;25 - 00;43;47;16
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, great points. Great points. Ultimately, there are hurdles, but I'm very much in agreement with what you're saying as to why it happens. And it's it's just too hard a lot of the time. It's just too difficult. You know, you talked about the size of the investment, the time, money, people involved within the organization, within the MSP. The complexity of dealing with services procurement, anyway, is complicated by its very nature.

00;43;47;19 - 00;43;59;08
Jonny Dunning
You know, there will be concerns as to whether the MSP has the expertise. The MSP will still probably be maybe learning in some cases, but the client hasn't got the capability to deal with it themselves. They need to outsource it.

00;43;59;10 - 00;44;02;15
MIckey Pelletier
But nobody nobody's ready for it. Yeah.

00;44;02;18 - 00;44;22;03
Jonny Dunning
And then and, but, but I think this all plays into the existing setup, and that does include existing technologies because if you've either got technologies that are not mature enough in this area where they've just got an asset w bolt on a very basic bolt on, that's not going to cut it. And that's very quickly realized by organizations and MSPs.

00;44;22;06 - 00;44;48;29
Jonny Dunning
And then if you look at the big players, then you're dealing with a big bang, a big hurdle type situation. So I think the market has to change in sense that the hurdles need to be lowered. There are ways to do that. I've got some, I've got some we've got some really cool stuff we're doing around that. But I think that's the essential thing because if you can't get started, you can't improve delivery, you can't build that capacity within the MSPs, you can't build the trust you can't get throughput of.

00;44;49;07 - 00;45;10;07
Jonny Dunning
We've got new we might be working with them on a small basis, but you talked about that kind of like, you know, small gains in small entry point. I think if you look at the existing infrastructure that exist right now, it's very difficult to do that. And that's that's something that certainly I'm passionate about advocating for change around that because, you know, the proof is in the pudding.

00;45;10;10 - 00;45;35;03
Jonny Dunning
Deliver the service, show the value, show that you can do it, you know, lower the risk for the customer from a cost point of view, from a from a just a just the weight of getting the project over the line. You know, how many people need to be involved, how much resources required at the MSP. Unfortunately, what happens is exactly as you said, the both the MSP and the client just revert to type where the MSP says, I'm just going to concentrate and contingent on the client.

00;45;35;03 - 00;45;53;16
Jonny Dunning
Just say it's too complicated, too scary. I'm not going to look at that and it just gets left and left and left. But you know, it can't go on like that forever. Because if you look at the total spend globally across all services, it's something like somewhere between ten and 20 trillion. So it's just so gigantic it cannot be left.

00;45;53;18 - 00;46;17;00
Jonny Dunning
I, like you say, the the inefficiencies and the money left onto the on the table, on the stuff that people aren't seeing where they got these maybe big organizations that are working under a statement of work but are just churning it and and they're not getting value or where there's just no bidding involved. There's no competitive process, you know, and that's just standard across the organization because procurement teams are lean.

00;46;17;02 - 00;46;32;12
Jonny Dunning
They haven't got the capacity to just look at it all manually. Systems aren't effective for managing it. So you end up in a situation where it's kind of like as long as everybody sit in budget, you know, the budgets are okay, that's fine. But nobody knows what they're getting for their money and nobody knows whether they're actually getting any value.

00;46;32;12 - 00;46;35;02
Jonny Dunning
So I feel like it has to change.

00;46;35;04 - 00;46;54;01
MIckey Pelletier
And there's just layer upon layer of reason not to do it. I mean, one other that I didn't say it is, oh, well, we already have technology that does that We are we already have a procurement system. We already have a system that tracks all our supply. We already have a contract system. Yeah, you have three or four or five different systems for one project, you know, for, for one one process.

00;46;54;01 - 00;47;15;13
MIckey Pelletier
That's, that's a lot of churn and that's a lot of swivel chair and I doubt those are all integrated together, maybe some of them in some organizations, but it just becomes another reason to not to not change. And that's like I said, the soapbox I get on is you got to prioritize this. You could do anything you want, but you can't do everything you want.

00;47;15;18 - 00;47;39;11
MIckey Pelletier
And this is a commitment. Organizations have to make. If you want that visibility, if you want that cost savings, there's so many reasons why you should. But we focus on a lot of reasons why the status quo is okay and it's not a why it's not a priority. How can you effectively know what your organization needs from a work demand standpoint if you don't have visibility into what you're doing?

00;47;39;19 - 00;48;00;16
MIckey Pelletier
And if statement of work services, procurement, all of that type of work is supporting, you know, a quarter to a half to maybe three quarters of your company, then you really you really should know what those people are doing. Why do you want headcount planning? Because as you accrue data from your statement of work, you can more effectively know, hey, we've done this in the past.

00;48;00;16 - 00;48;19;19
MIckey Pelletier
It turns out it did take 100 people to do this or, you know what? They actually only took 30 and it wasn't as bad. And We could actually cut that project size in half. I mean, that visibility, it's more than just compliance and and doing the right thing. It's being able to plan effectively. And you can't plan effectively without data.

00;48;19;26 - 00;49;00;12
MIckey Pelletier
Data takes time to accrue. Data has to go through a system that allows you to aggregate it in a digestible way, to give you proper reporting and analytics so that you can, you know, two years from now know what you did and be able to build on that momentum and be able to challenge. When a supplier says this is going to cost $1 million, well, is it because I think we got the same thing done for a half a million dollars a year ago, and I think it gives you better a better footing, you know, as you go into negotiation, as you have this data to what things were like in the past.

00;49;00;15 - 00;49;35;22
MIckey Pelletier
But that that's that's an enormous amount of change. And it comes down to a commitment to to wanting to do the right thing and make the change that's going it going to enable, you know, predictive analytics. You can't have that without the visibility in the data being within a system. So it just just another soapbox moment there of man just make make the change that the the capabilities their teams are ready for this there's great technology, there's great providers, there's great people, consultants that can come in and do this and help you do it in-house.

00;49;35;22 - 00;50;03;24
MIckey Pelletier
It's just a matter of what do you want to do and what's the priority and the priority. For the past year, we've seen 2023 has been been the year of playoff layoffs, particularly in the tech space. When you look at some of the data overall, there wasn't like that many layoffs. But from a tech side, that was all you saw as all you saw on LinkedIn, all you saw on the news was this layoff and that layoff and all that cost savings.

00;50;03;26 - 00;50;43;10
MIckey Pelletier
What if you were achieving that through other means instead of laying people off? Not that it's flip of a switch and turn on SSW and BAM, nine, nine nine dead savings right there. It doesn't work that way, but it takes time. It's it's it's a long game in all of this. And I think that's I don't know if it's if it's my generation or if people just want things now we want it we want things yesterday and maybe that's the business in general, but I'm wanting to work on a project for, you know, a year to a year and a half just to get data two years from now to save your money.

