Beyond the Numbers, Volume 2 Issue 1

Beyond the Numbers, Volume 2 Issue 1

In this issue:

5 practices to help your staffing company survive a downturn and Tricom® pairs with TalentSecure to offer exclusive savings for clients on front-end software.

 

5 Practices to Help Your Staffing Company Survive a Downturn

The phone rang again today. “Julie Ann, am I the only one down 30–35% over last year? What are people doing to make it through?” It’s a call I’ve gotten several times a week for the last few months. People are worried. They’re not sure what to expect. But they’re not alone. Staffing Industry Analysts has reported that the staffing industry is down 25- 30% in the first quarter of 2009 over this time last year. Most economic indicators are pointing to the end of 2009 or fi rst quarter 2010 before the economy will turn around. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit back and watch your company suffer through until the turnaround. There are several key practices you can employ to keep your staffing company moving forward:
 

1. Pricing.

 
It’s tempting to lower rates to lure in sales. Before you do that, closely examine how much you can cut rates before your Gross Profit really takes a hit. Plus, lowering your pricing as a short-term strategy could have a negative impact in the long-term. Are the lower rates really sustainable? Will they allow you to cover your costs, or force you to take shortcuts on the services you provide? You may also be building your business on customers who are only concerned with cost. Instead of focusing on forming a partnership, they’ll be quick to change staffing agencies when the next low-cost offer comes along.
 

2. Unemployment & Workers’ Compensation Costs.

 
 
Large unemployment numbers and increased workers’ compensation rates are hurting all employers. Try and offset these costs by carefully reviewing all unemployment claims. You can also contract with an outside service whose sole purpose is to handle your claims, and make sure you’re not paying more than necessary. They are extremely familiar with the process and use that expertise to your advantage. Your Tricom contact would be happy to provide you a referral to a service provider. For your workers’ compensation costs, it’s important to shop around to find the best rates. Tricom has recently partnered with a nationwide insurance provider to offer our clients competitive insurance options for this very purpose (see “Pain Free Workers’ Compensation Insurance Options”).
 

3. Bad Debts.

 
Your Accounts Receivables/collections efforts are important now more than ever. Keep a close watch on the Days Outstanding, and proactively reach out to customers who may be on the verge of falling behind. For Tricom clients, this is where your Receivables Management team comes into play. They’ll be on the lookout for customers who start increasing the amount of time it takes to pay their invoices, and work with them to make sure they’re paid on time. If you sense a customer may be in serious financial trouble, do some research of your own. Google their company name to look for any reports of problems. For more information about spotting red flags for customers who may be potential credit risks, see our previous issue of Beyond the Numbers online.
 

4. Renegotiate Leases. 

 
If you’re leasing your office space, approach your landlord to negotiate lower rental terms. There is a lot of flexibility right now, as landlords would rather rent at a lower rate than have a vacancy to fill. Ask to have utilities and additional parking included if they aren’t already. This concept can apply to your phone provider as well. Phone companies would rather negotiate lower terms than lose you as a customer altogether. Those monthly savings can really add up.
 

5. Move fixed costs to variable costs.

 
Consider outsourcing to remove fixed costs such as back office operations and financial statement preparation to save money and gain valuable expert resources that give you better control and information for these areas of your business (see the sidebar “FREE Financial Statement Preparation”). One misconception is that outsourcing requires you to give up control of those areas.  The opposite is true. When you hand over areas of your business to people who are specialists in that field, your company will receive expert information on which to base decisions. This frees up your resources to focus on your core competency: sales.
 
Looking for more ways to save money? Tricom is here to help. You’ll find more information in this newsletter about services exclusively for Tricom clients that not only offer expert resources but can save you valuable dollars as well.
 
 
Front-end software is an important tool for running your staffing business. If you’re working with a legacy system, you may be missing out on efficiencies and money savings. Have you looked at the costs associated with your software lately? Is your system offering you flexibility to meet your changing needs?
 
As a Tricom client, you have an opportunity to experience significant savings to your front-end software costs — and your bottom line. In an effort to bring our clients even more valued services, we’ve partnered with TalentSecure™. TalentSecure is an industry-leading provider of web-based front-end software solutions. TalentSecure has spent years developing a top of the line web-based solution that’s easy to navigate and update, and is accessible from anywhere. It’s never been simpler for staffing companies to find, track, hire and manage people during their entire life cycle with the TalentSecure products.
 
