Strategic Workforce Optimization

IT workforce optimization identifies savings of $65 million over 3 years for a large investor-owned utility

What’s the right ratio of employees to contingent or other external talent?

The answer, of course, varies by organization—but there is a proven formula for determining it. We equipped a large investor-owned utility with a blueprint to optimizing its IT workforce, expected to save them $65 million over three years while improving talent quality.

What’s the right ratio of employees to contingent or other external talent?
IT workforce optimization identifies savings of $65 million over 3 years for a large investor-owned utility

$65 million

projected cost savings over three years from contingent workforce optimization, alone


anticipated improvement in time-to-fill, increasing organizational efficiency

Nearly 100%

reduction in risks associated with utilizing contingent workers, onshore, as staff augmentation

The Challenge

Our client, a large investor-owned utility, wants to reduce dependency on high-cost external workers, which account for three-quarters of their IT workforce. Executives had questions: What is the optimal mix of employees and contingent workers? When and how should we engage each? And how can we better manage contingent workforce spend to ensure we have the right talent for project and IT service delivery needs, without overpaying?

Project Timeline

Developed a guided staffing framework
Determined an optimal IT talent mix
Analyzed contingent worker data and benchmarked rates to identify compliance vulnerabilities, risks, and cost savings
Identified gaps in current practices and developed a three-year road map to deliver cost savings and optimize talent mix

An Undeniably Different Approach

West Monroe has been a trusted partner to our client for over a decade, guiding the utility through major infrastructure modernization, distributed energy resources, electric vehicle optimization, and other initiatives. Executives know and appreciate our responsiveness and clear set of offerings designed to create financial value.  

Our multidisciplinary team of utility, operations, and organization experts got to work—using a proven approach to outlining their ideal IT workforce mix. In just 16 weeks, we:

  • Developed a guided staffing framework, with detailed criteria and decision trees for deploying employees or contingent workers, standardizing contingent worker roles, rates, policies, and procedures.

  • Determined their optimal IT talent mix, which would shift the ratio of external labor to employees from 75%:25% to 60%:40% and prioritize FTEs for higher value, rewarding responsibilities that build their utility for the future. 

  • Analyzed contingent worker data across multiple systems and benchmarked contingent rates, identified compliance vulnerabilities, risks, and uncovered cost savings using our proprietary Intellio® Insights tool.

  • Identified gaps between their current IT staff and optimal/best practice contingent workforce management capabilities, policies, and procedures, to be addressed in a comprehensive three-year plan.

  • Developed the three-year plan to deliver targeted cost savings, reduce time to fill talent needs, and increase talent quality.

  • Recommended consolidation of contingent labor sources from ~100 external labor suppliers to less than 20 preferred suppliers.

  • Developed metrics and reporting to improve visibility and accuracy of worker data.


Real results

In just four months, we delivered our recommendation for how our client can scale its IT workforce rapidly and with confidence that it is optimizing costs and quality.  

If implemented, our client could:

  • Reduce costs by ~20% in the first year through rate realignment, discounts, and rebates. Over three years, they could save an estimated $65 million from contingent workforce optimization alone.
  • Increase organizational efficiency by consolidating contingent labor sources by over 75%, reducing duplicative effort and instances of employees determining their own sources.
  • Realize faster results by reducing time-to-fill by 80%, increasing their speed to value and talent quality.
  • Improve worker data transparency and compliance procedures that would reduce the employment, legal, tax, and regulatory risks associated with contingent labor by nearly 100%.

Finally, this workforce blueprint allows them to build the utility of the future, focusing on giving their full-time employees more fulfilling responsibilities that can create a lasting career at their organization.  

There’s a better way to solve your talent challenges.

Talk to our strategic workforce optimization experts. 

Contact Us