By Dean Akers, CEO of Ideal Image®
September 29, 2006
A critical success factor in Ideal Image's expansion was its selection of a "razor-sharp" HR business process outsourcing partner.
Ideal Image, founded in 2001 and headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is a national laser hair removal clinic. Today, Ideal Image has expanded to over 50 sites across the United States with additional international locations. When I joined Ideal Image as CEO in 2004, I knew that our growth potential was significant. To maintain our focus on serving our customers and growing our business, we knew that we would need a strong partner to manage our payroll, human resources (HR), compliance, benefits administration, and risk mitigation services. My own experience partnering with Advantec in a prior business made it an obvious choice. Ideal Image wanted to grow, Advantec would be there for us to support our national growth. I knew Advantec was an HR solutions provider that Ideal Image would not out-grow.
Since engaging Advantec in 2004, Ideal Image has added 53 locations, and our projections call for nearly twice that number by the end of 2007. We will grow from 300 employees to as many as 600 in the next eighteen months. Ideal Image contracts with Advantec in a co-employment outsourcing relationship, yet has the flexibility to purchase our medical benefits directly from the carrier. Advantec manages this distinction, making it seamless for me and my employees. For us, the value in a co-employment relationship is the consultative support that Advantec provides to Ideal Image. Prior to partnering with Advantec, Ideal Image tried the traditional national payroll vendor approach with Paychex®. We managed the HR, risk, compliance, and benefits on our own. The result was an inefficient process that also muddled our ability to focus on strategic decision making. We chose to partner with Advantec to leverage the compliance support and best practices expertise that co-employment can provide in addition to the full range of traditional administrative services support: payroll, tax, benefits, etc.
Eventually, should our business model change, leading us to consider a move from PEO to an Administrative Service Offering or Human Resource Outsourcing model, we know our business partner, Advantec, can accommodate us – leveraging the core competencies they have established in the co-employment model. Advantec offers clients like Ideal Image flexibility combined with a trusted business advisor relationship.
Advantec provides Ideal Image with best practices consultative support through its SHRM certified Human Capital Consultants (HCCs). Our HCC has been with us since we first contracted with Advantec in 2004. She provides us best practices advice and compliance consulting just as if she were an Ideal Image employee. The value of Advantec’s consultative support touches on every area of our business and has been a strong component of our success. In comparison to the national payroll service approach, Ideal Image has easily saved the equivalent of two or three highly knowledgeable HR & compliance experts. The compliance consulting support we receive from Advantec, though our HCC, is essential to Ideal Image. In a rapid growth mode, we cannot afford to find ourselves out of compliance.
Advantec’s consulting best practices services have been essential in sustaining our rapid growth and in allowing us to set up our franchises in a manner that allows our business optimal flexibility. Because Ideal Image holds a right of first refusal on each franchise location, we needed to have our franchises set up so that if we repurchase one, it rolls into our HR infrastructure seamlessly. With Advantec managing payroll, tax, and compliance, we know that if we repurchased all our franchises tomorrow, we would face no significant HR related issues. The value in that level of service is immeasurable – and knowing that we can execute quickly is like money in the bank.
Through Advantec, Ideal Image conducts employee satisfaction surveys every six months. The feedback we receive has allowed us to maintain Ideal Image’s positive corporate culture, to retain our best employees, and to attract new talent. Enjoying these benefits without having to take the time to conduct the survey and analyze the results ourselves leaves us more time to focus on corporate strategy and growth.
Advantec integrates, develops and supports human resources business solutions for companies nationwide. Advantec provides advanced products and exceptional services to co-employment markets, and human resources outsourcing and management services in select markets. Advantec’s adaptable tools and technologies, combined with their consolidated service providers and on-demand consulting services, enable Advantec’s clients to concentrate on top business priorities. Advantec is proud to partner with companies that provide best-in-class products to their clients, including Aetna, AIG, BNA, Cigna, Oracle and Wachovia.
For more information please visit www.advantec-hr.com or call 1-877-ADVANTEC.
Note to editors: Advantec is a registered trademark of Agency Solutions International, Inc.