Improved documentation can reduce an MSP's reliance on individuals and improve the productivity of its best employees, according to IT Glue EMEA sales director Alex Ford.
Speaking at CRN's virtual MSP Transform event, Ford (pictured) said that MSPs are in danger of finding themselves overly reliant on employee knowledge rather than robust documentation.
This poses a problem if that employee is out of action for any reason, he added.
"These are people that have a whole load of information in their heads," Ford said. "They're great at their job and are likely to improvise a little bit because they have the skill to do so.
"What happens if they're off sick, or can't respond to a message for half hour because they're at lunch?"
Ford said that MSPs mostly use generic software to document client information - anything from Word and Excel to SharePoint and Dropbox.
While these tools work fine, Ford added that they are not optimised and can make things more complicated for employees.
"There is nothing wrong with the tools that people use now, but were they designed for documentation and were they designed for documentation in an MSP? Definitely not.
"It's very rare that you'll have one tool and one source of truth for your documentation at the moment. That in itself presents a lot of different problem.
"It is difficult from an auditing and security perspective if you have different tools and it's also difficult to see who is accessing the data."
Ford also said that MSP-specific documentation can help improve the productivity of a workforce.
He quoted IDC research that shows £14,000 is lost per employee every year as a result of low productivity.
Using specialist documentation tools designed specifically for MSPs can help reduce the amount of time wasted navigating through multiple systems, Ford added, also claiming it helps bed in new employees quicker.
"It's a big problem that we're trying to solve," he added.
"Put yourself in the shoes of a new techie. You've just hired them, they walk into the business, what are they going to have to learn?
"If we looked at a 10-person MSP, based on the IDC stats they're losing around £145,000 a year.
"That's just money going into a black hole but think about what you could use it for and where it could help grow your business, because it's a substantial amount of money.
"We want to give you more time back in the week which leads to more profitability and more billable hours to your clients."This article has been published in partnership with IT Glue