00;50;43;12 - 00;51;00;23
MIckey Pelletier
Try to see that everybody wants that ROI and immediately. So there's patience involved here. And I don't know if everybody has that in the business world. The older I get, the more I think, oh, it's not that complex, but it to some people it is.

00;51;00;25 - 00;51;25;12
Jonny Dunning
Yeah. I think, you know, like kind of as I said before, I think the industry to a certain extent needs to get out of its own way. Yeah. You know, you have to, you have to invest in this, clients have to invest in the concept of of saving money in this area. MSPs have to invest in bringing in expertise, being able to solve the problem, you know, understanding the technology landscape as to what's the most effective solution to bring to their customers.

00;51;25;14 - 00;51;53;23
Jonny Dunning
But but the whole thing needs to be the whole process needs to come out of this logjam situation. What, everything's just too big and too complicated to move, too expensive to move. It needs to break that down and get moving because that's how the solutions will evolve. In my opinion, by doing it by by increasing that capability and experience within the MSRP, different clients and different requirements, building that trust within the customers, building the experience of dealing with different customers.

00;51;53;28 - 00;52;18;14
Jonny Dunning
We have the experience of of starting off in kind of like public sector, doing a lot of stuff in public sector, and that meant that we were working through frameworks. So working for a framework with a vendor neutral framework. I mean, you are dealing with so many different requirements on the other end of it because you've got multiple clients coming in through that framework with completely different requirements, completely different sizes and types of clients.

00;52;18;16 - 00;52;37;08
Jonny Dunning
As I say, in public, because any area or public sector could be like a council for a small area or it could be a major, you know, central government department. It doesn't really matter. So when you're dealing with that environment, one of the things it taught us was to how to deal with the complexity and variation that you get across statement of work engagements.

00;52;37;10 - 00;52;59;17
Jonny Dunning
The great thing about it is when it comes down to it, the process of procuring, contracting and delivering a statement, work is always underlying. It's always the same. You need to be flexible, it's complex configurability to manage that complexity and you need to be flexible about that around the different types of projects, how some projects are going to be much more weighted towards time and expertise being provided.

00;52;59;22 - 00;53;21;21
Jonny Dunning
Some are going to be KPI based, some are going to be pure deliverables. A milestone might be a sprint in an agile process, but ultimately it still follows that same underlying step by step lifecycle. So, you know, there are ways to bring things into that that can expand this out. And as you said that, you know, one of the questions I was going to ask you was around how can you get companies to prioritize it?

00;53;21;22 - 00;53;46;14
Jonny Dunning
How can you get them to see the value of it? You answered that with a lot of the points you just raised. You brought up quite a few of the reasons why around having the data making these kind of predictive buying decisions in the future, the amount of money involved in it. But ultimately, I think the best way to to to convince them is to actually show them in kind of like, you know, palatable bite sized chunks rather than trying to eat the whole elephant at once.

00;53;46;16 - 00;54;06;05
Jonny Dunning
But but one of the one of the other areas around that is is looking at the the misconceptions around the cost and the value of a statement of work versus hiring contractors, for example. So in my opinion, one isn't better than the other, that just for different purposes in different scenarios, one will be more suitable in the other.

00;54;06;07 - 00;54;07;28
MIckey Pelletier
Two different types of work. Yep.

00;54;08;00 - 00;54;25;21
Jonny Dunning
Two different types of way of workforce channel is just you're getting the work done two different ways. Now. Some companies will take the approach of being very much on the side of the fence of we don't like, we don't like outsourcing it. We don't want we don't want a price for delivery, you know, that looks expensive. That's going to add X percent.

00;54;25;24 - 00;54;58;22
Jonny Dunning
Okay, that's taking some liability. But we could deliver that cheaper through contractors. Well, maybe you could. Maybe you could. If it's the right type of requirement for contractors to deliver most effectively, then yes. But if it isn't, then you could have contractors sitting there going to deliver it. It would just take forever and it's never delivered. So that mentality around output and outcome based delivery is something that especially when people are looking at cost savings and cost transparency is incredibly important because you can't be working on the never, never with a group of people that are working away.

00;54;58;24 - 00;55;16;08
Jonny Dunning
But maybe in that situation you can cop a cost around it, you can understand and validate and rationalize that cost, and then you hold your suppliers feet to the fire to deliver. It's their problem to deliver at that point. So sometimes that can be misconceptions around things like that. But as you said, it comes back to the point you made about visibility.

00;55;16;11 - 00;55;46;01
Jonny Dunning
You know, you're spending all this money if you don't know how, what's happening, who's working on which projects, what people are coming in and out of your organization. There are all kinds of risks around financials, the I.T. Security risks, massive amounts of potential problems that can be created if that's not managed effectively. So adding into the kind of cost saving and financial incentives, there is that risk risk element which also ties in to what you said about misclassification.

00;55;46;03 - 00;55;57;16
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, I think the all, all of the all of that is there and I think I trying to formulate my words here. I'm not I'm not saying sorry.

00;55;57;17 - 00;56;01;27
Jonny Dunning
I went on a complete soapbox rant there.

00;56;01;29 - 00;56;23;27
MIckey Pelletier
What did you actually say there Johnny. No, no. I think all of that becomes, you know, when you think about the reasons behind, you know, doing this and what it takes, you know, I think we said early on demonstrating in small pieces that those quick wins of, hey, look what we did for this statement of work and what we were able to do, we generated 50 million and cost savings.

00;56;23;27 - 00;56;54;22
MIckey Pelletier
That's a drop of bucket in the grand scheme of things. But, you know, you expand that to other statements to work other lines of business. You know, you can get some wins and the visibility that you had, etc., that there's a lot of good things there. Know, I think the other the other another piece that I think is lacking, I think with contingent workforce as an industry as a whole, and that's including, you know, contractors, services, procurement and FMS, I think we've we've broken through.

00;56;54;22 - 00;57;21;12
MIckey Pelletier
I like the manager and the director level a lot of those types of folks get it where it's really lacking the buy in and the visibility and the understanding of the industry as a whole is at that sees that VP, that president, that that C-suite level they just don't get it's to to the to the point where they're able to say, you know what, we should focus on this.

00;57;21;15 - 00;57;56;18
MIckey Pelletier
And while people want to have companies want to break through to be able to sell to the C-suite, they don't understand it. They don't understand the contingent workforce industry. And I think that slows things down because you need that buy in if you're going to move 40,000 workers that are state, you know, across, you know, 2000 statements of work into one system and have this big program manage it, that's such a shift that that requires C-suite buy and that requires you procure chief procurement chief h.r.

