End 2 End RFP for HR tech platform


Client name

Whitbread, a FTSE 100 PLCUK, Europe

Length of EA assignment

12 months

Number of EA Consultants provisioned



Our client, Whitbread, a FTSE 100 PLC had a requirement to move to a new single people platform to manage its workforce across locations UK and Europe.

Existing solutions were multiple, end or nearing end of life, with a heavy reliance on manual processes that inhibited growth.

Due to several failed internal experiences, EA were selected to manage the task of delivering a decision, enabled via a thorough and robust RFP, the focus of which was to select a technology solution provider and to produce a comprehensive multi-year business case for Board approval.

With over 35,000 employees across 1,200 locations, managing people data is a critical enabler to our clients profitability. The scope of the solution therefore needed to cover the entire employee life cycle, from recruitment, time recording, pay, absence, learning and payroll.


Following ExCo approval, a very experienced, Senior EA consultant was onboarded to lead the programme of work. Early focus was applied to developing a detailed plan and approach to the RFP and business case.

This was done in collaboration with HR, Finance, Technology, Ops, Procurement, and all other necessary support functions.

EA recommended an initial phase to baseline the RFP requirements. This enabled the client to truly understand what was critical for the business and identify opportunities that would deliver maximum benefits to the business case.

In total c.1000 requirements were captured. Whilst this sounds exhaustive, the size of the organisation, its complexities, and the jurisdictions in scope, necessitated the number. This list then provided a baseline guide for the client to assess supplier suitability. In parallel, EA established a robust process for undertaking a detailed market assessment of potential suppliers. At the close of this phase, 4 suppliers were identified, with each being formally engaged in support of the RFP process.

A comprehensive, RFP was run to select the preferred supplier. EA ensured that the client (a PLC) was aware of necessary controls and regulations throughout, e.g., directives which have been implemented into UK law by national legislation. The RFP itself involved a combination of desktop scoring, supplier demonstrations and sandbox testing. Scoring criteria was produced with weighting tailored to meet or align to the client’s specific requirement. Stakeholders were carefully selected across the business to ensure there was appropriate representation and governance in place.

The objective and independent process resulted in the optimal solution selection being ratified. Following this, the component parts of the draft business case were revisited to encompass timeline, budget, and programme methodology to deploy the solution.

EA led the business case process, ensuring all costs, committed, or projected, and all risks, reputational, or financial, were incorporated. The business case was signed-off by the PLC Board at the first review. To facilitate the sign off, EA produced a comprehensive stakeholder plan to ensure all decision makers thoroughly understood the requirement and had an opportunity to raise challenge.

To manage financial risk, EA recommended a blueprinting phase was undertaken ahead of signing multi-year, multi-million-pound contracts. This strategy paid dividend as it delivered the benefit of assessing, even refining requirements and the solution in further detail, thus ensuring the supplier remained supportive and fully engaged. This 12-week exercise resulted in a series of design decisions being made early in the process, whilst ensuring the plan and timeline were continuously being validated. The final product delivered from the blueprinting process was a full programme mobilisation plan, end to end.

In parallel to running the RFP there was a requirement to deliver three immediate improvements to the business. This included implementing an upgrade to the Learning Management System. To de-risk data migration, a project was established to migrate data from the existing providers to an internal data platform. These improvements had the benefit of delivering early value to the business and creating momentum prior to the deployment of the strategic solution.



Result / Impact

1000 requirements Baselined requirements captured, documented and prioritised

RFP delivered Comprehensive and objective RFP results in agreement to select chosen supplier

Business case produced Exhaustive, detailed business case signed-off by PLC Board at the first review

Blueprinting phase undertaken Over 100 as-is processes documented, 8 high-level solution designs, signed-off 12 core design decisions

Reduced riskTactical deliveries significantly reduced programme risk profile and delivered early value to business

Programme mobilisation Full e-2-e plan produced, with dependencies and resources, to deliver solution

Selected Projects


0.1 Technology

Rapid implementation of a global retailer’s HR system

Our client, Boden, a global online fashion retailer with c1.7m customers, £350m+ revenues and over 1,300 staff. They wanted to consolidate disparate HR & Payroll systems into a scalable, future-proof and integrated cloud solution. Following a thorough procurement process, they selected Workday as their preferred platform solution and EA to help deliver the programme.


0.2 Transformation

Establishing a new strategic delivery office capability

Our client, Vocalink (a Mastercard Co.), wanted to get control of their change portfolio, ultimately with the objective of understanding priorities, financials, capacity, capability and whether risks were truly under active management control. EA were brought in to help support.


0.3 Impact

Off-shoring central functions to reduce cost, without risking quality

Our client, NCP, was to transition multiple back-office functions to a lower-cost offshore location which would provide a more cost-effective model that would provide a platform to scale and improve future service. The Client selected EA to act as a partner to lead the strategy, design, and implementation of the new offshore hub.