Human Capital Management vs. Workforce Management: Similar terms with different meanings

By Corey Clacher, Kronos SaaShr Marketing Specialist

As a service provider, you’ve likely heard the term “Human Capital Management” (HCM) being used more frequently in the industry. With the continual advancement of technology and the evolution of the typical service organization into a one-stop-shop for all of their clients’ workforce needs, the term “Workforce Management” (WFM) is losing its foothold and becoming industry jargon of the past. If you’re still using the term “WFM” when referring to the solutions you offer your clients, you may want to consider transitioning your marketing to focus on HCM in order to better represent what you’re offering your clients.

You may be asking yourself if there’s really a difference in meaning between the two terms or if they can be used synonymously to mean the same thing. Fortunately, I’ve come with answers to your burning HCM questions. In short, yes the terms are different and no, you shouldn’t use them interchangeably when referring to your automated platform. I’ll tell you why below.

To put it simply, look at WFM as a subset of HCM. WFM solutions cover areas such as clients’ time and attendance, scheduling, and absence/ACA management needs but don’t necessarily incorporate other areas of workforce needs like HR and payroll. However, a proper HCM solution handles ALL of your clients’ needs, encompassing areas of HR management like benefits administration, recruitment/talent acquisition, and compensation management in addition to payroll management such as tax filing, check printing, and gross-to-net calculations. If you’re a full suite Kronos SaaShr licensee, hopefully you’re leveraging your technology offering as a complete, all-in-one HCM solution.

hcm

Of course, not all HCM solutions are created equal. And while some vendors claim to offer complete and integrated HCM solutions, under the surface they simply aren’t. At its core, integration between time management, scheduling, HR, and payroll modules are essential to be classified as a true HCM platform. Of course, the Kronos SaaShr HCM solution takes it a step further by offering one single unified platform for the entire workforce. That means a single employee record, a single source of truth, and a single user interface between all modules.

A unified platform means a single login to access all system capabilities and a common user interface, database, reporting engine, and security point. These capabilities allow users to view key data in real time and help to eliminate error-prone duplicate data entries and reduce reporting complexities that lead to noncompliance risks.

When offering one unified HCM platform to your clients, you should have a fully comprehensive solution that can address the needs of their entire workforce, empower their employees with self-service tools, and enforce their policies accurately and consistently. Providing your clients with an automated HCM solution to streamline their administrative tasks allows them to attract and retain top talent, successfully manage the employee lifecycle, engage their workforce, and most importantly, allows them more time to focus on people, not processes.

So the next time you’re demonstrating the features and benefits of your HCM offering to a prospect, don’t sell yourself short. If you’re a Kronos SaaShr licensee, you’re at the forefront of HCM technology. You no longer offer just a WFM tool, you provide your clients with a unified HCM solution backed by your expertise and support to handle all of your clients’ workforce challenges.

Like All Sales Professionals, Service Providers Need Their Network

By Rob Tiernan

Today’s post is the third and final in our mini-series by Rob Tiernan from LincWare. Click here to read the second post, which provides great tips on how the right strategy and technology can make a huge impact on the follow up conversations you have with prospects. LincWare, based in upstate NY, offers solutions to make the end of the sales process easier for payroll companies.

We’ve now covered some techniques for both starting the conversation with new prospects, as well as a variety of tools you can utilize when attempting to follow back up and reengage those prospects. Hopefully you were able to test out and see positive results in your pipeline from some of those tips.

Even before a prospect engages with you, it’s imperative that you position yourself well in order to be the person they reach out to when they need a service that you offer. You’re likely not the only person offering services in the marketplace, and both national players as well as other local providers are out there looking to do the same. So how do you make yourself stand out from the other people trying to be the expert in the same network as you? It can be tough, but our latest video in the series discusses proven techniques for leveraging LinkedIn, a tool many use, but few use as effectively as possible. It then goes on to share a great technique for tracking your relationship with the leads in your pipeline.

Your LinkedIn Profile

It all starts with your profile, the basic run-down of what you do and who you are. However, you don’t have to make it another version of your resume. By following some of the tips in the video, you’ll be able to populate your LinkedIn profile in a unique way that can generate a good deal of attention.

