How a MSP can Drive Unmatched Value in SOW Management

PRO UnlimitedBy PRO Unlimited 2 years ago
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Buyers Meeting Point, a trusted procurement industry news outlet, recently tapped PRO’s Dustin Burgess, SVP of strategy, analytics and metrics for his vast industry insights. Dustin is well versed in driving value and cost-savings through SOW management.  He outlined ways that services procurement remains a point of significant pain to procurement departments as well as business managers due to the high volume of projects and the substantial number of vendor partners involved. There are typically multiple systems at play without a centralized repository for all elements of a project engagement. Procurement teams are often short-staffed and ill-equipped to manage all of the projects coming through the pipeline.

This can result in all attention (not to mention compliance and savings) being focused on large projects while smaller/non-strategic projects go unmanaged or receive minimal oversight. This partial visibility extends to vendor performance as well as the benchmarking of project rates, milestones and deliverables, and even estimated project completion time. Project owners are often left to their own devices where they single-source with one vendor (bypassing the competitive bid process entirely) or selecting project vendors at high rates where staff augmentation work could be utilized at a much lower cost.

The end result is a complex mess of processes that expose the organization to unnecessary risk, overinflated costs, and tremendous heartburn for all involved.

With this in mind, there is an emerging solution that can drive material and sustainable cost savings as well as operational efficiencies in services procurement: the Managed Services Provider (MSP). To this point in the maturation of the MSP market, most organizations have either considered or are currently engaging their MSP to provide some value in the ‘downstream’ portion of SOW management. In this case, downstream refers to post-vendor selection, with the value being on visibility into spend and headcount tracking via consolidated billing and reporting solutions. This is a great first step, ensuring that stakeholders have the ability to confirm the basics such as:

  • where everyone is located,
  • access to facilities and systems,
  • vendor scoring, and
  • compliance with company policies, legislative concerns, etc.

This also allows for more accurate workforce planning, accruals and forecasting, and vendor adherence to SOW contract terms.

Having a downstream solution addresses risk mitigation and visibility concerns, but not the essential component of cost savings. Once a downstream solution is implemented, many organizations begin exploring options for the ‘upstream’ value of SOW Management by the MSP which can provide unmatched value and material cost savings.

Check out the whitepaper to learn about ‘upstream value” and how MSPs that are actively managing SOWs for their clients have a competitive advantage as they have access to substantial amounts of data on the projects at each of their clients.

If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion on how PRO is helping companies implement winning contingent workforce management programs globally, please contact a PRO representative at 800.291.1099 or email at

Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.



  Best PracticesWorkforce Management
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