Still relying on your in-house IT team to maintain your systems? It might be time for a change.
Technology has come a long way since the days of break/fix IT, and the reality is that most internal IT services aren’t equipped to keep up with the pace of innovation. As a result, many organizations need additional help to remain proactive rather than reactive. Their systems struggle with the demands of a growing business in a digital world.
If you’ve ever scoffed at the idea of using a third-party provider for IT support because you think your current structure is fine, or because of concerns about cost, now is the time to reconsider. There are many benefits to managed services, especially if you’re using today’s modern logistics systems such as SAP, or Manhattan.
Managed Services (MSP)?
The term managed services refers to the practice of outsourcing business administration and management responsibilities to a third party. You’ll notice that this definition isn’t specific to IT — that’s because managed services can describe anything from 3rd party logistics to supply chain management and office Technology Support. That said, managed IT services will be the focus of this article.
Business growth places higher demand on IT. Your IT team is designed for the heavy lifting associated with strategy, design, development, and implementation, but will most likely find themselves overwhelmed and unable to scale with the operational needs. As a result, you may be forced to give extra responsibilities to employees who aren’t on the IT team, which can distract from core business objectives.
In addition to freeing up employees to focus on the jobs they were hired to do, MSP also lets you fill gaps as needed. A qualified managed services partner will offer a flexible service model that allows you to determine what level of service you require, whether that means just keeping the lights on or outsourcing your company’s entire IT department.
The Right Expertise
One of the key advantages of the managed services model is that it enables you to hire an entire team of IT professionals at a flat monthly rate. Certain Managed Services Providers (MSPs) even take a shared approach to managed services. This lets you add or remove specialists from your team, depending on the requirements of each project. These specialists include technical, functional, and training personnel, with specific knowledge and expertise in distribution, logistics, and manufacturing systems, who can help you keep your systems up and running, as well as unlock their full potential.
From a cost perspective, one of the clear benefits of managed services is that it lowers labour costs and eliminates the cost of hiring and training. The ability to have skills available on a scalable basis is very compelling. Most MSPs offer a hybrid model of onsite and remote resources, which lowers the average effective rate and expands your capabilities.
Best of all, since you sign a service-level agreement that’s tailored to your organization, you’ll never have to worry about unexpected service costs. This enables your organization to shift from a capital expense model to an operating expense model. Look for an MSP that has a solid strategic relationship with your solutions and hardware providers for additional savings. They’ll be able to escalate and advocate on your behalf, so you can reinvest the money in your business.
Get the Support You Need!
You’ll never worry about availability if you use an MSP. Most MSPs offer 24/7 flexibility, on-call options, and weekend support (though it’s important to note that these are often offered as costed options). When searching for the perfect MSP, look for round-the-clock support in multiple time zones. That way, you can rest assured that help is available whenever you need it.
Another benefit of managed services is that, rather than sit and wait for something to go wrong, MSPs take a proactive approach to maintenance. MSPs can implement a proactive program for equipment and get remote monitoring and management from the internal IT systems. This lets them identify, diagnose, and troubleshoot potential problems before they become an issue. Given the fact that downtime can cost distribution, logistics, and manufacturing businesses as much as $5,600 per minute — that’s well over $300k per hour — it’s easy to see how outsourcing to an MSP pays for itself.
A Single-Source Partner
When you partner with an MSP, you’ll get a dedicated team, led by a single account manager, that knows your distribution, logistics, and manufacturing company, and your specific business solutions. Look for an MSP that can reduce the total number of vendors that are needed to fully support your operation. A single point of responsibility is by far the best approach and the most cost effective.
MSP Vendor Qualities
We’ve mentioned some of the qualities to look for in a managed services provider throughout the body of this article — let’s take a moment to review. The ideal MSP should:
- Be Capable of becoming the single-source vendor, reducing the vendor management burden
- Tailor services to your specific needs
- Take a shared approach to operational IT support issues
- Have a solid relationship with your IT department and selected hardware vendors
- Have the support staff available when you need them
- Offer additional services, such as hardware configuration centre, Project Management, be able to perform implementations, and technical support
- 7/24/365 support, over multiple time zones
- Have a reliable single point of contact, dedicated to your business
- Have an established escalation path for emergencies
Discovery the Managed Services Provided by BFG
Why BFG Enterprise Services? We’re glad you asked.
- We know your business. BFG’s professionals have been involved in Distribution, Logistics, and Manufacturing systems and IT processes since 1980. We have serviced retail, ecommerce, and manufacturing companies with distinction.
- We not only provide IT support, but also value-added services such as business process consulting, solution enhancement, data estate assessments, and more.
- Start with an Account Manager and one or two technicians and grow your team over time to build long-term capability.
- Gain access to BFG’s Centre of Excellence, internal network of Technical Services, as well as our Delivery Team, if and when necessary.
- Enjoy the freedom to customize your engagement according to your needs — from a la carte services to the complete package, or a limited-time engagement to ongoing services, we’re ready to help where and when you need it most.
At BFG Enterprise Services, we’re dedicated to helping distribution, logistics, and manufacturing businesses like yours achieve organizational success and embrace digital transformation through the power of the managed services model. Ready to transform your business?