Networking on LinkedIn

Just like working a room at an industry event, LinkedIn is all about meeting people and building relationships. Reach out and be assertive. Remember, you’re all there for the same reason. But perhaps the most important message to keep in mind here is to “Give before you ask for”. Using a simple formula touted by LinkedIn as the most effective method for earning more connections, the video explains how this simple tactic has proven to bolster his sphere of influence and reputation in the service provider community.

Lead Scorecard

While the mantra of a sales team is usually “Do whatever it takes to make the sale”, you have to make sure you stay in control of the sales process. By this, we mean that the sales process should really be a give and take between you and your prospect. For instance, when a prospect asks for a demo, you should ask that their key decision makers be on the call in order to ensure the most effective use of your time. One technique to test out in your sales process is the use of a scorecard. This simple tool allows your sales team to gauge if the prospect you’re trying to close is good business, both from your perspective and that of the prospect’s, and that both sides are contributing throughout the process.

What are some tips and techniques you’ve found to be effective when utilizing LinkedIn? Please share your comments below.

About Rob Tiernan:

Rob joined LincWare in late 2013 to lead business development for LincDoc’s growing applications in outsourced business services. He brings a formidable background in account management, owning a unique touch for training, product development, and marketing. Having spent well over a decade with Paychex, Rob accumulated an impressive collection of recognitions in sales and account management, namely several Circle and Conference Qualifications and more than 1,000 clients sold. His approach to servicing and contributing to growing companies is what sets him apart and will allow him to flourish while educating the market on the many benefits of software-driven business decisions.

Tools and Technology Service Providers Can Use Today to Execute the Sales Process

By Rob Tiernan

Today’s post is the second in our mini-series by Rob Tiernan from LincWare. Click here to read the first, which provides great tips on how changing your initial conversations with prospects can help open the door to further conversation around the value of your services. LincWare, based in upstate NY, offers solutions to make the end of the sales process easier for payroll companies.

Hopefully you’ve tested the SEL method from the previous video, and that it has had a positive impact on your results with prospects. Now, let’s discuss how you can improve your effectiveness in the next steps in your sales process, and the tools and technology used to execute on it.

Even after an initial conversation with a prospect who seems interested in what you have to offer, getting their attention again isn’t always easy, especially given that you’re typically dealing with hectic business owners focused on running their business. It certainly won’t be regained with small talk, even if their local sports team just won a championship or they’ve been experiencing nice weather. However, that’s what your competitors are doing, so by changing your approach you should be able to catch their attention more easily. Sure, the competitor may be able to speak with a prospect via that approach every once in a while, but the reason that prospect hasn’t switched is because he/she hasn’t heard a message worth their limited time.

So let’s discuss some strategies for regaining the attention of a prospect.

Voicemail and Email

Let me guess, this is something you’re already using a lot when following up with prospects, right? But the way in which you utilize voicemail and email can make a drastic difference in the results you see from it. Remember, spammers also use these methods, so the key is using them in a different way that actually captures the prospect’s attention. After watching this week’s video, try incorporating the methods you learn about into your sales process. You may even be surprised at the power of your new voicemail and email follow up strategy, especially when they are put to work in unison to communicate the value you can provide.

Technology

Odds are you’re a technology solution provider, so you already know that technology can bring tremendous value. Beyond the basic voicemail/email approach and processes related to them, this video discusses some technology solutions that can be used to make your messages stand out. By utilizing technology, you’re better able to present yourself as consultant who is concerned more about that prospect’s business than your own sales expertise. Remember, make your message about them, not what you can do for them. Think about that.

I encourage you to grab some lunch or coffee and hit play. It’s our goal for you to learn at least one thing from each of these videos, and this one has a lot of things to learn. Also, feel free to use the comment box below for sharing your experiences and strategies in regards to prospect follow up.

About Rob Tiernan:

Rob joined LincWare in late 2013 to lead business development for LincDoc’s growing applications in outsourced business services. He brings a formidable background in account management, owning a unique touch for training, product development and marketing. Having spent well over a decade with Paychex, Rob accumulated an impressive collection of recognitions in sales and account management, namely several Circle and Conference Qualifications and more than 1,000 clients sold. His approach to servicing and contributing to growing companies is what sets him apart and will allow him to flourish while educating the market on the many benefits of software-driven business decisions.

