The Complete Guide to Quickly Purchasing Project-Based Services Through a MSP

Published April 20, 2020
by Anna Bielawski

Did you know? States can utilize a managed service provider (MSP) to rapidly procure project-based services.

Quickly purchasing project-based services through managed service providers

State officials often think of managed service providers (MSPs) for contract labor. However, many states are realizing the benefits of using a MSP to procure project-based services, especially during these unique times.

When one of our state partners quickly needed call center services to meet the influx of unemployment claims, the agency officials turned to us. As their MSP, we utilized project-based services to rapidly procure call center services through our supplier network to assist the state with their unemployment claims requirement.

This rapid process for procurement saved the state and those needing unemployment benefits valuable time. In fact, without this procurement path, the process for bringing on additional services would have taken at least another month to deploy.

Knowledge Services built our cloud technology, dotStaffTM, with project-based services in mind. Procuring project-based services through dotStaffTM provides a faster path for managers, a transparent path for procurement officials, and a simplified process for suppliers.

Our MSP project team customizes the workflow to ensure all of the state’s unique procurement rules and procedures are followed.

We sat down with our MSP Project-Based Services Team to better understand the process.

What is the first step for state managers who need project-based services?

When a state user identifies a need for project-based services, they contact our team. We provide a form that is simple to complete that includes basic questions to identify the scope of work, timeframe, deliverables or milestones, and scoring criteria.

Once we have the information from our client, our team takes it from there. We create the project-based services request in dotStaffTM, our cloud-based vendor management system (VMS). Once the client approves the project-based services request, we simultaneously release it to a state-approved, vetted list of suppliers in dotStaffTM. If needed, our team can turn this project-based services request around in a day’s time.

How do suppliers submit proposals?

Suppliers (or vendors) must be on the state-approved vetted list of suppliers to respond to a project-based services request. Each state handles that process differently, and our team is always on hand to help suppliers through the process.

Typically, there is a time period for questions to be submitted from suppliers and for answers to be provided by the state. Our team assists the state in managing the question-and-answer process. Those suppliers who wish to submit proposals do so directly in dotStaffTM by the required deadline.

How is the project awarded?

Once the deadline for submitting a proposal has passed, our MSP team compiles the proposals and provides them to the state. Our team also provides a custom scorecard based on the state’s requirements. We make it as simple as possible for the state to review and score the proposals.

Once the scoring is completed, our MSP team notifies all suppliers. Often, our team is involved in negotiating a best and final offer (BAFO) with the selected supplier. Once the price is fixed and agreed upon, the project may commence, and the supplier works directly with the state to complete the work. The MSP team conducts check-ins to ensure the project is on track from a timing, deliverable, and price perspective.

How long does this process take from start to finish?

That depends on the complexity and urgency of the project. We have had projects awarded within one week of posting a project-based services request.

Typically, the process ranges from a few weeks to a month from the initial request to project award.

Is there a limit to projects that can be awarded?

Most states do have a maximum amount on project-based services that may be procured in this manner that ranges from $750,000 to $1 million. Each individual state determines that amount.

Utilizing a MSP for purchasing project-based services is a simple and quick method to procure essential services. In fact, Knowledge Services has managed the procurement and execution of more than 170 project-based services for our state partners.

It streamlines the process for all parties involved, provides visibility for those managing the dollars and deliverables, and provides the state an avenue to procure services quickly while following state procurement processes and regulations.