00;57;56;18 - 00;58;26;12
MIckey Pelletier
To say this is the way, guys, this is what we're going to do and understand it and be able to champion that. I think that's difficult when you know, directors get and they try to sell it to their c-suite and they're able to get 30 minutes with, you know, every other month. That's that's not enough time for them to consume and really understand that and I think that prohibits companies being able to break through and being able to get that buy in from the C-suite.

00;58;26;14 - 00;58;50;24
MIckey Pelletier
And that's and I don't know the the answer. I think if I knew the answer, you know, I'd have a different model in how I approach this. But I think that's where as an industry we're lacking is that the C-suite doesn't get it. They are the drivers. The and data's of change. Not that this needs to be a mandate, but they're the ones that can ultimately sign off.

00;58;50;24 - 00;59;21;04
MIckey Pelletier
And when things start to go awry, say, guys, we got to get this done and this is the priority and be able to back it up. So my soapbox, compounded with your soapbox, just a couple things. Building on what you said that I think you can be part of that part of the difficulty and the part of the things that that need to change to better, better enable, you know, this level of change because it's it's it's it's I don't know, it's hard to put words to how big all this is.

00;59;21;04 - 00;59;23;03
MIckey Pelletier
Trillions of dollars.

00;59;23;05 - 00;59;50;18
Jonny Dunning
Well, that's that's the thing that's the point I was driving at where I was kind of posing the question, the problems you're discussing around this, having to be a C-suite level discussion, having to be a massive amount of involved, massive programs to deliver it all based on the business case. We think this is going to work. You know, do you do you see that as part of the part, the hindrance that stopped people moving forward at the moment?

00;59;50;20 - 01;00;27;08
MIckey Pelletier
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. That's that's a high level of change, you know, high level of stakeholder that you need involved to help necessarily drive the change, but be at the forefront of championing that. Yeah, absolutely. And I think as we talked about it earlier, each line of business has their own sort of reason for either wanting or resisting this and to get everybody on the same page does require leadership, sort of beat that drum and say, look, listen to that.

01;00;27;13 - 01;00;52;11
MIckey Pelletier
That's the beat we're moving to going forward. Either you're on the boat or you're not. Right? So, yeah, that that's a that's a huge component of it with so many various entities within a company involved, you know, within statement of work, you need somebody to step up and like I said, make make that call.

01;00;52;13 - 01;01;03;22
Jonny Dunning
So. So what do you think the MSPs could do to to try and mitigate that side of the problem? Do you see ways that they could try and work around that?

01;01;03;24 - 01;01;23;03
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, I mean, if I, I had the answer, like I said, I'd probably make make it more money, right. Like how how do you how do you break through to the C-suite level? You know, I hate that so much of the business is relationship driven and who, you know, matters, But unfortunately, it matters. And that's that's the way of the world.

01;01;23;03 - 01;01;52;19
MIckey Pelletier
Not just not our industry. Things, things, things as a whole. So it takes time. And I don't know, I think if it's just a shift in business as a whole for leadership to be able to think of work differently, You know, work isn't just here. FTE employees that you need to be in our office five days a week, and that's just the way the world works since forever.

01;01;52;19 - 01;02;21;27
MIckey Pelletier
And that's how it needs to be. Works different now. Work. Work could be, you know, part time fractional. It can be done by contractors, it can be done completely outsource or and you need to know how that works. I it's it sounds silly to some and I share this idea but the idea of a you know chief contingent workforce officer contingent workforce needs to be you know one of the pillars of a of a company.

01;02;21;29 - 01;02;43;06
MIckey Pelletier
You know, how can you have 50 plus percent of your entire workforce is non employees why do you have director level people running this that that should be a little bit higher in the organization. To me, it comes down to the idea of having this chief officer who's tied in with all the other leadership that drives all this.

01;02;43;06 - 01;03;07;10
MIckey Pelletier
And maybe maybe it's not the Chief contingent workforce officer, but it's somebody that is at a leadership level that can more easily influence, persuade and educate, you know, their peers on why this is important, why there needs to be a focus and being able to challenge the status quo and drive the change. It's an idea I've been toying with and I know I'm not alone.

01;03;07;10 - 01;03;29;17
MIckey Pelletier
There's there's likely others that have had that had that idea as well. And maybe it's silly, but I think that's that's a part that could help drive change is having embedded leadership from a contingent workforce perspective with other leadership in a company. How do you do that? I don't know. And to your original question, I completely avoided it.

01;03;29;19 - 01;03;51;00
MIckey Pelletier
How do MSPs do that? I don't know. They start advocating for that and it becomes an industry movement. More people, you know, I write articles about that and I think that's a really effective way or excuse me, I think this is a really effective way of driving change is, getting the word out, getting the education and shifting the way we think of work as a whole.

01;03;51;00 - 01;04;10;20
MIckey Pelletier
And there's so many great organizations that are doing that. But if it's going to be at the C-suite level and I think we need some contingent workforce, C-suite embedded people in there to be able to drive that level of change and I doubt myself sometimes when I say that, Is that the right thing and will people laugh at that?

01;04;10;20 - 01;04;49;15
MIckey Pelletier
Maybe, but I don't know. It's what I think is right. If if people want to take this more seriously and they want to have change. I mean, I've heard of Chief Chief freelance officer was a term I heard about a year ago of companies as this freelance boom is coming up. Well, why is there a chief in the workforce officer when I think I think contingent workforce as all non employee talent statement work, freelance contractor That's my overarching term and don't get me started on on the standardization of terms in the industry but that's to me one of the key pieces that that needs to change our way of thinking of work and our way

01;04;49;15 - 01;04;56;26
MIckey Pelletier
of thinking of the usage of contingent workforce in that greater landscape of, of work.

01;04;56;29 - 01;05;23;05
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, Yeah. And you know, I've heard people talk about like, you know, that kind of strategic planning or strategic capacity planning or capability planning existing at the very top level in the C-suite, because you know, who owns the entire capacity of this organization to do work, to build our products or to deliver our service? Who's coordinating that? Ultimately, it's distributed within various areas at the moment.

01;05;23;07 - 01;05;41;24
Jonny Dunning
And I think, you know, if you're going to go for that big bang approach, which is what the with the way the industry feels tied to that, both from the client point of view, from the technology point of view and from the MSP provider's point of view, then you've got to somehow penetrate those very, very highest levels to get that point.

