Written by Kevin Hokanson (Senior Vice President) and Matthew Shadrick (Executive Vice President)
Technology is an integral part of the benefits industry. With the right solution, Human Resources employees and Benefits Managers can operate their business and drive productivity. But adopting a benefits administration solution is a big decision and requires planning. Here are 5 must do's before implementing new benefits administration technology.
Choose a Provider that Knows the Benefits Business
As you begin your search, you’ll want to consider choosing a provider that knows the unique complexities and needs of your benefits business. Most companies are tech first, benefits second. Technology won’t improve your processes without a strong understanding of your business and goals. Consider working with a provider that understands the ins and outs of the benefits industry first, and then apply technical solutions based on your specific needs.
- Gain Management Buy-in
Before you implement new benefits admin tech, you need to gain support from your executive and human resources teams. These teams need to recognize the value of the system and approve both project plans and future goals for using the technology.
You also need an engaged project manager to lead the implementation for your organization and be the main point of contact for the benefits administration provider. This person will be responsible for its management and success. Most benefits admin tech fails due to a lack of internal support and direction from a dedicated project manager.
Bottom line — until you have a dedicated project manager or executive support of the project, you’re not ready to implement new benefits admin tech.
- Agnostic is Key. Be Careful What’s Free.
As you begin researching different providers, make sure the benefits administration technology you choose is agnostic or is compatible with many types of platforms and systems. For example, if a few years down the road you decide to choose a different payroll platform or insurance carrier, you’ll want to integrate it seamlessly with your benefits admin system.
Many providers will offer discounts or free aspects of their technology, which may seem like a great deal in the beginning of a project, especially as you’re budgeting — but you need to consider the long-term effects of these discounts and if they will prevent your team from making changes to your system down the road. The technology you use should reflect the ever-changing needs of your organization and not the constrictions of the vendor.
- Scalability: Plan for the Future
Throughout the decision process, you should always ask: is this scalable? Select benefit admin technology that is built to adapt and grow with your organization. You’ll want to ensure that the benefits admin partner can integrate with a strategy should you pursue it in the future. Like we mentioned before, you may only need the platform to help with one thing, like benefits enrollment, at first, but may want to incorporate recruiting in a couple of years. Choose technology that can provide fluid solutions for the entire employee lifecycle.
- Inquire about Pricing Offsets
While you should be wary of free add-ons, it’s a good idea to inquire about pricing offsets when it comes to partnerships. For example, some benefits administration providers can negotiate the price of the implementation if you use a carrier that they already have a relationship with and can easily integrate the technology. Ask the provider which partnerships they already have established to determine where you can get a price break on the system.
At Eastern Benefits Group, we pride ourselves on our benefits consulting services. We know the benefits industry like the back of our hand and have adapted our services over the years to offer efficient ben admin tech solutions to our clients. Our Benefits Simplified solution is our own approach that offers a suite of these services based on client needs. From enrollment only to robust engagement, consumerism and compliance with the ACA, we do not take a one-size-fits-all approach. We make it easier for employers and employees to navigate the changing benefits industry so they can focus on growing their business.
If you are considering a benefits administration implementation, Eastern Benefits Group can help with personalized solutions for your business! To learn more about our services, visit our website or contact Kevin Hokanson at KHokanson@easternbenefitsgroup.com.