Case Study

Alternatives in Psychological Consultation uses TechStak to outsource their IT and improve support for their growing company.

The whole process of trying to do the IT functions and find the right new vendor was “unmanageable” prior to TechStak.

Alternatives in Psychological Consultation (APC) is a holistic social service agency established in 1995 to meet the needs of children, youth, adults, and families. Its Mission is to empower individuals and families living with mental health and substance abuse concerns by providing counseling, care coordination, and supportive services. The company is a team of 175 dedicated people located in Wausatosa Wisconsin. The website is https://altlig.com.

Becky Aten currently serves as Human Resources Officer (formerly Operations Specialist) for the organization. She has been with the organization for 12 years but began as a care coordinator. After years of helping others, she decided to move into an alternative role within the organization. Over time, she inherited more and more functions including technology support, payroll, accounting, contract management, HR and other functions. Becky states that she did not have a background in supporting the technology of the organization. Becky says: “people began to come to me with IT issues because they found out I knew something about IT. I called it ‘fake IT’”.

To Google, Or Not To Google

As the functions and the company grew, Becky found herself spread too thin and determined that she needed to split off the technology portion from the rest of her responsibilities. Unfortunately, she says: “I really did not know how to effectively go about finding a vendor for our IT support function. I did what everyone does. I used Google to look for vendors that might fit our needs.” But that did not solve the problem since the vendors she found charged way more than the organization had in its IT budget.

So, Becky found Techstak to help her find more appropriate and more appropriately priced vendors for APC.

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I connected with TechStak and discovered that they help companies find vendors for, among other things, IT services, and that was exactly what I needed. I figured, rather than trying to continue to create my own short list of companies, contact them, and then try to vet them I’d use TechStak. Since they check references and provide client reviews, it took all of that work off my plate. That helped a great deal and accelerated the process. Simple but comprehensive.”

A Tailored and Streamlined Process

TechStak has a database of IT Service companies (and many other categories) and when Becky provided her criteria, TechStak was easily able to identify three alternatives for Becky to consider. Becky says the process was neat and clean and that all three vendors were better choices than what she had come up with on her own. With a little more refining of criteria, Becky was able to make a final decision. Becky says: “I was really appreciative. I sort of struck out on my own. Well, struck out on my own, and then struck out. During that time, trying to find somebody while you’re still doing all the work yourself just adds to all the stress. It wasn’t really a fun time trying to research all these companies. So, I was glad to have help and support on that side.”

Becky says that the entire process was quick, painless and effective. She says that it is probably not uncommon for people in operations to be over-whelmed with work and not have the background for selecting vendors to help. She called the whole process of trying to do the IT functions and find the right new vendor as “unmanageable” prior to TechStak.

Increased Confidence, Reduced Stress

And the best part?” Becky adds, “It doesn’t cost you a penny. How great is that? Why wouldn’t everyone like me use TechStak for selecting technology partners regardless of what technology they were looking for? TechStak reduces your stress level and increases your confidence in your decision process. This was a big weight off my shoulders.

Understanding What’s Out There

When asked what advice she would provide to other operations managers of small to medium businesses like her she says: “I think it’s definitely helpful to do a little bit of research on your own first, so you at least have an idea of what’s out there. It does help that TechStak provides three different companies as alternative, so we had something to compare those to. Before I reached out to TechStak, I was ignorant or just naive, as far as how much things cost out in the IT world when you’re looking to outsource. I didn’t have a clear idea of what our budget should even be. In my mind I was like “Oh yeah, we could probably find IT for like four grand a month.” And that turned out to be not true. It was more like twice that. But doing some research can help you set some baselines.”

Becky says that when some of the vendors that she had contacted originally found out that they did not win the business, they wanted to join the TechStak database. “Why wouldn’t they?” added Becky.

So far, so good. Becky says that APC is happy with their selection and that things are working well. Now, she says she has to see what other responsibilities she can get off her plate.

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