01;05;42;00 - 01;06;07;13
Jonny Dunning
It's going to take time. That's where you get these big handful of RFP that come around each year that are worth billions in services procurement spend, but there's not very many of them. And they take a long time to turn around and there's very, very high risk. So quite often they're very basic. So the organizations that are delivering that service piece are not being able to learn quickly enough, not being able to improve the delivery of their service quickly enough.

01;06;07;13 - 01;06;24;01
Jonny Dunning
So, I mean, would you see it? Would you see it being an alternative approach for them to be able to do smaller, faster, cheaper, less risky things on a more regular basis alongside this approach of going to the very top level?

01;06;24;04 - 01;06;46;14
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, a multi-pronged approach can be the right way to go because it's it's a multi-pronged change that you're trying to make. Yeah, I think we talked about before being able to chunk things out into smaller, smaller sized bits is certainly a way to go, otherwise that the change is just far too overwhelming.

01;06;46;16 - 01;07;25;01
MIckey Pelletier
And I think being able to break things down, you know, as an overarching statement, yeah, break it down, make it more simple, right? But can you really do that? It's difficult when there's organizations I've been a part of, you know, and they outsource an entire body of change of multiple systems, you know, to one company and then within that you know that that one overarching statement of work there's all these, you know, sub sub statements, you sub articles that break down the additional work and then that becomes really complex.

01;07;25;01 - 01;07;48;07
MIckey Pelletier
And so is it more digestible to just have individual statements of work for just various various bodies of work. Well, when that's tied to a greater organizational transformation, that's hard because you want to have it all tightly buttoned up into this one sort of throat to choke in terms of documentation and maybe your account leadership. I don't want to say I don't know.

01;07;48;09 - 01;08;08;22
MIckey Pelletier
I think it's hard. I think that's an approach to go and it's going to vary by what you're trying to accomplish and by organization and what is right. And each organization has to do what's what's right for them. But if you're creating more work for yourself just to get work accomplished, maybe need to question the path you're going down.

01;08;08;25 - 01;08;26;20
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, I guess. I guess the point I was driving at is that if you've got hurdles around complexity, so say for example, like a giant program of work, like an I.T transformation like you're talking about that will have a the underlying statements of work within that broad a program that's very complex, it's high risk, it's worth a lot of money.

01;08;26;20 - 01;08;44;15
Jonny Dunning
It's a big thing to move. But if you wind back from that complexity, look at areas where there will be smaller statements of work, discrete packages of work. Yeah, that could be managed. That's kind of like a problem that's just there waiting to be solved. So that's the complexity side of it. Then you've got the size of it.

01;08;44;15 - 01;09;00;10
Jonny Dunning
If you win back the size both within the projects that the client is looking at and within the MSSP are looking at in terms of how what size team do we have to put on this? Is it just one person that we can use from another team to show them how this works? Or is it a full program team?

01;09;00;18 - 01;09;22;21
Jonny Dunning
So that's the one back to size. And then the other thing is the time, if this is going to take, you know, a six month to year rollout with, everything involved, can we win that back? I mean, I'm I'm having conversations at the moment where I'm kind of really trying to pose those questions. And, you know, they're not easy questions to to solve and they do require a bit of cultural change.

01;09;22;28 - 01;09;48;24
Jonny Dunning
I think it requires cultural change within some of the MSPs as well. And I think they might be surprised that the approach that clients take to this when they when they when they have those hurdles lowered slightly. But it will be interesting to see how that kind of pans out. I could be right, I could be wrong. But I feel like there's there's a path forward that potentially alongside the stuff that's already happening with the very large programs, which is clearly going to continue.

01;09;48;26 - 01;10;15;03
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah. No. And like I said, having your pilot case I think is the right way to go. And you need to start with more manageable work and get the wins out of that, the quick wins, you know, because the big Bang rollout I don't think is right to go. And I think it's a very iterative process. Okay. Hey, we're going to take six months or three months to implement it, but just maybe one statement of work and we're going to turn on the TAC.

01;10;15;03 - 01;10;31;03
MIckey Pelletier
We're going to turn on the managing body, whether that's in or outsource to an MSSP, and then we're going to let it sit for a couple of months and see how it works. And it's either going to work great. It's going to work okay. And we're going to need learn for it or it's going to suck and we're going to shut it down.

01;10;31;06 - 01;10;54;14
MIckey Pelletier
And you go from there. And then I think you build on that momentum of what's going well and you expand that to something comparable size or maybe a little bit larger. Yeah, because to take on the, you know, billion dollar project, that's you need to have some really strong use cases and wins and all sorts of benefits already there to be able to justify it.

01;10;54;14 - 01;11;17;06
MIckey Pelletier
We're going to do this so yeah maybe maybe cut if I answered your original question wrong. But I think that that's that's the right way to go. When you think of the grand scheme of, hey, we need a statement of work program to to be stood up, you start starting small and building momentum just fast has to be the way to go because you don't know what you don't know.

01;11;17;06 - 01;11;35;16
MIckey Pelletier
And I think too, once you build that foundation of, hey, we have the tech set up, we're pretty good. What was a three month implementation actually is only going to take a month and it's more change management for this next focus. And then it's two months because now we're doing, you know, a quarter billion dollars spend, you know, because it's pretty large.

01;11;35;16 - 01;11;59;28
MIckey Pelletier
Let's see how that goes. And Yeah, it's it's it's the momentum and just iteratively learning what works and what doesn't. And then then you go into another country and suddenly the the rules of the road are a little bit different because the way you engage within Europe and certain countries in there, I'm not going to pick on any versus what's done in South America versus what's done in Canada and North America.

01;12;00;03 - 01;12;05;17
MIckey Pelletier
You know, the variances are there. So you have to start you have to start small.

01;12;05;19 - 01;12;28;27
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, I totally agree. And I think in terms of like, you know, justifying the case within organizations and and and developing this side of the business it's there for the taking because if you look at if you look at it from a client's point of view, they would love to outsource this problem. They would love to have somebody this problem for them effectively.

01;12;28;29 - 01;12;50;15
Jonny Dunning
They just need to trust the for example, you know, continue workforce image piece are the right intermediaries to be able to have the expertise and bring the right tack on the right process and solve this for them in the right way and make it manageable without at the moment it being too much of a high risk because you kind of look at it and go, well, why would a company outsource the problem in the first place?

01;12;50;18 - 01;12;58;22
Jonny Dunning
Sorry, I've got I sounds like a spitfire or something flying over. I'm I'm next to a classic. I'm near classic Goodwood Airfield. We get lots of stuff.

01;12;58;22 - 01;13;04;20
MIckey Pelletier
I hear nothing. So hopefully the you the listener doesn't as well. See, it's a good day on.

