Founded in 1962, Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (Goodwill SCWI) serves 14 counties in the state of Wisconsin. Its programs and resources are used to provide life-changing services for individuals with disabilities or other challenges.
Outdated and outgrown, Goodwill SCWI’s retail store point-of-sale (POS) system was never intended to be a multistore software solution. The organization needed a more robust system that connected to each store, could gather data and put together reports on all stores, and could integrate with back-end accounting and marketing software.
While Goodwill SCWI didn’t have the resources or capacity to find a new POS system vendor, it realized that its audit partner, Wipfli, offered a wide range of consulting services. It could use Wipfli to facilitate the RFP process and help it select the best vendor to meet its needs.
Wipfli started by working with Goodwill SCWI to define its goals and expectations of the project’s outcome. Then, to build the foundation of the RFP, our team: 1) documented the features Goodwill SCWI needed in the new POS system and 2) defined the key business processes the software needed to execute at the store level, as well as from a back-office marketing and accounting perspective, to solve its current challenges.
Wipfli then created a comprehensive RFP that provided background on the project and asked the most relevant questions about the vendor’s solutions in order to capture which vendors provided the unique features and required business process execution. We chose to send the RFP to software providers that integrated with Goodwill SCWI’s accounting system, had worked with other Goodwill stores or offered high-quality technology.
After evaluating the RFPs, Wipfli met with Goodwill SCWI’s leadership to select three vendors to perform a software demonstration. Goodwill SCWI relied on our team to develop an agenda for the demos and keep the vendors on task — meaning vendors needed to show the software and processes Goodwill SCWI wanted to see, not the sales-focused features they typically presented.
WHAT WERE THE RESULTS?
After the demos, Wipfli met with Goodwill SCWI’s leadership team to present the results and assist them in making a final decision. With Wipfli’s experienced team backing them up, the leaders felt much more confident in the selection they made. The careful work that went into the RFP process meant Goodwill SCWI didn’t feel they were taking a leap of faith with a vendor and could instead rely on a data-driven process to back up their choice.