IPPA Way Out West

We enjoyed our first encounter of the third kind near Roswell with our new friends at the IPPA Conference.

You are a great group with passion for what you do and a high interest in doing it better, and considerate of what that means to your customers and employees.

Our team is a diverse group on two sides of the world. We have been and remain in the HR Services business, both in the U.S. and India, but have several skills like most organizations.

One that I have personally resonated in presentations and casual conversations regarding building value, a skill honed from being a Finance Geek that actually enjoys valuation. Oh sure, we all believe the asset we built has limitless monetary value. However, you gotta measure everything and eventually that great discounted cash flow formula gets out of the basement for all to see. The reality is that it is never just that simple.

In the payroll business, like most transactional models, there are platforms and books of business. We all know what the going rate for books are, and honestly it a’int bad. Yet, we also know that by doing things a little bit different and being creative we might just have ourselves a platform. Platforms get more value, bottom line. Those who go outside the box a little bit have more focus on their clients, higher revenue retention, lower cost and in the end they either ride higher margins or exit value to the bank.

We are your global platform builder! You don’t have to learn international business, get on a plane or even leave your office. We did that for you already. We have been you, so we know you. We lower cost and raise productivity. Your people get to focus on client facing value add, not reports and spreadsheets. You don’t need new software or large capital investments, just move that model a little more out west, or east in our case.

We look forward to learning more from the IPPA posse, keep in touch and give us a call about the 90 day trial, it could increase your value in many ways.


90-Day Free Success Story

We recently began offering a “90-Day Free Trial” of our services, much to the disagreement of our marketing folks in using the word “free”.  They really dislike that word, but in the end we ask them to stick to the pretty while we do the gritty.

We gained a new client in the process and want to share the story with you.  The client, who of course signed an NDA in blood, is happy and we have already signed an additional Statement of Work for another process.

“We were blown away by the attention to detail and the process of Business Process Outsourcing.” said the Chief Financial Officer.  “I really thought we had our stuff together, but when I experienced first-hand the level of detail put into documenting our processes in writing and setting baseline financial and operational metrics I was impressed.”

Cognet HRO will run you through the same wringer as all of our clients and let you be the judge.  “We are an ISO grounded organization, and hopefully we add a new level of accountability and authority to your company during the trial transition process alone, never mind full production.” said Cognet’s Chief Executive Officer Saleem Yusuff.  “We apply the same discipline and focus to our trial clients because we want them to be multi-tier clients later.  We truly feel that it is inherently the right thing to do in allowing them to experience Cognet while they buy.  Let us in and experience what it can be and we guarantee you will not only partner with Cognet, you will expand your original way of thinking into our other product sets.” said Yusuff.

Contact us to talk about our offer and what it can do for your company.  We realize how sensitive and difficult it can be to go global, and have been on both sides of that fence, so allow us to show you in a small way what a big deal it can be and you decide.

Case Study: Payroll Nirvana

A client of Cognet HRO recently sat down with us in our Quarterly Governance Meeting, included as part of our ISO process, and shared with us why saving less money on their end was the right decision for their business.  We would like to share that experience with you to improve understanding of the use of a global business model, and that there are two sides to the math and decision making process.

“We had already moved several business processes to Cognet HRO when personnel changes in our payroll production area made us consider a move.” said the Chief Executive Officer.  “It was obvious to us that it is a transactional process, but our perception had been that it was far too critical to not have it “in house” for control purposes.  We learned they had years of experience in production of U.S. payroll on several popular HRIS systems, so we engaged them to scope the project and possible transition.”
The initial Statement of Work planned for the documentation, training, parallel testing and entry into production over a few months.  “The shocking part was that their (Cognet) recommendation was not something we had considered for the same reasons.  We did want to keep some staff for their years of payroll experience, and in case of emergency.  However, we didn’t consider the middle ground of having them focus solely on customer service, while being a critical part of capacity planning.”

There were 16 processors in the payroll operation at a fully loaded (labor and overhead) cost of $72,500 per employee.  The suggestion was that once full production was agreed upon, only a portion of the positions would be eliminated in the U.S.  The cost and time zone differentials would allow the retention of the “best and brightest”, get them moved into our customer service organization and still have the capacity if required from the team as a whole.

“It was a “win win” for both teams that surprised us all.  The transition of payroll talent into customer service representatives didn’t go smoothly for all, but in the end we retained our most dynamic team members who are now focused on customer retention.  We also have that capacity when we need it, but as we grow we find that we do so offshore at a known and considerably lower price point.” said the CEO.

