“My company is selecting a new benefits enrollment platform. We like to mirror one of current protocols, but our preferred service provider is resistant and says it not a “best practice.” Should this be a red flag?”
— Marti, Benefits Manager
Marti, if a service provider isn’t enthusiastic about a particular process or protocol, then, yes…it may be a red flag, but not necessarily one that should concern you about the service provider. First, the service provider may be correct—it may not be a best practice and the provider wants to ensure your company is using the most current industry standards.
Beyond that, it’s also possible the protocol in question is outside the scope of the service provider’s expertise, and this is their way of telling you that. One of my top “lessons learned” is to not encourage service providers to deliver on technology or services beyond their area of expertise just because a client wants it.
These folks want to be responsive and to make you happy, but if you push them into areas for which they are not well-suited, you may be inviting problems or a service decline in other areas as they scramble to effectively support an area that falls outside the core functionality (or the service provider’s core competencies).
My suggestion is to discuss in detail the services you want with the service provider and be open to alternative approaches. Ask for an honest assessment of how the desired services can best be delivered. Depending on the system (and the desired process), a third-party product may effectively be integrated into the platform. Ultimately, you’ll have to determine how important it is to mirror your existing protocol and also if you want to proceed with a provider that may be delivering services outside the scope of their expertise, or if you need to look at another provider.
Read more about this and other “lessons learned” from GruppoMarcucci that can be useful to human resource managers overseeing the outsourcing or implementation of employee benefits systems in the article Managing Expectations, published by Human Resource Executive Online.
If your company is planning to bring in a new service provider to manage your online benefit enrollment system, Rhonda Marcucci and her team of industry specialists are available to assist with any or all phases of the project—from needs assessment to product selection and implementation support. Contact Rhonda at Rhonda@gruppomarcucci-usa.com or call GruppoMarcucci at 1.312.690.2690.
Gruppo Marcucci (GPM), a division of Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc., provides outsourcing intelligence and associated consulting to stakeholders in the Benefits and HR Technology & Outsourcing industry. Our in-depth understanding of the service provider market and our vast experience sourcing and implementing solutions is key to our clients achieving full operational success.
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