Client - Westaff
Assignment - Westaff, a temporary staffing agency with over 350 branch offices, provides essential clerical and light industrial support throughout the United States. Just a few years ago, the company selected front office, staffing software that was then being rolled out to its branches. Midway through the phased implementation, the software vendor changed its focus, obligating Westaff to reconsider its plans. Since the software was already outdated and under-powered, they opted to select a new product.
Challenge - Responding to the need to keep its software current, Westaff was in the middle of upgrades to several back office applications. This caused the internal staff to be overextended. Additionally, extreme diplomacy had to be employed in this selection, as the current system was actively being deployed. Any new system would have to be demonstratively stronger, provide much more functionality, and substantially ease the workload in the field office.
Solution - JAT immediately recognized a unique need at Westaff and assembled two teams. A small, core team was mustered to be involved in the project on a day-to-day basis. A second, larger team of over 30 Westaff business experts was drafted to work on an as-needed basis. This efficiency allowed the project to move forward, at an accelerated pace, while still letting the majority of the team continue with its normal duties.
With the teams in place, JAT began the process of determining requirements. Interviews were conducted with the corporate staff involved in the previous selection. JAT visited several field offices to gather their ideas and to garner their support. Other internal departments, which had been excluded from previous selections, were solicited for their contribution. Finally, a comprehensive RFI was developed.
Since Westaff had already selected three vendors it wanted to consider, JAT managed the process of creating a level playing field that allowed them to be equally compared. Three scripted, all-day demonstrations were conducted during which time the teams ranked the specifics.
Results - At the end of the process, the perceived favorite had dropped out of first place. This was due to several obscured, but substantial flaws that were exposed during the selection. JAT was delighted, upon presentation of its findings, to discover that the majority of the team had come to a similar conclusion but was unable to quantify its perception.