Change is in the Air for Benefits Brokers, And It’s a Great Opportunity for Service Bureaus

By Colin Menchin

While attending the 2015 Benefits Selling Expo last week in beautiful Scottsdale, AZ at the Westin Kierland Resort, it was apparent right from the start that benefits brokers are finally realizing they need to change their business model in order to continue to grow or even maintain their current revenue levels. As you may know, brokers have recently seen their commissions and margins cuts in large part due to legislative restrictions placed on insurance carriers. For an industry that had remained largely unchanged in over half a century, it was not a welcomed change, and a handful are still reluctant to adapt. After sitting in on a few sessions and speaking to a number of brokers at the Kronos SaaShr booth, I found two distinct areas where change in the broker industry can be clearly seen: technology and product mix. These are my observations of those, as well as areas where service providers have an opportunity.

Technology

It was summed up quite bluntly by Troy Underwood, CEO of benefitsCONNECT, who said, “If you aren’t using technology, you will go out of business within two years.” He was referring to both brokers and the employers they work with. In the world of workforce management, we also know how vital technology is to efficiently running a business. The Affordable Care Act is just one of many pieces of legislation that necessitate technology in order for businesses to remain compliant. And in order to remain compliant, businesses need to work with providers offering products that enable them to more efficiently manage ongoing compliance, as well as report on it to the IRS. The consensus at the show was that this can be achieved best by having a robust benefits administration product, ACA management product, and payroll system all under one human capital management platform.

Product Mix

Brokers continue to realize and accept that they need to move away from only offering the core group benefits they’ve relied on as the crux of their revenue for so long now. But change means going out of one’s comfort zone, and that is never easy. Many of the brokers are simply looking for better plans from other carriers, or are now offering voluntary benefits. That said, we did have some great conversations with more progressive brokers who see that they really should be expanding their product mix further to offer other products that their clients need to efficiently run their business. This is due in large part to the national payroll companies that have been moving into the benefits space and offering clients an all-in-one solution of benefits, payroll, and workforce management.

Tying It All Together

The benefits broker industry continues to realize the times have changed, and they must change with them. Those that don’t will unfortunately get the message once it’s too late for them. For those that do, however, now is the perfect opportunity for workforce management and payroll providers like you to be reaching out and looking to work with these brokers via a referral relationship. This enables the brokers and their clients to access the excellent technology you provide, while also allowing you both to collectively go to market with an offering that competes with the national payroll companies.

Brokers see the value that technology can bring to their clients when combining a benefits administration product with ACA management and a payroll solution. There’s a perfect storm brewing in the benefits community between the slimming margins and commissions, the ACA, national payroll companies moving into the space, and the Zenefits model turning brokers on their heads. Now is the perfect time for you to be engaging this audience and pitching the tremendous value that a referral relationship can bring to both your businesses.

Do you already have referral relationships with benefits brokers? Do you have referral relationships with other types of businesses that you’ve found to be a great source of business? Share your comments below.

About Colin Menchin:

Colin is a Marketing Specialist at Kronos SaaShr responsible for the inbound and outbound marketing programs of the company along with other responsibilities within the department.

3 Reasons Why Your Clients Are Requiring Integrated Solutions

By Colin Menchin

You’re almost guaranteed to hear on any software demonstration the word “integration”, but what does that mean? Put simply, integration means having Software A and Software B exchange data between the two, though integrations do not have to be limited to just two systems.

Companies using multiple software solutions, such as HR, payroll, and time and attendance, are now demanding that these technologies be integrated. This has forced the software developers with disparate solutions to cobble together connections between their products, while developers with solutions on a single platform are already offering real time data integration. The distinction between types of integrations is a topic for another blog post, as they have major differences, but for the purposes of this post we’ll consider them all the same.

In this month’s installment of our Workforce Management Trends Series, several leading workforce management service providers sat down to discuss exactly why system integration is in such demand, and the benefits their clients are seeing by utilizing the single-platform, integrated solutions they offer.

1. They know it’s now possible to find in the marketplace, and at a reasonable price

A tightly integrated suite of full workforce management solutions is not a new concept in the marketplace today. In fact, they’ve been utilized for years now by the enterprise corporations that saw the benefits and could afford the high price tag that came with them. But as technology has evolved, this deeper level of functionality has been made available to small and midsized businesses (SMBs) at a price they can actually afford.