There is usually a middle ground to global delivery.  The right partner with specific experience can make the difference, and make suggestions that allow not only cost savings, but also revenue growth.  Sure, you can save as much as you wish if that is your only objective, but the gains available in your company can come to fruition in several formats.  Instead of saving $1 million you may find that you save $0.5 million, gain capacity and also retain $2 million that you may have lost without the focus.

There are many ways to skin a Tiger, but please let the experts help you with that engagement.

Peaks, Valleys and Customer Focus

We all understand the cycles within our HR Services business all too well.  The volume fluctuations can be like the mood swings of a rookie bungee jumper on a bridge.  We built our operational models based on not just the “average” day, but also to scale to a maximum work load as well.  You know, those Tuesdays and Wednesdays when those Semi-Monthly, Bi-Weekly and Weekly stars come into alignment with Jupiter.

Let’s entertain the difference between this unforgiving production model and that which exists in the manufacturing world.  When you build a production facility to kick out actual goods you know the cost of the plant, unitary cost, investment required and most importantly the capacity.  Oh sure, maybe you can squeeze a couple extra Chia Pets out around the Holidays, but for the most part that upper limit has a limit.

So instead of cranking out bobble head dolls of Peter Drucker you get the genius idea to get into the HR business, as unforgiving as Clint Eastwood in that aptly named movie.  What were you thinking?

We all live, for reasons not so evident to the sane of mind, in a service business with more variables than a differential equations class.  There is not only day of the week and calendar based variation, but also growth and contraction in our client base or their employee populations, which we are all aware of in this economic cycle.  We all had to live with the pain of downsizing, and those optimistic and clever amongst us are contemplating what to do when the worm turns the other direction.

Whatever do we do?  Now is the time to innovate and Go Global my friends!

The current model is great for today, but the reality is that our customer’s requirements are changing more quickly than our capacity based business models.  They want it on their iPhone and they want it now, but cheaper and faster too.  The one constant is change and the key is to stay ahead of that curve a wee bit.  Go West young man, oh well actually strike that and Go East!

There are several reasons to access a global workforce, and surely first and foremost in most minds is cost savings.  The reality is that you must also be seeking to increase productivity, commit to a measurement centric way of doing things and get out of your comfort zone with your business model.

Consider the average payroll production environment, where you plan for that triple witching hour week you may need 20 payroll associates to keep up, which means you pay them and their labor is really a fixed cost no matter how much you delude yourself otherwise.  So you live through Wednesday with your payroll pack, only to find yourself on Friday with a lot of Facebook going on at the old office.  Sure, you can be different and break out the “flex time”, four day work week and those part-timers from the local university to manage.  There is a better way.

Let us shoot you this crazy idea just to prove there are many ways to utilize global resources to solve problems.  Instead of twenty onshore in a fixed cost model, you access college educated talent abroad and keep the best you have with a new focus in life, your customers.  Your true subject matter experts can answer the hard questions, provide proactive customer service out of nowhere and do the things they really want to do in support of the team and your business.  In addition, they are part of a collaborative model with team members to support them 24/7.  You still meet your production requirements and have adequate staffing based on current volume, while your best put their best forward in high value mode.

Oh, we almost forgot, you would also save a ton of money!  In addition, your cost model is much more flexible to the short and long-term ups and downs of your business and your labor is semi-variable at worst.  And hey, we will throw in Service Level Agreements that you set contractually, and guarantee them.  You will have real-time dashboards and measurement of things you probably didn’t see before and be able to enforce accountability and see documentation at a whole new ISO level.

The deviation of the HR Service business can be challenging, but it only takes some forward thinking to tweak your model towards your customers and not spreadsheets or “OK” buttons.  It isn’t always about multi-million dollar technology investments with promises of a gazillion percent ROI, the simple things may do just fine.  So get a partner like Cognet HRO that can get you there without a passport, but you are welcome to come on over if you like, you here.

Join Us at the 2010 Independent Payroll Providers Association (IPPA) Annual Conference

The 2010 Annual Conference Planning Committee is providing a high-energy and educational agenda that will provide attendees a wealth of information. This year’s focus includes methods to generate new revenue sources, acquire new techniques to increase sales efficiency and creative ways to incorporate social media into your marketing strategies.

Click here for more information.

Be sure to visit Us  where you’ll have a chance to access our global team on a 90-Day Risk-Free, No Obligation Free Trial. We are so confident in our ability to impact to your bottom line that we want you to experience how an offshore operation can make your organization more efficient first hand. We allow you to focus on applying those new found sales techniques and retaining your customers, not spreadsheets and non-value added activities.

Can’t wait? Click here to complete our information request and you could be playing golf on Wednesday morning with our Chairman, who really isn’t that good but loves to talk about how we can save you money, improve process and guarantee it too.

We hope to see you in Albuquerque!