Southwest Foodservice Excellence Stays Healthy by Relying on ADP® for Delivery of Human Capital Management Solutions and Expertise

Fast-Growing Firm Dedicated to Delivering Nutrition to K-12 Schoolchildren Uses Cloud-Based Solutions and Service to Help Meet the Needs of More Than 2,100 Employees

ROSELAND, N.J. – June 26, 2014 – ADP®, a leading global provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions, today announced that Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE) – a company that has grown from four employees a decade ago to more than 2,100 today – has chosen ADP for an integrated HCM solution based on ADP Vantage HCM®.

SFE, which started providing nutritional food service in a single school cafeteria in Arizona and today operates in schools across eight states in the United States, has succeeded by focusing on the nutritional needs of children in grades K-12.

“We consider it an honor, as well as our duty, to instill healthy habits that will properly nourish students today and help them develop a healthy lifestyle that will benefit them for years to come,” said SFE Co-Founder Donald Gala.  “Just as we focus on the health of schoolchildren, we need to ensure we also focus on the well-being of our employees who interact with thousands of children, teachers and administrators.”

Gala said SFE needed technology and expertise to help it manage its growing team of people, and give them tools to help enable them to manage their own HR information.

“Two things drove our original decision to use ADP and its ADP Vantage HCM solution,” said Gala.

“First, there was a definite lack of client service and commitment from our prior vendor, which was frustrating for everybody,” he said.  “Second, as we grew our business over the years, we had not automated a lot of our processes nor kept up with the hiring needs various departments had.  We’ve experienced such phenomenal growth that we needed to automate things to facilitate our future growth.”

“Southwest Foodservice Excellence is on the leading edge of bringing nutrition to millions of schoolchildren.  The company’s growth is a testament to its ongoing success,” said Mark Benjamin, President of Global Enterprise Solutions at ADP.  “We’re proud that they are counting on ADP to help them care as much for their employees as SFE employees care for the guests they serve every day.”

Kristi Perrine, Director of Accounting and Administrative Services who leads a five-person team at SFE, said not having the prior vendor deliver the level of service she knew they needed – additive to the technology – was hindering their drive for efficiency.

“Given the nature of our business, we constantly need to add people quickly when we are awarded new contracts,” said Perrine.  “But when we called for help, it was a daily struggle in working with the prior vendor because there was no commitment to service. So the technology never really worked the way we were promised that it would.”

Perrine said the company did its homework, and invited as many as half a dozen companies with whom they shared SFE’s business challenges and then evaluated potential solutions.

“Many of them had nothing that was really that novel,” said Perrine. “We were looking for a business partner to help not only with our immediate needs, but also one that shared our vision and was willing to support our growth into the future. I always appreciated the level of service a colleague told me she received in the past from ADP and its ADP Workforce Now® solution for midsized businesses. I realized the only partner who could effectively help us today and as we grew was ADP.”

Today, SFE leverages the ADP Vantage HCM platform for recruiting, onboarding, HR, benefits, payroll, COBRA administration and document management.  In the near future, SFE will implement ADP Vantage HCM’s time and attendance features, which will contribute to accurate paychecks and long-term cost savings, and ACA support.

In the meantime, SFE’s management team stays as committed to its product as it does to efficiently engaging its employees.

“When we go to a school for a meeting with administrators and our staff, we have our SFE school chefs cater to us as well,” Perrine said.  “I try hard to be a vegetarian and it’s fantastic!”

Perrine went on to address the long-term advantages that ADP will be delivering to help SFE continue to succeed.

“Working with ADP will enable us to automate many things, which will let our small, but impactful HR team focus on providing strategic value to the business, not doing transactional tasks at which ADP is expert,” she said.  “Paid time off is a good example.  We don’t have that automated today, so when we look at automating that – along with open enrollment, onboarding, electronic i9 and cloud storage systems for documents – we feel like we’re coming into the 21st century.”


To learn more about HRchitect and how we can help your organization, please visit HRchitect is the leader in HCM systems strategic consulting.  As the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) Systems consulting firm, we offer end-to-end HR technology consulting services focused around strategic planning, evaluation/selection, project management and implementation of HR systems, Talent Management Systems, Talent Acquisition Systems, and Workforce Management software. After more than 17 years in business working on over 2100 successful engagements for more than 900 clients across the globe, HRchitect is a name you can trust for all of your organization’s HCM technology-related consulting needs.

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


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