Earlier this month as part of our continuation to stay on top of HR and benefits administration product developments, members of our PlanSource (PS) team logged in for Episode 1 of the Eclipse virtual conference sessions hosted by PS. The first episode of the PlanSource Eclipse virtual conference Digital transformation Amid COVID-19: The Tipping Point? offered our team members a chance to learn about the changing needs in HRTech. We are pleased to share the valuable information we learned with our family of brokers to assist you in your role as a benefits adviser to your clients.
How COVID-19 affected benefits. PlanSource CEO, Dayne Williams, took to the screen to address how COVID-19 changed the need for technology and how PS can help HR leaders make it through the challenging times.
- The need for a shift from paper/in-personal enrollment to virtual is greater now than ever. PS is prepared with the new mobile app for virtual enrollment for employees.
- PS will continue to provide great service to current customers, including handling employee calls in the contact center. There has been an “increase of 60% in calls to the contact center by employees” which has required added staff to the contact center, as well as implementing better technology for the center to provide enhanced support and reduce response times.
- Now offering text messaging to employees, for free, through the end of 2020 to support customers.
- If an implementation is going on now then keep the project going, allow for changes, and maintain flexibility during client implementation projects.
PlanSource COVID-19 impacts have remained low as PS thrives with products that are important, and a variety of industries utilize the platform. PS was an early adopter of working from home, having a work from home option embedded in their disaster relief plans—which had been tested during two prior hurricane threats.
The acquisition by Vista Equity Partners has provided a wealth of knowledge allowing PS to put in place a Growth and Investing plan for the next 3-5 years creating a strong foundation and best practices. Early in 2020 with COVID-19 on the horizon they quickly reworked a 2020 business plan to adjust for reduced spending in some areas and increases in others. Major investments in R&D in 2020 alone of $20 million.
The most important investment that stood out that PS is making during these times is their focus on Boost. Boost is different from other plans; it is all about the customer experience. The best, most noticeable update is the move of EDI to API. They have 12 of the top carriers in the industry participating in the program. PS has plans to expand Boost in 2021 to include medical, Rx, and wellness.
Since the Vista acquisition, PS has added key levels to the organization to grow and expand the company making a solid investment in their talent.
- Srini Venkatramani, CPTO
- Alan Primeaux, COO
- Harsh Chugh, CFO
- Mike Cooper, COS
Is COVID-19 the tipping point for the digital transformation? The Head of Innovation of NDP, Mark Rieder, joined the conference to discuss a few of the tipping points for businesses. Mark states that digital transformation is already happening, it’s the world we live in today.
- Realities we face. COVID-19 will force significant changes in society. Clients will need solutions for their big challenges, but the context has changed. Healthy and safe employees has a new meaning. Solutions must be identified, and existing ones repositioned to work with the new normal.
- Availability of data. Tools to make the needed changes happen and advanced business effectiveness. Data is the key part of this solution, it drives innovation. The advances of the internet have caused connected devices to increase. There are now more connected devices than people.
- New technology. With the acceleration of growth in tech for the 21st century, we will have around 20,000 years of progress. The technology will become more visible as the needs grow in different areas of the markets. New ecosystems are likely to emerge replacing the traditional industries by 2025. In the last 15 years, 52% of S&P 500 companies have disappeared.
- Mark provides his 7 key areas to build a successful digital transformation strategy. Lead from the Front with executive leadership on board, Strategy before Tech, encourage new cultural norms, businesses must reimagine the customer journey, disrupt your own business, pursue new technology like AI or AR, lastly always consider partnerships.
The disruption of daily life and the new normal. Stephanie Shields, SVP of Broker Sales with AFLAC joined with insights on the establishment of the new normal and what that looks like. An increase in video conferencing app downloads into the millions is telling to how teleworking has taken over everything from meetings to yoga classes. AFLAC adapted to a telework model and saw an increase in productivity and service! One downside is that not all workers can work remotely in all industries. Not all jobs can be done from home and there are staggering numbers in unemployment. AFLAC has seen a decrease in benefits-eligible workers and an increase in contract workers. Shields felt PlanSource is well positioned for the new gig working world.
- Gig work. As some potential avenues of work dry up other options have increased. New and emerging startups enabling remote workers and supporting transformation. Food couriers, grocery clerks, and truck drivers have seen an increase in demand, while job postings for mobile delivery couriers has jumped drastically–up to 78% increase in March alone.
The 2020 PlanSource Eclipse Conference, Episode 1 provided important information for users of the PS platform and their brokers (or those considering a change). Our independent team of HR technology consultants can work with you and your clients to help determine the best system to meet their needs. To learn more, contact us at 1-877-299-8155 or visit bentechre.com.
Like most other industry events, the 2020 BTR Summit will be held…virtual style! Join us on June 17 to connect with BTR team members who will share best practices and insights on the future of the industry and ways you can take your HR tech strategy to the next level. It’s all free and a great place to get HR technology and benefit administration tips for your clients and prospects.