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Lessons From Best-In-Breed Providers in Boeing’s Contingent Workforce Program

A highlight of the 2022 SIA CWS Summit was a case-study session hosted by People2.0. This panel of experts included leaders from Boeing, People2.0, Monument Consulting, Beeline, Tundra and TalentNet. Instead of relying on a single-source provider to build a world class contingent labor program, Boeing opted to build a cohesive team of best of breed all-stars. The team consists of EOR/AOR, MSP, VMS, direct sourcing, and talent curation partners. Together, this best-in-breed network of partners helped spearhead Boeing’s rapidly growing contingent workforce program.  

The session, called “Taking Flight: How Boeing and Best-of-Breed Providers Delivered a Winning CW Program” was more than just the story of how it happened. It was a case study that covered key qualities to look for in partners, the importance of keeping the company’s culture top of mind, and the value of experts who are empowered to be strategic partners in long-term planning. 

The case study has a lot of takeaways, but there are three principles key to the success of the program:  

  • shared understanding of the company culture 
  • challenges were addressed openly, with all partners at the table 
  • collaboration to the benefit of all involved 

Contract labor transition brings opportunity to think beyond a single-source solution

A little over two years ago, as Boeing’s workforce needs were rapidly evolving, company leaders knew they needed to expand their contract labor project (CLP). Key to the expansion strategy was transitioning to an external MSP. Brett Gerber, Global Head of Contract Labor Solutions at Boeing, leveraged existing industry relationships to identify and select his MSP partner, Monument Consulting.  He knew there are market leaders in various specialties and recognized that no provider was an expert in all competencies. Instead of a single source, Boeing leveraged best-in-breed providers, who were experts in their particular area, to build its successful program.  

Because the partners all had a history of proven success in working together, collaboration and strategic planning could start immediately. And it did.  

During the session, Kieran Brady, Executive Vice President of Client Services at People2.0, talked about how this approach inspired true collaboration across the many facets of the program. “We are not competing against each other in any way,” Brady said. “We don’t feel like we’re a supplier in the Boeing program, we feel like true partners and that helps drive innovative solutions. Brett expects us to be problem solvers and that’s where we find ourselves on a regular basis because the program continues to grow and evolve.” 

Beeline, provider of VMS technology, was more than open to Boeing’s proposed structure because Beeline recognizes the value of a strong partner ecosystem.

“We’ve come to recognize that our customers don’t necessarily want a full-stack solution. They want to bring best-of-breed technology partners to the table,” said Autumn Vaupel, COO of Beeline. 

Simply put, the partners came together in the same way an orchestra does. One virtuoso at a time. Monument Consulting, the project MSP, serving as the conductor. 

“You’ve got your string section, you’ve got your percussion section, you’ve got your woodwinds,” said Ryan Baker, President of Monument Consulting. “Our job is to make sure it’s a beautiful symphony. As the MSP partner, we are there to hold all the team  accountable to make sure that Boeing’s team and the Boeing organization is served properly.” 

Jonathan Prothero, President of TalentNet, said that while he had been part of successful collaborations before, he was impressed by how quickly synergy developed between all partners in the Boeing program. “Everyone was open and committed to making this program a success,” he said. “With Brett’s guidance, we were able to integrate our best practices and put something into place that would not only be successful in the short-term but the long-term as well.” 

Success results when company cultures align 

Critical to the project was finding partners who were a good fit for Boeing. As Brett Gerber shared from the stage: “Hiring great people who are service minded is so important. I want our suppliers to work well together, feel valued, and enjoy working for Boeing. They should be committed, kind, authentic, and collaborative.” 

Every situation is different, but Gerber said his experience had taught him the importance of building a team made up of partners who love what they do and enjoy working together.  

Boeing’s revamped contingent workforce program launched in late 2020, and to date has seen a quadrupling in the number of resources under management. People2.0 initially supported Boeing’s efforts through a relationship with Jeppesen, and then became part of the best-in-breed providers project in January 2021. All of the partners are still engaged and continuing to meet weekly as the program is optimized and expanded to meet ongoing growth at Boeing. 

Because Boeing was so clear about the importance of understanding the culture, the partners quickly became aligned and found it easy to speak the same language.

“It was abundantly clear what Boeing was looking for in a partner,” said Jeremy Mack, Senior Vice President at Tundra, Boeing’s curation partner. ”They wanted our Tundra team to feel like they were part of the Boeing team as well. Candidly, that’s our goal too. We want to be that white-labeled, white-glove service for Boeing.”  

Lessons from the case study: When is best-in-breed the way to go? 

A best-in-breed approach has worked well for Boeing, but the approach isn’t limited to large, complex organizations. Smaller companies can see tremendous value and benefit from the approach because it allows you to prioritize placement of expertise for areas with the most urgent needs: compliance, sourcing, payrolling and more. Focused expertise can be even more of a necessity at a smaller organization versus a larger one. 

Regardless of size, finding a provider or team of providers who are aligned with your culture and priorities is critical to the success of your program. A strong partnership mentality is just as important as the expertise being delivered. 

A one-stop shop or single-source approach can be a fit for organizations when the partner is closely aligned with the organization already and when the partner excels at the component of the program that is the priority. Going forward with this approach, however, could mean losing out on insights from a bigger network of partners who bring additional experience and perspectives.  

People2.0, the world’s largest EOR and AOR provider, was a platinum sponsor of the 2022 SIA CWS North America Summit and is the “best-in-breed” payroll partner in Boeing’s contingent workforce plan. This team approach produces successful contingent workforce programs on a global scale. 

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