01;13;04;24 - 01;13;26;01
Jonny Dunning
It's always a good sound, but what I was going to say is why? Why would companies outsource it? It's really difficult for them to sort out. And certainly you think you think about the the lean procurement teams that you're dealing with. They've got existing process or the change management involved. If they outsource that, it packages it up much more effectively in a bubble outside the organization.

01;13;26;06 - 01;13;44;11
Jonny Dunning
There was some real benefits to doing that and there are also benefits from a tech adoption point of view as well. When you look at, you know, when you mentioned some clients would say, oh, we've Areva, we've got Cooper, we've got SAP, we've got Oracle, whatever work day this, that and the other that does do might touch on parts of the process.

01;13;44;11 - 01;14;15;26
Jonny Dunning
We've got this contract lifecycle system, got this procure to pay source to pay that that in itself creates massive hurdles where the internal teams within the IT teams are looking at it going, oh well can we do this or should we do that? Whereas when you outsource it, if the technology meets the requirements of that outsource provision with an intermediary taking in the problem and providing back a solution and interfacing in the right ways, purchase order, finance system, whatever it might be, that's much more palatable for the organization.

01;14;15;29 - 01;14;33;25
Jonny Dunning
But again, if you take that hurdle back as well in terms of cost and time and complexity, they can get started and they can realize that and go that bubble, that solution bubble have over there is doing a great job. Let's put more through it. We can see the evidence now. Let's build up that business case. And that's when the C-suite start to get involved.

01;14;33;25 - 01;14;52;12
Jonny Dunning
And if they're saving enough money, you know what? Even their kind of the golf course relationships with the big consulting firms might seem less important to them when they think, you know, everyone should have a fair a fair go at this in terms of the full supply chain. Big suppliers, small suppliers bring in more diverse suppliers, bring in greater diversity of suppliers.

01;14;52;15 - 01;15;04;07
Jonny Dunning
All those things can be considered when there's the visibility and the proofing and that value can be delivered. So I do think, yeah, that's that's where I see the reason you.

01;15;04;07 - 01;15;29;26
MIckey Pelletier
Bring up a good point there and we talked about this a little bit when there's not resistance to change, we already have these systems but that that tech stack, hey, we're going from these five somewhat integrated swivel chair systems down to one, maybe maybe two, depending on where where it is and it's maturity lifecycle. I think that that goes a long way because to me it's all about the client and user experience.

01;15;29;26 - 01;15;50;17
MIckey Pelletier
How quickly can I engage Jonny and Mickey to come in and just rock this project for me? Right? How easy, how many clicks do I need to do? What sort of hurdles do I need to go through? Wow, It's only in one system and it's all integrated. That's pretty nice. I don't have to wait for it to kick from this over to contracting over to legal to review over to this other provisioning system.

01;15;50;25 - 01;16;19;04
MIckey Pelletier
You know, all of that, can that user experience, I think can can deter, you know, the delay stakeholder you know that they engage with manager that that's trying to do this. And when you get enough of that negative feedback on a process, you know, it can I think it can create another hurdle or resistance of change, but can also be the enabler as well as well where the manager says, Wow, going through five system sucks.

01;16;19;06 - 01;16;40;00
MIckey Pelletier
And the manager that went through the pilot of the new Statement of work system, well, yeah, we did it in one, maybe two systems. I think that's always a compelling case and compelling story that can go a long way. And like you said, when that the C-suite gets a hold of that and they're the end users are happy, then there was some cost savings involved and Legal's happy because we have compliance and visibility.

01;16;40;03 - 01;17;06;12
MIckey Pelletier
You start getting these champions on board and then like you said, suddenly those bigger projects, yeah, it's more to tackle, but there's some energy behind it because that ROI has been seen. So I think that's I think you did a real nice job of summarizing that in a way of that, just taking it to the next level and getting that snowball effect of momentum and this ROI eventually bubbling up.

01;17;06;14 - 01;17;27;14
Jonny Dunning
You know what, I think the momentum is probably the key word here. You Know you've mentioned that a couple of times. I think that is nail on the head because you know, you need that start point, but it needs to get moving. And we're talking about such big amounts of spend and such high levels of complexity. Momentum is absolutely critical to it.

01;17;27;16 - 01;17;50;27
Jonny Dunning
If you look at if you look at the market as a whole and where it's going, I mean, you and I are are talking about the the art of the possible and where this stuff can go. And there's and there's plenty of people that are working really hard within MSPs and within client organizations to make these things work and to make these things happen and within the tech providers to do that as well.

01;17;50;29 - 01;18;16;24
Jonny Dunning
What do you think or do you see any kind of key changes the the need to change within that continuous workforce solution, MSP stroke, VMS ecosystem? Do you see any key things that you think need to change within each ecosystem space to take the whole so w opportunity forward?

01;18;16;26 - 01;18;40;03
MIckey Pelletier
I mean, from yeah, from, from the provider space, I think it's, I think it starts with a tech stack, right. A reasonable one that, that meets that capability of the capacity of what a client has ultimately meets their needs from a capacity capability standpoint, excuse my phrasing there and being able to demonstrate that you know, holistically to a client.

01;18;40;03 - 01;19;06;04
MIckey Pelletier
And that's like, okay, great, now who's going to operate and manage that? And I think if the MSPs going to do that or any type of provider being able to easily demonstrate that that capability in that capacity of that that tech stack, whether it is an actual tech stack or it's just one system all in all in one, depending on what it is.

01;19;06;07 - 01;19;46;18
MIckey Pelletier
And that's I mean, it's not like that's not going on. Companies come in all the time that provide the tech demo. The MSP says, Oh, we can do, you know, X, Y, Z. I think one thing that could change that it would takes time, though, is doing more thoughtful and thorough analysis prior to you actually beginning to implement and knowing what you know, like integrations often can hold things back because you know what, hey, our technology has a provider needs to there needs to be some built in development.

01;19;46;18 - 01;20;06;03
MIckey Pelletier
It turns out the client side does too well, knowing that before you go into an actual implementation, I think can save you time later because when you keep on having to kick that down the road because you don't have integration requirements and you don't know how long the build is going to take almost doing a pre implementation before implementation.

01;20;06;06 - 01;20;33;29
MIckey Pelletier
It's actually an article I'm working on right now is yeah, it's extra time, extra cost money. But what saves you later can be a big, big difference, particularly when you're trying to, you know, dive into something more complex. A statement of work, even with the best rigor, methodology and whatnot, there needs to be some additional, I think, forethought to it to set it out or set up the implementation for success.

