The MSP industry has experienced a dramatic shift of demand beyond IT and professional skills to a broader portfolio of Light Industrial flexible roles, mostly in manufacturing and distribution. Find out how and what to look for in a Retail Grocery Contingent Workforce Partner by reading this article, written by Dan Rothberg, President of Workspend.
Change Drivers in the Retail Grocery Industry
In the US market, 2018 saw a drive to bring manufacturing back to the US. This shift was greatly accelerated by the Covid Pandemic. In Europe, retail brands further extended their own brand ranges and have extended their business models further into logistics and manufacturing.
Covid has further driven e-commerce. The transition to online shopping is responsible for ever higher rates of hiring in distribution and logistics. In particular, the Retail Grocery Industry has been required to re-think its resourcing approach. To support its objectives, players in the industry strongly benefit from services partnerships able to supplement talent industry know-how, extend talent reach, and provide a solution for all skill sets. This is where organizations like Workspend step in.
Workspend is a leading international provider of flexible workforce Managed Service Provisioning (sometimes referred to as an ‘MSP’). Regularly featuring in the MSP Bakers’ Dozen of leading service providers, Workspend originally grew in stature and prominence in the US market in the late 2000’s by offering tailored-to-fit flexible workforce programs, underpinned by a more cost competitive onshore/offshore delivery model and leading edge tech. Unlike larger rivals, Workspend focuses on providing service excellence to specific industries, including Retail, Technology, Hi-Tech Manufacture, Financial Services and, more recently, Education.
A Flexible Workforce Program Curated for the Wholesale Grocery Retail
Workspend has worked in consort with its growing user community of leading international grocery providers to formulate a model for light-industrial talent supply and management that supports the changing needs of the industry. The company’s success in retail is based on four primary pillars of value differentiation, outlined below.
#1 Solution Modeling
Sourcing and servicing users with high-end IT or professional needs compares differently to serving warehouse, production and in-store needs. In recognition of these differences, Workspend provides a distinctly differentiated service model to source and manage talent. And this is why the service model is so different: Professional and IT labor is typically sourced through a competitive bid process where operational talent is sourced under a master or preferred supplier approach leveraging a coordinated pipeline process to ensure planned and immediate talent availability.
#2 Client Service and User Experience
Regardless of the user or skill type requested, Workspend offers high touch customer service through dedicated program teams led by experienced grocery industry program directors with experience of operating in our retail industry vertical. One advantage of having a sizeable user community means that young program managers can understudy experienced team members to become familiar with the unique demands of this fast-paced environment.
Often overlooked as a factor for success, Workspend has established an enviable reputation for above and beyond client service experience. It’s brand commitment to service quality is underpinned by its Workspend Way principles, regularly reinforced by client service training, including its highly regarded Respect Agenda.
For customers, it means users and managers always have access to a live, experienced, program team member via email, chat or phone.
#3 Workforce Planning
Workspend closely engages with its clients in strategic workforce planning to include coordination with full-time hiring and other client sourcing channels. This includes rate/compensation guidance, supplier segmentation, pipeline strategy, Just In Time (JIT) staffing, seasonal and special projects. Underpinning its strategic advice is a data-driven approach that’s formed around advanced market intelligence and data analysis tools that present clients with visibility over the key datapoints used to optimize their hiring and sourcing decisions.
#4 Strategic Supplier Management/Engagement
Regardless of industry, all successful contingent labor programs must have the right suppliers in the right places. Major grocery retailers have large footprints with hundreds of locations that require services at varying levels of volume. Workspend works with its retail clients to establish a supplier support strategy to accommodate the wide range of geographic needs and skill sets. This process is continually evaluated and managed to ensure on-going talent delivery. A key construct of Workspend’s differentiated approach is a commitment to respect diversity and inclusion. As a woman-led, minority-owned and managed business, Workspend is a pioneer in diversity-led workforce provisioning and prides itself on being one of a handful of minority-owned MSPs in the market today.
Dan Rothberg is a talent industry veteran with over 20-years experience in delivering large-scale managed service solutions to large enterprises around the world. Dan is passionate about achieving game-changing results underpinned by team-work, a pioneering spirit and ceaseless curiosity to question, analyse, test and improve over time. “People remain the principal lever to competitive advantage in markets today. How well enterprises can adapt to their changing needs pre-supposes a talent supply-chain and ecosystem able to offer best-fit, affordable talent on-demand. Being the advisory-led partner to recommend, and then operate, the people, process, technology and data framework that makes this possible is where Workspend excels.”