BACKGROUND: Randstad Staffing Services (RSS), an affiliate of Randstad North America, provides flexible workforce solutions to businesses located in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. Randstad operates more than 80 offices in the southeast U.S. In 1998, Randstad acquired Strategix Solutions and formed Randstad North America (RNA). Headquartered in Atlanta, RNA is the ninth largest staffing company in the U.S. and operates more than 450 offices in 36 states. RNA places more than 70,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada daily.

PLATFORM: IBM personal computer GL/350MHz, 64MB RAM, 3.5GB internal hard drive, 10GB external hard drive. MS Windows NT Workstation Version 4.0.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Randstad's offices maintain a unique prospect and customer database for assigned territories. Prior to implementing D&B Market Spectrum from Dun & Bradstreet, a company of the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, field staff compiled databases using secondary sources such as the yellow pages, local Chamber of Commerce business listings and customer referrals. For each company in the local databases, coding schemes were developed to segment current and prospective customers by number of core employees and industry classification. RNA field staff recognized there was no formal methodology for insuring leads entered into databases that represented the "best" and most qualified sales leads. In 1997, RSS licensed D&B's Market Spectrum with two primary objectives: to serve as a basis for managing the territories assigned to each branch office and to screen prospective customers vis-à-vis D&B's Credit Scoring Model. D&B Market Spectrum was implemented as the primary information tool to provide the most qualified sales leads to RSS branch offices and direct marketing team in addition to eliminating undesirable leads based on qualifications. In 1998, D&B's workforce estimates tool was added to D&B Market Spectrum, allowing Randstad to develop an information tool designed to address several critical issues related to the markets served by each RSS branch. This new functionality allows RSS' Market Potential Model to provide each branch with estimates for temporary staffing services by job skill. The demand for temporary staffing is also segmented by demand "within" the branch's database or in companies that are not in the branch's database (referred to as "D&B Prospects"). The model scores companies with temporary workforce estimates by job skill. This invaluable information allows branch management to easily and accurately determine skills most in demand in specific trade areas, and whether databases contain the "best" prospects. To make this possible, RSS forwards customer and prospect records to D&B each quarter for matching and appending of D&B's workforce estimates, credit and financial stress scores and other proprietary information. D&B returns the matched records to RSS in Market Spectrum and in a custom report format generated for each branch:

FUNCTIONALITY: Market Spectrum functions superbly as the core of RSS' Market Potential Model and as a lead generation source.

STRENGTHS: Ease of use and speed of processing are major strengths of D&B Market Spectrum. At RSS, untrained field staff frequently engage in developing and running queries on the system.

WEAKNESSES: D&B Market Spectrum is not currently available in a multi-user (LAN/WAN) version. (This will be available in Quarter 1.)

SELECTION CRITERIA: RSS selected D&B Market Spectrum on the basis of strength and integrity of the underlying D&B data and because the system is extremely user-friendly. For RSS, the workforce estimates and credit/financial scores were the major factors in selecting D&B Market Spectrum over others.

VENDOR SUPPORT: RSS is supported by an experienced team of senior D&B associates who provide class "A" support both before and after system implementation. The best aspect of working with D&B is the complete attention to RSS' needs.

DELIVERABLES: The D&B Market Spectrum system produces a variety of electronic/tabular reports that can be created by the end user or from specific custom requests to D&B. RSS strongly favors electronic reports that can be shared with users via e-mail.

DOCUMENTATION: The D&B Market Spectrum system arrives with abundant documentation; however, I have never read any of the operating instructions because the system is so easy to operate.

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