When Comensura came to market in 2001 we did so by creating a managed service solution that made absolute sense for customers with complex staffing requirements. We created a solution that’s always focused on the needs of our customers. Here’s the story of why and how we did it…
The Rise of the Master Vendor
In the mid 1990s, some organisations realised they were spending more and more on temporary workers and contractors. This was done through multiple recruitment agencies, and managing them was time-consuming and heavy on risk and cost. Keeping track of expenditure was becoming increasingly difficult, with poor visibility of what they were spending, with whom and for what reason.
They turned to the large staffing companies to find solutions, figuring that by giving them volume business they would benefit from a partner that undertook recruitment, worker management and HR tasks on their behalf. It was hoped that they would also achieve greater visibility and control, savings, process efficiencies and better risk management.
The ‘master vendor’ managed service model was born; a model that still exists and has also evolved into hybrid solutions today. Today, around 40% of MSP expenditure is still on master vendor style solutions.
The need for a new model
For some organisations, giving volume to a single supplier didn’t work. Specialist agencies were needed for each job category and each business location. The problem, we realised, was the way multiple-supply situations were being managed.
Managers were empowered to decide on which suppliers they worked with to get the workers they required. When many managers were involved, there was poor central visibility of what was being purchased. Worse still, significant variation on contracts, fees and approaches to supplier management were the norm.
When we spoke to these organisations it was clear they wanted a management partner who could give total visibility and control of the situation. They wanted someone with the expertise to manage the complexity, so that their managers would be free to do the job of recruiting, without having to get involved in managing suppliers.
Putting a new approach to the test
We developed ways of making a difference for our customers, freeing up their time, putting them in control and helping them to realise greater value for money. Our focus was on the procurement and management of suppliers, and developing technology to enable the entire end-to-end process – from procurement to paying a supplier for their services.
Right from the start we believed that to help we must remain objective and independent from supplying workers. This ‘vendor neutral’ approach made absolute sense for our customers and we grew rapidly, with a lot of business referred to us through word of mouth.
Local authorities were among the first to jump at the opportunity to work with us. In light of a new government-driven focus on seeking better value from their agency spend, our model’s fairness, openness and transparency was attractive. We were awarded several public sector contracts and quickly led the market - a position we retain until this day.
Private sector companies followed suit. In 2011 we adapted our model to further meet customer needs across a diverse range of verticals, including business services, waste management, hospitality, media, transport, telecommunications and healthcare.
This fresh ‘adaptive’ approach has helped us to build partnerships with customers such as Serco, Veolia, Hilton Hotels and Arqiva. We’ve also diversified our public sector customer base, and are proud to include HS2, British Council, Sovereign Housing, CIC and RSSB amongst our customers.
Find out what we can do for you
We are obsessive about finding smarter ways to work for organisations with complex staffing and resourcing needs – be it temporary, permanent, independent contractors and Statement of Works. If you’re looking to change the way that you do things, we would like to hear from you.