So, it happened. You either reached a breaking point with your manual scheduling, forecasting, and reporting processes or you realized you’ve outgrown your existing workforce management (WFM) tool. Whatever the case, you’re in the market for a new solution — which means it’s time to put out a request for proposals (RFP) from different software providers.
But where should you even begin?
Building an RFP is a tedious, painstaking process — one that requires you to balance the competing priorities of stakeholders inside and outside of your department. With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to draw the line between need-to-haves and want-to-haves. If everything’s a priority, then nothing’s a priority.
Here at Assembled, we’ve spent a lot of time investigating the essential components of a modern WFM platform. And you know what we’ve learned? Most WFM solutions — especially legacy tools of the past — are overloaded with unnecessary, convoluted feature sets that slow down loading speeds and hinder the user experience.
We’ve heard time and time again from various support teams that many of the features included in their WFM solutions go unused — either because they don’t add value or they can’t be easily configured. So, it doesn’t make any sense for your RFP to include a laundry list of features that will serve no other purpose aside from gumming up the works.
Essential components of a WFM RFP
Customer and employee expectations have changed dramatically since many WFM solutions were built. And just as you can’t rely on yesterday’s WFM platform to meet today’s business needs, you can’t rely on yesterday’s RFP template to attract the right vendors for the job.
Today’s WFM solutions must account for the following considerations. (Now would be a good time to take note — we’re talking about actual need-to-haves here!)
You should be able to put all of your data to work
- In: Frictionless data exports that allow you to upload your data into whatever business intelligence tools you use
- Out: Data siloes that obscure the big picture and prevent you from making truly data-driven business decisions
Death to PDF exports! Aren’t we over the whole holding data hostage thing? Any modern WFM solution should allow for CSV exports and a robust open API that enables you to import and export all your data with ease.
Today’s CX organizations need the flexibility to manipulate their metrics on their own terms. That means every single piece of data in your platform should be frictionlessly extracted and piped into the business intelligence system of your choice. It also means your platform must communicate seamlessly with your contact platform, human resources information system, and quality assurance tool — ensuring your WFM platform is a one-stop source of truth.
You should be able to access your WFM wherever you are
- In: Taking care of business from anywhere with internet access
- Out: Limiting on-prem systems that are prone to site-specific risks
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many companies are stuck in a bygone era of on-premises WFM systems. Don’t even get us started on all the apps taking up storage space that never get used.
The fastest-growing, most innovative businesses in the world are all conducting business in the cloud with seamlessly integrated applications that minimize the number of programs they need to switch back and forth between throughout the day. That’s why it’s crucial to select a WFM solution that’s purpose-built for the cloud — one you can access from any browser with no versioning required and one that communicates effortlessly with the tools you’re already using.
Today’s CX teams have to move with agility — there’s no time for context switching between tools or waiting for legacy hardware and software upgrades to catch up to their new operating reality. Plus: with ransomware attacks growing in frequency and sophistication, the latest cloud technology is the safest harbor for your sensitive data.
You should be able to troubleshoot your own issues
- In: An intuitive user experience that allows you to diagnose and resolve issues on your own
- Out: Having to wait on someone else to fix your issue because it requires advanced expertise
You shouldn’t need an admin from your WFM vendor to diagnose a data issue, change an event type, or add a queue for you. Things are moving way too fast for you to be held back by a lack of autonomy.
Any modern WFM platform should be intuitive and user friendly enough for you to troubleshoot on your own — no advanced expertise required. Bottlenecks that stem from having to call on outside help are costly in more ways than one. That’s why any suitable WFM solution should feature an unobstructed self-serve experience.
Your WFM should be backed by world-class partnership and support
- In: Ongoing partnership that’s fueled by feedback and rooted in transparency
- Out: Transactional relationships that feel one-sided and misrepresented
If you start a conversation with a WFM vendor and they aren’t willing to adjust your package pricing to account for features you won’t be using, that’s not a partnership — it’s a transaction. These are the same WFM vendors that will make you wait until you have a backlog of questions and then charge you by the hour to answer them.
You should feel like your WFM solution provider is a true confidante — one who is candid about product limitations and sincere about soliciting your feedback and putting it into practice. This level of trust and transparency — backed by responsive, empathetic support in the event that a technical issue arises — is critical for long-term success.
Now that you know what to look for in a modern WFM tool, it’s time to start the RFP process. Bypass the painstaking work of building an RFP from scratch with our WFM RFP template — which is informed by what we’ve learned from the hundreds of fast-growing companies we work with. It’s free for you to download and start using right away.