01;20;33;29 - 01;21;08;02
MIckey Pelletier
So I think being able to navigate that water before the water gets too choppy I think can save you time and money later. Some companies do that better than others. Other it's like, Hey, we signed the contract on Monday. Bam, kick off on Tuesday. Well, boy, there's how could how could you do that? That that there's just a lot of pre-work I think needs to go in that because a lot of the money that a VMs or an MSP makes isn't always made from implementation.

01;21;08;03 - 01;21;29;27
MIckey Pelletier
They don't get money until the tech is turned on and MSPs live. So it's your speed, the revenue speed, your revenue, maybe keep it going. And even if it's an even if it's sucky, we'll figure it out later. MVP Minimum viable product. It's like I like minimum viable product. I want things to work right the first time around and I want things to be done and sometimes it can't be done that way.

01;21;29;27 - 01;21;54;00
MIckey Pelletier
And that's tough. But you just it comes down to planning. I think we need to give more time for planning. Providers Hate me for saying that because speed to revenue and I get that. But speed the revenue's not very good when you need to spend more time and money later trying to fix the problems you swept under the rug earlier because you're just trying to flip the switch.

01;21;54;03 - 01;22;08;10
MIckey Pelletier
So I don't know. That's that's that's a that's a key component. I think needs needs to change is just more more pre-planning and forethought into what what are you doing, particularly with those more complex pieces of an already complex project?

01;22;08;13 - 01;22;46;09
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, sorry. Sorry to interrupt you. One of the things you said I thought was really interesting talking about this, you know, speed to revenue and the problems with that and I sometimes feel like let me let me pose the question to you. Do you think when you look at a statement of work or services procurement program next to an established third generation contingent workforce program, do you think that having them priced in exactly the same way is makes sense in the sense that if your MSP Continue Workforce program is being driven down to the lowest common denominator in cost?

01;22;46;09 - 01;23;04;24
Jonny Dunning
It's a super mature program. Driving extra savings job is really hard and it's a really low percentage. I see a lot of instances where the set programs are just tucked under the same agreement with the same kind of percentages applied to them. But in terms of the value delivery, surely it's got to be completely different when that's absolutely.

01;23;04;24 - 01;23;13;02
Jonny Dunning
GREENFIELD On the safe side, do you think there's for for that to change in the way that the charging model evolves?

01;23;13;04 - 01;23;40;29
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, I don't think that it's just a 1 to 1 relationship and you just you just tuck it under. What a slap the MSSP fee on onto it. You know, value based work is, you know, what one methodology of charging and getting paid for the work that you do. And I think when it comes to the implementation of a technology or an MSP service, that it's not set at early, it's not just this 1 to 1 relationship.

01;23;41;00 - 01;23;58;29
MIckey Pelletier
You can't just tuck it under the same thing. I think it does require different, different ways of cost modeling, and I think that requires some time to sit down with your client and explain, Hey, here's what you're actually going to be getting out of it. Here's what we're going to charge you for that. And here's why it's different from this.

01;23;59;03 - 01;24;20;01
MIckey Pelletier
Here's what you're getting out of it. Here's the cost savings from that. You know, you know, you could charge for from a cost savings. I was joking. Just just charge whatever you a percentage of what you save. We're going to save you $5 million and we're going to take X percentage of whatever money we save you. And here's the tangible way behind it.

01;24;20;01 - 01;24;44;04
MIckey Pelletier
I don't know if that's a realistic way, but I think there are more tangible to pricing it versus up 2.05%. Whatever you spend, whatever goes through it, that's what we're taking off the top, you know, because the depending on the value you're getting Gen one versus Gen three. And I think that pricing model should should vary. I would agree with that.

01;24;44;07 - 01;25;12;17
Jonny Dunning
Yeah. And again, if you're able to start small, implement cheaply, do it simply without giant requirements. On the MSP side. Again, if you've got if you go to say look, there were some cost involved in us doing this, that makes it easy for the customer. Or one of the things that I think we will start seeing is more like MSP proprietary solutions around statement of work, where they can actually roll out super, super quickly.

01;25;12;19 - 01;25;39;00
Jonny Dunning
So in that way you're maybe even cutting out upfront costs for the client and allowing it to move really quickly. But in a very simple approach to start with, which again kind of lowers those those barriers, I think, you know, what's your opinion on the potential for MSPs to kind of provide more of a proprietary service that's maybe a bit more standardized, maybe a bit more to kind of like low level, but standardized.

01;25;39;00 - 01;25;43;27
Jonny Dunning
Do you see a place for that type of approach? The market?

01;25;44;00 - 01;25;52;26
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, almost like more of a entry level thing just to sort of get to get you get things going. On the statement of work side. Yeah, just to say I certainly.

01;25;52;28 - 01;26;17;10
Jonny Dunning
What we're effectively the MSP is mapping out a process and saying we've we've we've got X amount of evidence this process works well will we'll provide you this value will our intake will be around these statements of work and these suppliers will bring you this, these outputs and the value will be X. You know, it's easy to get started, but we're explaining to you this is what this is what it will be.

01;26;17;12 - 01;26;24;26
Jonny Dunning
It's kind of easier to sell than going There's a whole world out there. We could do everything and it's GI thing where it's like.

01;26;24;28 - 01;27;01;24
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, yeah. I mean, when you when you try to customize a solution, that's that's great. But if clients don't know what they want and you often have to come as a provider with a consultative approach like, look, this is what we recommend and what we think is the best based on X-Y-Z Z evidence. I think every program is unique, but I think there are standardized ways of doing things and if the company want a client wants highly customized, great with that comes time, you know, cost, resources, etc..

01;27;01;27 - 01;27;22;18
MIckey Pelletier
If you could have a standardized solution, that's great. You know that there are things that are just to consider. Are you going net new? Are you only bringing in new workers because? If so, wow, that's a lot faster to flip that switch where if you're trying to migrate ten, 20, 30,000 statement of work workers into the system, you can't do that very quickly.

01;27;22;18 - 01;27;44;15
MIckey Pelletier
That takes a lot of time. You know, Additionally, what type of system integrations are you going to have if you're going to integrate there? There's a lot of a fair amount of requirements that need need to go on, because each interface that a client utilizes with their own back end systems, you know, may vary in how that's configured and what version platform, etc. that they're on.

01;27;44;17 - 01;28;08;08
MIckey Pelletier
So I think that that can delay it. And then, you know, so between that so the net new workers versus versus you know bringing on the current all of the workers and then integrations and then your custom field custom configuration, you know, I think all of that can draw it out. So I think there's a potential for that.

01;28;08;08 - 01;28;23;07
MIckey Pelletier
And the client needs to make that choice of what's right. They want to go. But I think there is a world for that and a space for the, you know, more of more of an out of the box solution, depending on what the client's looking for. Yeah.

