Member Spotlight by Tom Paplaczyk, Strategic Business Services Agency
Provide us with a brief summary of your business’ services.
We’re a full service benefits and human resources consulting practice. We can inform Columbus Chamber members, sign them up for benefit programs and help them implement and service those programs. And the programs can be customized for their kind of business. We just rolled EASE, a new benefits and HR software program that Strategic Business Services Agency’s clients are finding especially useful. From payroll management, to onboarding, to tracking time off — EASE offers accurate and easy online administration. EASE is one of the rapidly developing technologies that’s going to simplify and dramatically improve your company’s benefit administration and communication. One of EASE’s most useful features is its payroll and payroll administration capabilities. Employers can integrate EASE with their payroll providers so they can keep benefit deduction and demographic information in sync.
How does Strategic Business Services Agency work with Columbus Chamber members?
We start the process by talking about two considerations. One is strategic, we help our clients identify what type of benefit package need or desire and how much they can or will contribute to the cost? In other words, what do you need to offer to be competitive in the marketplace? The other consideration is administrative. Once you decide what you’re going to offer, we help you decide how you’re going to manage it. It is unbelievable the amount of time wasted and mistakes created by using pen and paper enrollments. We are converting all of our clients over to on-line benefit management. It improves service to our clients’ employees and saves our employer groups time by putting all of their benefits at their fingertips!
What kinds of benefit packages does your agency provide?
We offer employer- based health, dental, vision disability and life insurance. We can assist our clients by offering non insurance healthcare solutions like Teledoc and Claims Advocacy services. We also offer payroll services and consulting on compliance and implementing benefit administration systems.
How do you help clients choose which healthcare offerings are right for their businesses?
We ask them questions about what they’re currently doing about their healthcare plans. Employers that who have not in the past offered benefits may have the goal of minimizing their costs while complying with the law. It’s really trying to determine from an employer what their attitude is toward employee benefits and then finding ways to do implement their choices. This is in many ways a reflection of their staff recruiting and retention goals. We also make sure employers are aware of all the tax savings opportunities in available to them and their employees.
How do you help clients understand the influence of the Affordable Care Act on their businesses?
We’re approaching the tenth anniversary of the passing of the ACA and we’re continuing to discover and deal with the far-reaching influence of it on businesses. As insurers grapple with providing competitive products that comply with the ACA requirements, it’s necessary to look at how an employer views their offering of health and ancillary benefits. At the end of the day, we are here to help you navigate this really difficult health care financing system we have in place.
What are some additional services you provide?
For employers that have established plans, we can help them confirm their benefit offering is price competitive and meets the needs of their employees. We can also help them audit and confirm their plans are meeting requirements of state and federal laws. We can provide surveys to employees to discover what they’re interested in and what’s valuable to them — that’s another function we can perform. At the end of the day, employer’s need dependable informed advisors to help them make good decisions for their business. That is what we do!
How did you get into the insurance business?
I grew up in central Ohio, and went to The Ohio State University and Franklin University. I’ve got a business degree in finance. When I was approached about an insurance opportunity, I was an ambitious newly married 23 year old. I was working full time at Huntington Bank as a teller, going to Franklin University full time in the evening, participating in monthly training in the Ohio Air National Guard one weekend a month and two week a summer, and on off nights could be found working in a Drive Thru Carryout. The gentleman who recruited me said you will do fine!
Personal Motto: If you never quit, you never fail!
When did you and your partners found Strategic Business Services Agency?
Our agency was started in 2006 and I was one of four founding partners. Today we have seven management and staff members who support 25 independent brokers in Central Ohio. Our clients range from sole proprietors to employer groups with over 500 employers. Most are employers with two to 50 employees, but we run the gamut.
What are some ways Strategic Business Services Agency is set apart from other agencies?
We enjoy a very good relationship with all the carriers in the local market. We’re a top producer and have a lot of volume with them, so we get a greater focus of attention from them. We are also one of only a handful of agencies that offer payroll services to our clients.
Different clients have different needs and part of the consulting process is helping employers identify and determine the position they need to take in the marketplace for the value of attracting and retaining employees. One of our strengths is our ability to do just that.