Now that these SMBs are “seeing the light” on the benefits of multiple applications on a single platform, they’re beginning to demand these fully integrated solutions as a prerequisite. Service providers without the ability to offer this are simply unable to compete with those that can, and service providers offering single-platform integrated solutions are in a unique position to grow market share and mind share within their space.

2. Makes decision making easier and more efficient with reliable data

This point is summed up perfectly in the video by Bart McCollum of AmeriFlex Business Solutions, “Data integrity is everything. You have data for a reason; it’s going to inform decisions that you’re making in your business. If you have the same data residing in multiple places, there’s always an opportunity for data to get out of sync and for it to be wrong in one or multiple of those places. When that’s the case, and you’re consulting one of those systems, you’re pulling the wrong data and making decisions based upon the wrong data.”

When data takes time to flow between disparate solutions, businesses are unable to get an instant snapshot of their workforce and make decisions on the fly. Integration also helps efficiency by removing the need for data exporting, importing, duplicate data entry, as well as separate resources, software, and multiple logins. Clients simply access one solution sharing data across all of their applications.

3. Creates a competitive advantage and helps with compliance

Through a more efficient system with reliable data, businesses with integrated solutions are simply able to operate at a higher level than those with disparate solutions. Put yourself in the position of one of your clients; if you had the choice between being able to proactively manage your business on the fly as changes and obstacles occur, or having to wait a day or two in order to make reactionary changes, which would you want to use? This example shows exactly how businesses with integrated solutions can easily gain a competitive advantage.

Do you have clients concerned about managing their Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance? Integrated solutions, enabling businesses to analyze real-time labor data and make the necessary changes to ensure they remain compliant before issues arise, are the best way of helping to manage that, and we’re seeing the ACA especially drive even more demand for integrated solutions on the workforce management front.

Do you offer an integrated workforce management solution? What are some of the benefits your clients are seeing by utilizing them? What are some of the major drivers you’re seeing increase the demand for integration between solutions? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

About Colin Menchin:
Colin is a Marketing Specialist at Kronos SaaShr responsible for the inbound and outbound marketing programs of the company along with other responsibilities within the department.

Service Providers Share Insight on Affordable Care Act (ACA)

By Josh Davis 

When we describe the service providers we work with, we always share that they take a consultative approach with clients to understand their individual business needs while taking into account best practices, changes in regulation and legislation, and typical industry-related challenges. In doing this, they’re able to provide a customized solution to each of their clients that makes the most sense for each individual company they work with. Our workforce management solutions, combined with our partners’ expertise, help companies continually recruit, grow, manage, and retain their workforce while growing their bottom line. The ACA provides yet another avenue that service providers can be a go-to resource for, for their clients. It also enables them to add additional value to clients by offering ACA-specific solutions/services. Today, we launched this video of your peers discussing what small and medium-sized companies need to know about the ACA. It covers areas like,

  • The impact the ACA has to employers and employees alike
  • The types of data needed for ACA compliance
  • What employers should look for in an ACA solution
  • The importance of ongoing and proactive management of an ACA strategy and plan

This ACA compliance video is just one of a larger series entitled “Trends in Workforce Management”. This series will provide insight from several solution providers on specific topics that affect SMBs and their workforce management practices. Each video will provide SMB owners and their operations, HR, and finance personnel with critical information on developing workforce management strategies to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. In addition to the ACA, the series will cover other topics on a bi-monthly basis throughout the year, including:

  • The Mobile Workforce – Employees today expect the same anytime, anywhere mobile functionality on the job that they use in their personal lives. SMBs can harness the power of mobile for their workforces while devising strategies to manage in the moment.
  • Time and Attendance ROI – An automated time and attendance solution is a staple for successful SMBs. Technology plays a critical role to improve productivity, reduce payroll costs, and decrease manual administration time while providing visibility into the workforce.
  • Cloud vs. On-Premise – Cloud-based workforce management solutions offer SMBs specific benefits over traditional on-premise solutions, including the ability to maximize IT resources, ease of installation, and data accessibility.
  • Integration and Data – Workforce management integration with other critical software solutions is no longer reserved for large enterprises. SMBs can leverage a single database across various functional areas to ensure data accessibility and integrity.
  • The Power of Outsourcing – Ever-changing regulations combined with the many nuances of workforce management are tough waters for SMBs to navigate alone. SMBs are increasingly partnering with workforce management providers to understand and navigate industry challenges, best practices, and regulations that affect their business.

