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How to Kick Your Current MSP to the Curb and Finally Achieve Real Value

ComTec Solutions Managed Service Provider

The average cost of downtime to a business is $5,600 per minute. Selecting the right managed service provider (MSP) is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your manufacturing business. While it would be wonderful to get it right the first time, that doesn’t always happen. 

Sometimes, the MSP you choose ends up being a bad fit for your business. The wrong provider can disrupt productivity, fuel employee frustration, strain resources, and dampen the relationship between you and your customers. If you’re feeling ignored by your MSP, or if you’re facing constant communication headaches, it’s time to re-evaluate your provider. 

Here is some insight from our managed IT services team to think about as you navigate a possible partner switch.


Q1: What are the most common challenges we hear from prospects using a managed IT services partner?


One of the most common challenges for manufacturers is how long it takes for their MSPs to respond to support tickets. It’s frustrating when systems are down and productivity is interrupted. Time is money, and slow support ticket resolution strains limited resources. Business owners often feel taken advantage of. Rather than prompt responses to questions, problems often get ignored, and requests get lost in the shuffle. It’s tough to feel like your needs are a priority if your MSP goes missing in action when you have an issue.


Your MSP should be considered a trusted partner rather than just a vendor. It will be readily available to your team, providing proactive solutions for any challenges you face. Request its service-level agreement (SLA) before signing any contract to understand how and when you can expect someone to get back to you on support tickets and other issues. 

Another way to keep things humming along as they should is to get a monthly report from your MSP. The report should provide support metrics so that you can see the volume of issues/needs and response time. The information should align with the established SLAs. Always remember that you and your business needs should be the MSP’s priority. If you don’t feel it puts your needs first, then it’s time for a new MSP.


Q2: When talking with manufacturers, what are some of the main things they want from their MSP?


In order to thrive, manufacturers must stay agile and lean. Many leaders feel their current MSP is distant and unfamiliar with their business. This leads to excessive back and forth to get an MSP up and running and even more time spent keeping it up to speed. To keep your operations moving, you need a trusted advisor that is quick to respond and proactive about your IT needs. A bonus would be if it knows your type of business and your industry. 


An MSP with industry-focused experience will be vital to help you better understand the common IT issues that are standing in the way of accelerating growth. With that expertise, it will be able to give you valuable advice and proactively update your systems to maintain best practices and improve operational efficiency. This team should work seamlessly in the background as an extension of your team, adding value to your processes and operations. Look for an MSP that understands your immediate and long-range manufacturing and technology goals and can put in place a game plan to keep you on the right track to meet business goals and manage through market shifts. 


Q3: What are some indicators that it’s time to change your MSP?


Feeling fed up is a strong indicator that it’s time to kick your current MSP to the curb. If your issues are getting ignored or the solutions you’re receiving don’t match up with your business goals, these are also strong indicators that it’s time for a change. Other reasons can include security concerns, cost overruns, and a lack of proactive planning to head off issues before they impact day-to-day operations. An MSP that isn’t helping you drive growth and improve the customer and employee experience is missing the mark. The right MSP can help you identify areas of opportunity for modernizing and improving your tech stack. This is the kind of value that an MSP should deliver consistently.


If you’re feeling constantly frustrated with the service you’re receiving from your MSP, it is not delivering the quality of experience and support you deserve and need. The right provider will have answers to your challenges before you even realize you have them. An industry-focused MSP can leverage its expertise to provide cost-effective solutions to manufacturing SMB challenges that match up with your goals. In addition, if it isn’t meeting contractual SLAs, you need to put it on notice. Otherwise, it is in breach of the contract.


Q4: Should I outsource my IT managed services to an MSP?


One of the biggest questions manufacturing leaders ask themselves is whether to manage technology themselves or to outsource the task. Yet many of them also feel they’re wearing too many hats in their organization. An MSP should help you get back to business by moving IT tasks onto the shoulders of someone who can manage them cost-effectively and proactively.


Not all companies need a full-time employee to manage their IT services, but all companies need someone who is available and knowledgeable when they need support. An MSP can be there when you need it without the cost of a full-time employee and the associated investment of keeping their skills up to date. 

Managed service providers are experts in current IT best practices and emerging tech (or at least should be). They bring new ideas and a fresh perspective on how to apply technology to meet your desired business outcomes. If you’re not getting that proactive advice and guidance in addition to the day-to-day quality support you’re paying for, then it may be time to consider a better MSP option.


Q5: How difficult is it to switch from one MSP to another?


Switching to a new MSP might feel overwhelming. You might be concerned that your current MSP will be upset. You may also be worried about using up precious resources to make the switch. Or perhaps you don’t know how to get out of your contract. But switching to a new MSP, done correctly, is actually fairly seamless.


You may need to give 60- or 90-day notice, but your new MSP will be well versed in helping you navigate the switch and gather any documentation, credentials, and other necessary information to make the switch. And don’t worry: You won’t be alone in the process. Your project manager will guide you through every step of the process and be available for any questions you might have. Any experienced MSP has done this hundreds of times before and can navigate any roadblocks. 

You have to ask yourself 1) if it is worth the headaches and frustration to continue to deal with an MSP that isn’t cutting it, thus putting roadblocks in the way of goal achievement, and 2) whether you want to remove the nagging roadblock once and for all so that your business can thrive.


💡Bonus Tip: When migrating to a new MSP, an experienced project manager should serve as the key point of contact between you and your previous IT provider, setting up checkpoint meetings, addressing any issues or roadblocks, and ensuring your onboarding is successful.


Q6: How can I achieve real value with a new MSP? 


It only makes sense to switch from your current MSP to a new MSP if you can achieve real value. Value can be defined through cost savings, improved communication, modernized and compliant technology, proactive solutions, and quicker response times. The right MSP should alleviate your IT headaches, not add to them.


Partner with an MSP that will serve as a trusted advisor and a proactive driver for your business goals. Experience a higher level of service with an MSP that has a deep background working with manufacturers and knows how to leverage your IT investments. Set up cadenced check-in meetings and look at your agreed-upon SLAs to make sure that, whatever you’re paying for, you’re getting each and every day.

We hope these tips help you navigate a better path forward with an MSP that fits well into your business needs as well as your corporate culture. If you’d like to talk with us about our managed IT services, simply reach out.


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ComTec Solutions is a full-service technology services and ERP implementation and consulting company that has been providing advisory and technical expertise for manufacturers and engineering firms for nearly 30 years. Companies looking to improve productivity, elevate the customer experience, and accelerate financial growth find value in ComTec’s expertise. ComTec is a proud Certified Platinum Epicor partner dedicated to helping customers strategically align technology with their desired business outcomes with speed, agility, and confidence. To learn more, let’s talk!