01;28;23;10 - 01;28;49;16
Jonny Dunning
Yeah. And I think going back to what you said earlier about demos, I think that's where that side of it really comes to the fore. If a if an MSP organization has a packaged solution that they can offer and they can just go in there and demo it, you know, a picture paints a thousand words. If you can show something to somebody, you know, log on and show them how it works, show them how your MSP service will will knit around the way that the system and process work.

01;28;49;23 - 01;29;06;14
Jonny Dunning
That's very powerful in breaking down those barriers of it's a kind of light bulb moment for the customer where they can potentially just see how that takes away the problem. And in that case, the simpler the better. And like you said, with things like integrations, if you're looking at that sort of approach, you'd have to have that integration level of being very simple.

01;29;06;14 - 01;29;34;09
Jonny Dunning
At that point, you can always find that out. You know, you can do things simply. If you look at how much manual stuff most companies are doing internally, the mind boggles. If you look at how much manual stuff MSPs are doing in a lot of cases, even then, that's quite surprising. So actually, if you've got a simple automated process that maybe, you know, doesn't have loads of integrations, start with, it's still going to be a significant improvement on the current process in most places.

01;29;34;12 - 01;29;57;16
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, no, I think that's, you know, the swivel chair approach can work. I think technologies have evolved to a point where some of those integrations can be done more simply with the right forethought and planning. But I going back to the original question, the ability here for the MSSP to do that, you know, more out of the box, just more simplistic solution.

01;29;57;19 - 01;30;26;25
MIckey Pelletier
I think it also requires more on the client to have the wherewithal within a leader to be able to shut things down because you start getting into a room of 20 stakeholders and solid oh, can you integrate Kronos? And we want to bring we want to bring clarity our project management system in and oh, hey, can we get this type reporting this, that this, you know, and suddenly the requirement list grows from 5 to 500 within an hour long demo because everybody wants their own thing.

01;30;26;27 - 01;30;49;27
MIckey Pelletier
So yeah you can do out of the box. But the client better know very well that this is how it's going to be. And no, we're not customizing a whole lot. Maybe, maybe a scaled here and there to meet needs. But a lot of this is going to be standardized right out of the box. And and we're not here to listen to you about your needs and requirements.

01;30;49;27 - 01;31;13;00
MIckey Pelletier
So I should say that that sounds very, very, very crude. But we're not going to be able to flip all the switches to turn on those requirements now. And this will be a long haul. This is to get you through the door right now. So I think there's potential for that if have the right buyer and the right buyer mindset and leadership on board to support that out of the box approach.

01;31;13;03 - 01;31;28;14
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, yeah. Like you say, it's it's kind of it's not necessarily we're not going to do what you want, but it's like this is what we this is where we advise you to start and this is how we believe we can deliver value for you with this. And this is how it would work. We've already thought it through.

01;31;28;14 - 01;31;30;07
Jonny Dunning
We've already created the process.

01;31;30;10 - 01;31;52;20
MIckey Pelletier
But I think and I think too, when the client comes in and says, we want X, Y, Z, great. If you want to shift that, here's what this does. This turns us in from a two month implementation into, you know, 11 months or whatever it's going to be. And not that they be able to on the spot say, oh, you want this, okay, that's going to drag the timeline out so you can do anything you want.

01;31;52;20 - 01;32;17;02
MIckey Pelletier
It can't do everything. What's it going to be and be able to make those decisions. But I think that ability to consults from the provider side goes a long way to the client and doesn't necessarily know what they want. They see the shiny bells and whistles and say, Oh yeah, do that for us. That's what we want. They don't they don't know that they don't know necessarily what they want for for certain.

01;32;17;02 - 01;32;21;20
MIckey Pelletier
So I think it requires a dance on, on both sides to be able to get that right.

01;32;21;23 - 01;32;47;08
Jonny Dunning
Yeah. The devil's in the detail. Always some complexity involved, but if you're aiming for simplicity at the outset, then you're going to do a lot better than, as we discussed, kind of aiming for Big Bang, the whole elephant approach to start with. But you know, the stakeholder leadership within the customer, you're absolutely 100% right and not allowing it to get pulled into some committee and pulled out of shape and pulled into a giant thing.

01;32;47;11 - 01;33;10;06
Jonny Dunning
It almost needs to be like under the radar to a certain extent with this type of approach. But but, but when I talk to MSPs, one of the things that I find interesting, interesting is the frustration that they have where they're trying to sell as a solutions to maybe even really large organizations. And there'll be some stakeholders within that organization that are putting the hand up and saying, Please help me.

01;33;10;06 - 01;33;29;24
Jonny Dunning
I've got a serious problem with this. But because the whole thing then expands out to be too large, that never happens. But those stakeholders, if there's a way to work with those stakeholders to start with, do you feel like that's an opportunity? Because I mean, do you have you seen enough people that are would would jump at the chance to do that?

01;33;29;27 - 01;33;54;03
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, I think it's it's funny because like, yeah, one thing I write about law is always having a governance committee. You know, people from h.r. To procurement, legal i.t. That's your governance committee. Maybe it's just five people. And those are your key decision makers that can funnel and push back on everybody else and all the other noise that comes in.

01;33;54;03 - 01;34;30;18
MIckey Pelletier
I think you have to have that because if a procurement leader himself goes in and says, we're bringing in, we're bringing in Zebo and we're going to bring in this MSP and there's to knock it out and it's going to be a real simple solution, you know, piss off a lot of people. So I think you have to have some level of governance and stakeholders that that lead the charge, but it has to be the right level and it has to be limited to a certain audience because when it goes for 5 to 20 and suddenly now you've got all these different voices, okay, but those five people need to be able to funnel out

01;34;30;18 - 01;34;51;11
MIckey Pelletier
all that noise and make the decision, because that's that's where the problems lie. People not making decisions or not knowing who's going to make that decision. So you have your racing model of who those decision makers are. If you want to. 50 stakeholders, great. These five people from your client, from you, Mr. Client, are the ones that are going to make those decisions.

01;34;51;11 - 01;35;10;25
MIckey Pelletier
And then they need to be accountable to that. So I think there's a way to approach it that can be done in a tactful way, but it can't be in a silo. But it needs to be, you know, a nice balance of people across various parts of the organization keen on making a decision and coming to the table with that ability.

01;35;10;28 - 01;35;33;13
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, and it's funny because, you know, when I talk to MSPs sometimes when I kind of approach this area and look at it from this angle of what about a more agile, a faster a simpler approach to just getting started and moving forward. Quite often there's an initial assumption that this is going to be most applicable to mid-sized customers.

