Staffing Firm Drives Improved Client Services with Technology

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EmploymentGroup finds that smaller accounting staff is able to handle greater billable hours load with higher efficiency, fully-integrated staffing software.

When Michigan-based staffing firm EmploymentGroup launched VCG's StaffSuite® as their staffing software application in January 2003, they were ready to expand and diversify their business mix and were determined that technology play a key role in improving their client services.

It did that, and more.

The core problem was simple, and quite common, according to staffing customer surveys conducted by Staffing Industry Analysts. Customer continued to have increased expectations for service while also looking for reductions in cost.

What's more, they wanted to diversify their business mix to expand their business. And, adding a daunting element to the whole equation, they set this goal for their business during the roughest staffing economy in more than a decade.

Linda Miller, COO of EmploymentGroup states, "Our goal was to expand and increase our business mix by entering the professional technical market. To do this, we knew we needed to improve our efficiency and productivity. VCG's StaffSuite application allowed us to achieve this while increasing our business as well."

To exceed customers' service expectations and compete effectively with other staffing firms, EmploymentGroup's executive team knew they had to focus on technology.

Miller noted that, "We selected VCG as our staffing software vendor because they know the industry – we were buying decades of experience with thousands of users. That experience showed itself in StaffSuite, which had the Windows-based functionality that we were looking for when we switched from our legacy software."

With StaffSuite's activity-based capability, EmploymentGroup could re-focus their attention on easily meeting the higher demands of clients during an economic recession.

"With StaffSuite we can always accommodate a client's request," said Miller. "Whether it's a personalized report on turnover or a customized invoice, we have the confidence that we can meet any client need."

This responsiveness has a real impact on their business. For example, EmploymentGroup was able to raise margins at one customer account based on a client employee turnover report -- one of the hundreds available through StaffSuite -- that showed the client how to reduce turnover.

Miller states, "from the front-office perspective, StaffSuite delivers a huge competitive advantage. Our lead service people have the capability to pull any information a client needs into an 'account plan.' They can then anticipate client issues and respond proactively."

While improving customer service was a key goal that StaffSuite helped EmploymentGroup achieve, they also improved their efficiency elsewhere.

Christy Quick, Accounting Manager for EmploymentGroup said, "Many staffing software vendors focus solely on the front-end functionality. VCG understood the need to be efficient at the back-end of our operation. I originally had four staff members handling our payroll, deductions and invoicing. I now have two people. With StaffSuite, additional personnel are just not necessary thanks to the productivity increase we've enjoyed."

"For example," Quick noted, "the timesheet import feature within StaffSuite's integrated PayBill function has been a major contributor to our productivity. StaffSuite allowed us to handle more work with fewer staff due to the inherent efficiencies of the system. No one is working overtime to get the checks out."

"It delivers a huge competitive advantage," says Miller. "StaffSuite's back-office efficiency has increased our accounting staff's productivity by 30 percent, enabling us to process more billable hours with fewer staff."

As important as finding staffing software that would increase their business was, EmploymentGroup wanted to be sure that the vendor they selected would provide the same level of support to them that they gave their own customers.

Miller noted that, "Our first training session, a Management Planning Session (MPL), impressed upon me that VCG was more about doing than talking."

Quick agreed, adding, "The MPL gave us the basics of what we needed. Hypothetically, I felt like we could have gone live the next week. We filled out the workbooks provided to customize StaffSuite for our business. The process was amazing because our consultant could tell us why we needed a particular function and how it would help us improve our business and service to our customers."

While VCG provided extensive training for EmploymentGroup, when it's time to 'go live,' you have to be sure your staff is able to handle the software.

"A VCG consultant supported us onsite when we went live for the first week," Miller said. "The added support gave us the confidence to have a successful launch. Further, a technical support representative worked on the phone with our back-office staff to ensure that everything ran smoothly -- and later followed up with our staff."

Miller noted that, "inherently StaffSuite has a very fast learning curve. Our personnel were able to pick it up quickly with no problems. They actually wanted access to increased functionality after the first couple of weeks. If there was ever an issue, VCG was immediately available to assess the situation, provide a solution and get our staff back to business."

Quick agreed, saying, "If an issue arises it can easily be handled with a five-minute phone call, and it doesn't disrupt our employees' work."

EmploymentGroup has gone on to use StaffSuite to create benchmarking and standards reports for their clients. Moreover, they will increase their responsiveness and services to clients, contingent employees and candidates with the StaffSuite WorldLink module to integrate their Web site with their staffing services in real-time in the near future.

Miller concluded, "We view VCG as a business partner. They believe in their product and listen to their users. When Steve Taylor, the President of VCG, came to the office to discuss product enhancements with my staff, it made a statement. It was not a scheduled visit; he was in town on other business. He asked to speak to the people actually using the software. While they were impressed by this, they were actually blown away to get resolution to their issues from him after their discussions."

"Bottom line: VCG listens to their clients and offers superior product offerings, technology and support which allows us to efficiently and effectively meet our customers needs.”

About EmploymentGroup

EmploymentGroup was founded in 1958. Throughout their twelve offices in the Southwest Michigan area, they service the clerical, light industrial and professional technical markets. Their focus is delivering measurably superior client service.

For more information about EmploymentGroup, visit their Web site at: http://www.egnow.com or contact Kathy DeYoung at: 269.979.6116. Employment Group's corporate offices are located at: 200 Beckley Professional Centre, Battle Creek, MI 49016.

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Ashley Jones
VCG INC.
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