Over the last two months, we’ve taken a closer look at some of the critical traits that procurement professionals bring to their careers. First, we looked at negotiation skills and then dove into persistence. But there are many soft skills that good procurement officers should possess. Another essential tool is relationship building. For instance, when you work with a managed service provider, how do you establish and nurture a great working relationship, and how can you tell if your partner is the best MSP for you? Let’s take a closer look.
Focus on Communication
The single most important thing for establishing a relationship with anyone is communication. You must be able to communicate clearly and effectively at all levels. If you assume you know what your MSP is talking about, or they assume the same about you, it opens you both up to easily preventable errors. If your MSP doesn’t communicate with you, that’s a red flag. So, you also need to consider how you interact with them.
Business relationships, at their core, are all about making money for the company. Just as you want to make money for your company, your MSP needs to rely on their billing cycle to continue to provide quality services to their clients. Part of what you do in procurement is to spend your company’s money wisely, so use those skills to pay for the services you’re expecting from your MSP.
Address Issues Immediately
When an issue does come up, don’t wait to say something. When you let problems fester, there’s no chance of it ever being made right. Don’t think it will just fix itself along the line. Instead, call your MSP right away and talk to them about the problem you’re experiencing. If they don’t know there’s a problem, they may continue to compound it, which will spell trouble for you in the future.
Personalize Your Relationships
Your business relationships should be professional, of course, but they can also be friendly and congenial. When you personalize your relationships on the job, you get to know one another as people. It humanizes your experience. Build your MSP relationship by getting to know one other beyond just the experience of shared work. Determine the things you have in common and share those.
Provide Good Lead Times
Lastly, your relationship with your MSP must be built on realistic expectations. When you begin to make demands on their time that are unattainable, they’ll become resentful and may look to eliminate you from their roster of companies. Instead, understand the scope of your requests and provide good lead times so they can happen in your timeline but can be accomplished by your provider.
How can you forge a great relationship with your MSP and other vendors?
Anserteam Workforce Solutions represents North America’s very best staffing agencies aligned together to deliver world-class workforce management solutions. We offer end-to-end talent services that can be customized for any size business, utilizing our Managed Services Provider (MSP) model and Vendor Management Solutions (VMS) technology. Is your organization seeking a WBENC-certified diversity partner to provide measurable results and substantial cost savings? Contact us today.