01;35;33;15 - 01;35;55;21
Jonny Dunning
But the interesting thing about it is in a lot of cases this is most applicable to groups, smaller groups within very large organizations where we're moving. The whole thing is going to be absolutely a nightmare and might never happen for the next five years or even longer. But within those big organizations, there pockets of urgent problems that need to be solved.

01;35;55;24 - 01;36;13;00
Jonny Dunning
So so it's interesting how it does apply even within those very large customers. But I've really enjoyed this discussion. It's a fascinating conversation. And to be honest, you and I could probably we could we could probably do quite a few more soap box moments in this area.

01;36;13;03 - 01;36;19;17
MIckey Pelletier
I mean, look, I look forward to meeting up with you in a couple of weeks out in Dallas. Here in the States.

01;36;19;17 - 01;36;38;19
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, very much looking forward to that. It should be quality. I always I always enjoy your articles. I love the content you put out. I love the memes that you get into it. You feel a kind of a real thing that you do there. Well, I know immediately when it's your content always gives me a smile. So I'm looking forward to your next on.

01;36;38;22 - 01;36;40;07
Jonny Dunning
Where did that come from?

01;36;40;09 - 01;36;56;18
MIckey Pelletier
The means are fine. I find it as a creative outlet. You know, a lot of it pokes at the industry. I poke at myself and some of them because a lot of things are just not right in the industry. Some of them are just funny and we all know it. And it's, you know, the sort of, you know, in any medium, it's just this cultural reference that we understand.

01;36;56;18 - 01;37;15;28
MIckey Pelletier
And then you tie it into an industry standpoint. It's funny, it becomes a very digestible whole thing that's like, Oh yeah, that that's exactly how it is. So it's fun. Some of them hit some of them down and that's okay. If nothing else, I don't want to be known as just the mean guy, the silly guy. I do provide quality work.

01;37;15;28 - 01;37;30;09
MIckey Pelletier
I just like to tie in with a bit of that of humor and levity as we as we look at ourselves in the industry and in all. All we're trying to do is just, you know, make things better in the way that that works. Done. So, yeah, I appreciate you calling that out.

01;37;30;12 - 01;37;49;26
Jonny Dunning
I will let you know it's a it's all part and parcel of of delivering content to people, isn't it. There's so much content around, you know, there's great logic and reasoning and research in evidence into what you talk about, you know, adding, adding some color, some life and in some cases some humor into it and some self-deprecating thing.

01;37;49;26 - 01;38;14;16
Jonny Dunning
He So I think it's great. I really enjoy it. And it's it's kind of refreshing. I think. So I really appreciate it. But yeah, really looking forward to catching up in Dallas in a few weeks in terms of obviously, this year's kind of, as you say, it's been quite a turbulent year for many reasons. Are there any particular kind of key things that you're going to be focusing on with customers or focusing on in particular areas as you move through the rest of this year into next year?

01;38;14;18 - 01;38;40;12
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, everybody talks about the future of work. Every every company out there has their future of work, this future of work that. And you know, how is it all tying together you? To me, it's really just being able on a by case basis, being able to focus on a client's strategy and goals, what it is they want to accomplish with their their contingent workforce, because everybody's maturity roadmap is is different.

01;38;40;12 - 01;39;01;06
MIckey Pelletier
And, you know, the maturity model isn't the same for everybody. And there's standardized maturity things out there. But don't I don't know that those necessarily real Gen one versus Gen two, it's hey, we're just trying to improve the way that we're engaging our non-employee talent. So I think, you know, for me it's continuing to work with clients on on helping them realize that.

01;39;01;06 - 01;39;08;13
MIckey Pelletier
And a lot of it's just validating, you know, their thoughts and feelings around how they're doing things and then helping them modify approach. So

01;39;08;13 - 01;39;31;14
MIckey Pelletier
Yeah, I think another is you helping companies think differently about freelance work and talent pooling. I think that's a really big space right now that, you know, I want to focus on a lot because it is an innovative and newer approach to getting that the talent you need. So I see that continuing to be a body of work grows for companies.

01;39;31;16 - 01;39;52;09
MIckey Pelletier
There just requires a lot of education around how that works and how that ties into your current operating rhythm of of engaging talent. What's the right way to engage those workers? How do you how do you treat those workers? Because most freelance workers are truly that freelancers, independent contractors, you need to have very limited control of what they're doing.

01;39;52;11 - 01;40;11;13
MIckey Pelletier
And when you think of talent pools, you know, those work in different ways of being able to build that repertoire and body of a bunch of talent that can do repeatable assignments and then finding out how can you tie that into your other other bodies of work that you need to complete as well. And that's a that's a whole other conversation.

01;40;11;13 - 01;40;27;05
MIckey Pelletier
But between that, you know, helping clients mature and then you just continuing to network talk with people like you and just, you know, learn and talk about and try to solve the problems of the contingent workforce world here.

01;40;27;07 - 01;40;43;05
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, I love it. And you know, you brought up the idea of kind of flexibility and what you're talking about is really about moving with the times. But I like the fact that you're opening statement on that was it's all about tying it into the company strategy. You know.

01;40;43;08 - 01;40;59;13
MIckey Pelletier
I mentioned to do what's important to you. Do you even ready for any of that stuff? Maybe you just maybe you just need to figure out how to know what your contractors are doing and being it being able to pay them. That's all right. That's all right. It's all what you're ready for. And and you'll you'll get there in time.

01;40;59;13 - 01;41;03;09
MIckey Pelletier
So it's it's it's it's not a race. It's a journey.

01;41;03;11 - 01;41;14;28
Jonny Dunning
Yeah, absolutely. Well, it's now really enjoyed this discussion. Thank you so much. Coming on and sharing your thoughts. I really found it entertaining and interesting and yeah, very much looking forward to catching up in a few weeks.

01;41;15;01 - 01;41;21;08
MIckey Pelletier
Right on, Johnny. Thank you so much for having me. This was great conversation with you and looking forward to seeing you in person as well.

01;41;21;11 - 01;41;22;12
Jonny Dunning
Cheers.

01;41;22;15 - 01;41;23;16
MIckey Pelletier
Cheers.


LATEST

Taking procurement value beyond supply chain savings

When it comes to SoW, who should be involved and how does procurement ensure everyone is adding value?

Taking procurement value beyond supply chain savings

FEATURED

Using the right mix of technology to deliver an effective extended workforce strategy

Software Strategies - Decoding Value in the Extended Workforce

When it comes to SoW, who should be involved and how does procurement ensure everyone is adding value?

The challenges of delivering value under SoW engagements