Service providers participating in the video series are A Plus Payroll; Ameriflex Business Solutions; Axiom Human Resource Solutions; Benetech; BeyondPay; Checkmate Workforce Management Solutions; Evens Time; Exact Payroll; Integrated Payroll Services (iPS); J&H Inc.; Mosaic Employer Solutions; PAYBEN; PayNorthwest; Payroll Data Services; Payroll Professionals; Paystubz; Primepoint; ProPayroll, Propel HR; Resourcing Edge; Synergy Group HCM; Workforce Management Solutions; and Xponent Employer Solutions.

What are some insights or expertise you have shared with your clients around the ACA or the other topic areas?

About Josh Davis: Josh is the Channel Marketing Manager at Kronos SaaShr, and is responsible for driving the marketing strategy and plan aimed at increasing the growth of existing channel partners in addition to the recruitment of new channel partners.

Why Should SaaS Companies and Service Providers Create Forums?

By Josh Davis

The users of your applications and/or services are part of a community. They’re bonded together with one common trait – being your customers. A private forum or message board for this community allows them to interact, collaborate, and share new ideas and issues with each other.FORUM

However, you as the vendor or service provider need to be involved in this forum as well. This isn’t like a Ron Popeil rotisserie infomercial where you can just “set it and forget it”, as he famously says. Forums can help you improve your products and services, increase efficiency and make your company better, and even make your users happier… but it does take some work.

Here are a few of the specific areas forums can help your business excel:

Surface Bugs and Potential Enhancements
Issues are going to arise and people are going to talk about them… a LOT. Topics that users find interesting or have an opinion about naturally float to the top in terms of amount of participation in the thread. This gives you the opportunity to identify and recognize problem areas within your application and issues your customers are having, AND address these cross functionally and with your development team, if necessary. Without a forum, you’ll hear about these on a much smaller scale or not at all, which potentially leaves your customers more likely to end up in a churn report.

Compilation of Best Practices
Let’s face it – your support team may not know everything. This holds especially true if your customer is dealing with a newer support team member that doesn’t have particularly strong domain expertise. They may be left wanting a different perspective after their exchange with support about how companies like theirs utilize particular features or realize certain benefits and ROI. Forums provide a user with the avenue to do exactly that. At the same time, the forum provides you with the means to collect these best practices and publish them for both your internal team and across your user community.

Discover “Work Arounds”
A related topic to the above, but also quite the opposite, is a work around. These are particularly common for SaaS-based products and services because of their multi-tenant architecture and the resulting one size fits all model. Because no business that uses your software is exactly the same, they’ll have slightly (or significantly) different processes than other customers and will look to automate that process through your software. Oftentimes the solution to do so is not an obvious one and therefore will need a workaround that a power user has already discovered and is willing to share.

Identify Power Users and Brand Advocates
It doesn’t take long to understand who your power users are because they’re constantly in the forums helping other users with configurations, identifying these workarounds, and answering questions. Similarly, you’ll figure out who your brand advocates are. They’re the ones that are in the forum promoting how great new features or enhancements are and quickly jumping to your defense to help dismiss users that make unwarranted negative comments about your solution to the rest of the community. Identifying your power users and brand advocates can help you achieve a multitude of other benefits in it of themselves, but that’s a blog post for another day.

Reduce Internal Support Resource Strain
All of the above benefits of a forum we covered can help lessen the significant burden on your internal support and account management teams. When your users leverage the experience of other community members, they’re contacting your team less and allowing you to invest more resources and people in other areas of your business.

All in all, forums can have some great benefits to your business, but you can’t just set them up and forget about them. You need ensure that you can commit the internal resources to realize the potential impact, from continually improving the experience for your users to the way you operate your business overall.

Have you implemented forums for your customers? If so, how have they worked out and what benefits have you seen? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

About Josh Davis:

Josh is the Channel Marketing Manager at Kronos SaaShr, and is responsible for driving the marketing strategy and plan aimed at increasing the growth of existing channel partners in addition to the recruitment of new channel partners.