Although the current economic climate is forcing every business to deal with new challenges, small to mid-sized businesses have been especially hard hit. Typically, they don’t have the leverage or resources larger businesses possess to weather tough times. What’s more, small business owners are often overwhelmed with an increasing number of state and Federal regulations that affect how employers manage their employees. In 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the highest number of discrimination lawsuits against employers in its entire 45-year history. The devastating one-two blow of a troublesome economy and increasing regulatory requirements has resulted in thousands of smaller businesses closing their doors.
To avoid the pitfalls of a gloomy economy, a growing number of small to mid-sized business owners in Tennessee are not only finding relief, but are streamlining their business processes by outsourcing them to Professional Employment Organizations (PEOs) like Administrative Resources Inc., (ARI) of Johnson City. PEOs allow employers to cost-effectively outsource some or all of their total human resource management services, including employee benefits, health insurance, payroll and workers’ compensation and more. Also known as co-employment, employee leasing, or staff leasing, the practice allows smaller businesses to streamline their HR processes, improve efficiency and productivity, cut unnecessary costs, and react faster to changes in the market.
According to Rick Thomason, ARI’s president and CEO, the company is a pioneer in the field. “When we launched ARI 26 years ago in 1984, we were the new kids on the block,” he says. “Today, PEOs can be found in all 50 states and cover millions of workers nationwide.”
ARI provides a comprehensive array of business services that allow business owners and employers to focus on the day-to-day activities that produce profits, instead of spending all their time dealing with regulations. Additionally, ARI offers an online time management solution as well as email alerts to notify employers when regulations change or new benefit and health care programs are available. All HR related services are provided under a turnkey arrangement. In most cases, ARI can provide these programs at less cost through the power of economies of scale.
“Probably ARI’s most important small business benefit is the competitive edge we provide,” says John Lafevre, ARI’s Knoxville regional sales manager. “Most of the companies I work with think like Fortune 500 companies in terms of strategy. ARI’s services free them up from costly and time draining administrative distractions so owners can actually focus and act on those strategies. Our integrated services allow small companies to successfully compete with much larger competitors." Efficient and lawful payroll and tax management are key components in keeping small businesses profitable and healthy. ARI’s experienced staff of accounting professionals assures that its clients stay on top of the estimated 500 pages of new regulations added daily.
“Our specialized HR services can literally transform our clients into marketing and operational powerhouses,” says LeAnn Morris, ARI’s general manager. “Our exclusive 2010 partnership with the Better Business Bureau allows members to participate in a one-of-a-kind health insurance pooling approach that also includes wellness management to help control health costs on a longer-term basis.” Morris monitors the ever-changing state and Federal rules governing the HR world and attends numerous HR educational conferences offered by the American Payroll Association (APA), The Institute of Management & Administration (IOMA), as well as various state and national legal and financial organizations.
For more information about ARI and its HR services, as well as a free 30-minute business evaluation, call 423. 283. 0296 or visit www.adminresources.net.