Look at history. Crises have been the driving force behind innovation.
Behind many of the greatest innovations in history, you’ll see a crisis pushing the boundaries of human creativity. A mother named Vesta Stoudt in Illinois invented duct tape to save the lives of soldiers in World War II. The printing press was introduced to Europe by the political refugee Johannes Gutenberg, who wanted a better way to print the Bible.
It’s not hard to see the crises battering business today, crises that include:
- Remote workforce disrupting operations;
- Supply chain issues;
- New regulations;
- Changing customer and market needs;
- Skyrocketing costs.
With lockdowns, empty store shelves and masks, the coronavirus COVID-19 is disrupting daily life across the world. Beyond the tremendous human toll, companies are looking for answers. How do you continue to grow your business? How can you find new customers and serve your existing ones while overcoming crisis headwinds?
For many companies, the key has been implementing Managed Services.
What are Managed Services?
Today, as business and operations have evolved, there is confusion about what exactly Managed Services (MS) are.
Simply put, with MS you utilize an outside provider to manage and execute on operations of your business. The provider handles the day-to-day execution of specific services, supporting the internal resources and operation of the business.
When you ask about MS, many businesses will focus on Information Technology (IT). Maintaining a full-time internal IT team can be expensive, but without IT the business will grind to a halt. Working with a provider and MS, the company can have all the resources of a full-time IT team at a price they can afford.
But that model can be used for so much more than IT.
How Managed Services Support Business
Today, many companies are crippled by challenges like supply chain disruption and remote workforces that they can’t overcome alone. Handling day-to-day operations while also serving customers and finding new prospects can lead to inadequate results.
By leveraging the capability and support of an MS provider, the business can better support employees. They can move operations execution to the provider, and then employees can focus on core competencies and higher-priority work.
Benefits of Managed Services During a Crisis
Many companies are already looking at potential business solutions. Some are hiring temporary outside help to overcome challenges or are looking at shifting work to different areas.
Solutions like this will not provide the same benefit as Managed Services. An experienced provider can deliver:
- Centralized Control for a Remote Workforce
The current crisis has closed offices and forced businesses to embrace a remote workforce. For an MS provider, a remote workforce is standard. They typically work with and support businesses across the country. The expertise and best practices a provider can leverage for your business can more efficiently provide support and flexibility for key functions, even during a crisis.
- Visibility of Expenses
Many companies are struggling with skyrocketing costs, especially during these difficult times. They are paying more for lower results. This is often not because of higher prices, but poorly categorized costs or problems with the supply chain. Workforce disruption and office closures have only made this problem worse. MS can help the business control costs. They understand the market and can identify where the expenses and risks are to better help the company manage expenses. The supplier can provide a complete cost and budget report, so you have better visibility into expenses and savings opportunities.
- Supply Chain Security
Many companies don’t think about the supply chain until there is a problem. They have a long-time supplier or two, and a process of ordering that works … until it doesn’t. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that there are supply chain risks. Smart businesses are conducting contingency planning and reviewing the ordering and supply process. An MS provider can do this work. They are experts in the industry, can review your current inventory and needs, and provide a contingency plan. Their job is to reduce risk and protect your business.
- Industry-Leading Expertise
Building an internal team for operations or business support can be expensive. Specialized expertise will drive up costs further. Companies are being forced to adapt to the changes and pressures arising from the coronavirus. They need to expand their digital marketing, update their website and sales process, and implement new sales enablement techniques, which all require specialized expertise. Rather than hire new employees or outsource the work, partnering with an MS provider can give you access to industry-leading expertise at a fraction of the cost. It can provide not only the initial planning and implementation, but ongoing support that can lead to exponential benefits.
- Data-Driven Decisions
Change and disruption are forcing businesses to make better decisions. In the past, enough money and resources could cover up a bad decision, but companies today don’t have that luxury. Better decisions require better data and more visibility. Before COVID-19, companies already struggled to collect and use data. A Managed Services provider needs data — their business is built on it. They have the tools and expertise for collecting critical data. They can not only support the business, but also ensure the company has access to critical data.
Managed Services vs. Outsourcing
It’s important to note that modern MS is not the same as the dated “fix-it” model that many businesses have relied on.
In the past, companies would hire an outside resource for a specific service. If a printer broke, you hired a company to fix it. If the business purchased software, you hired someone to install it.
Today, companies are purchasing an outcome rather than a service when they work with MS providers. Rather than looking at a single immediate need, the provider will look at the business process behind the service to implement improvements — including preventative maintenance, upkeep and the elimination of existing problems. The goal is optimization rather than “fixing” what’s broken. It’s optimization provided by industry-leading experts working directly as your partner.
Managed Services are the next generation of business support.
Overcoming Crises with Innovation
As we work to overcome the challenges facing us, there are opportunities for smart businesses to innovate and improve.
Modern Managed Services are one way that companies are turning challenges into opportunities. By finding a provider and partner, the company can improve efficiency, optimize and focus on core competencies. Contact GO2 Partners today to learn how MS can benefit your business.