We are also working on a solution that will allow the TalentSecure system to upload directly to the Tricom back office software, eliminating the time and opportunities for error associated with double entry. We are looking to achieve this goal by the end of 2009. The second phase of the integration will combine the current Fast Pay solution and will simplify the entire process by reducing the number of sign on software from three to two.
 
Another reason we selected TalentSecure is their focus on customer service. Your satisfaction is always of the utmost importance to us here at Tricom, and TalentSecure shares that goal. They offer a live support line 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
 
 
We’ve saved the best news for last. As a Tricom Funding client, you can benefit from all the TalentSecure services at a savings of 35 to 75% off their standard pricing. This offer is only available to Tricom clients.
 
TalentSecure is also offering exclusive discounts on their standard training fees and data conversion fees — as much as 50% off. Tricom has negotiated these discounted rates and is subsidizing a part of your monthly costs as an additional service to our Full Service clients. We’re paying for at least one or more software licenses/seats, based on the size of the company.
 
To set up an appointment for a demonstration of the TalentSecure software, please contact Mary Jo Heim. Mary Jo can be reached at 262-509- 6214 or 1-800-348-4815 extension 214, or via email at mheim@tricom.com.
 
We are very excited to offer you TalentSecure’s vast resources and services. This is a critical step toward our goal of being a one-stop provider for all your administrative and payroll funding needs.
 

Pain Free Workers’ Compensation Insurance Options

 
Like death and taxes, it seems like rising insurance premiums are a cost of doing business that’s impossible to avoid — especially when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance. At Tricom, we’ve received a lot of requests from clients for insurance referrals. That’s when we decided to go a step further to help our clients find insurance options that fit their needs and their budgets.
 
We’ve partnered with Assurance, a nationwide insurance specialist. Tricom clients will have access to over 300 insurance carriers through Assurance’s full suite of products and services.
 
Specifically, Assurance will provide their expertise to businesses in the temporary staffing industry regarding Workers’ Compensation, General Liability, Commercial Property, Commercial Automobile, Commercial Umbrella, Health Insurance, and Executive Life Insurance.
 
To speak with an Assurance Advisor to discuss if there is a role Assurance can play in advancing your insurance objectives, please contact Renea Van Staalduinen at 847.463.7255 or rvanstaalduinen@assuranceagency.com.
 

FREE Financial Statement Preparation:

 
One great way to help your bottom line is to reduce or eliminate a monthly or quarterly expense altogether—without giving up any related services. This is another area where Tricom can help. There’s no need to pay an outside accountant to prepare your financial statements—it’s free for full service clients.
 
Our Accounting staff is second to none. Plus, as your partner we’re already an integral part of your company’s financial picture. So it’s a natural fit to have Tricom Funding prepare your financial statements. Simply provide your check register along with an explanation of what the payments were for and a bank statement.
 
 
This information allows us to prepare a monthly financial statement with the following:
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement (Profit & Loss Statement)
  • Actual to budget (when a budget is provided)
  • Year over year comparison
 
These reports will provide you with invaluable tools to better manage your business, and allow you to make informed financial decisions for your company. For those clients who are currently using a bookkeeper or accountant, why pay additional fees (up to $150 per hour) when this service is offered to you at no cost?
 
Frequently, RFP’s require financial statements. Your information will be available at your fingertips instead of being held by your accountant or bookkeeper. You’ll be poised for growth when the staffing industry begins its recovery.
 
In addition, financial reports at year-end may significantly reduce your tax preparer’s time and thus cost you less for your tax preparation. Or, you can take advantage of Tricom’s new corporate tax return service. Tricom can now prepare your yearend corporate taxes at a significantly reduced rate. It’s another service Tricom is offering our clients to bring you even more value.
 
For more information about Financial Statement Preparation or Tricom’s new corporate tax return service, please contact Mary Jo Heim, Director of Accounting, at 262-509-6214 or 1-800- 348-4815 extension 214, or via email at mheim@tricom.com.
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