Five Qs: Fred Minturn on Trends in the Staffing Industry


Fred Minturn, president and CEO of Detroit-based MSX International, spoke with DBusiness Daily News about the growing trend of companies seeking outsourcing partners to help streamline operations and increase profits.

1. DDN: What staffing levels are you seeing for companies today?

FM: Ever since the (Great Recession), the staffing business has been expanding in general. Corporations got caught with a lot of fixed headcount internally in the downturn. So as they’re increasing employee counts now, they’re choosing to do a lot of it through contract labor staffing suppliers to avoid a fixed cost infrastructure of in-house staff.  

2. DDN: Where do you see the most growth within the industry?

FM: The management of contract labor. (At MSX), it’s the biggest thing we do. For corporations, contract labor is just another commodity that they’re buying. But we’re experts at buying that commodity. We’ve been in the staffing industry for decades, so we know how a staffing company can be most efficient. (Considering) our expertise and background in the industry, we can typically save a customer 5 to 10 percent in their contract labor buy when we are doing the negotiation and supplier relationship ourselves.

3. DDN: Why is a global footprint important to your company’s mission?

FM: Our geography is perfect for auto companies that want to do things globally. Look at the One Ford concept, for example, brought in by (former President and CEO) Alan Mulally. They want a supplier that can provide them the same quality, the same delivery, in all of their markets, so they get consistency between their different operations. So when we operate in 80-plus countries, we’re doing that for all of the different OEMs we work with.

4. DDN: How else do you work with automakers?

FM: We offer something we call retail network solutions. Car companies, the OEMs, hire us to improve their dealer network performance. The challenges facing your typical dealer today are pretty dramatic. Customers typically know a lot about the cars already because they’ve been looking online. They might even know more than the salesman. So what we do is provide them with technology that offers real-time help when they’re interacting with a more informed customer.

5. DDN: Where do you see MSX in the next five years?

FM: We have been growing for the last five years at a double-digit rate — in revenue and earnings — and I expect that to continue.  It’s actually picking up a pace. We’ve had a very strong start to 2015, which follows a strong end to 2014, so we’re very encouraged. â€‹