By MICHELLE CONLIN, BUSINESSWEEK
Posted: 2009-03-10 23:55:34

 

 
Eve Gelb’s life was once a blur of hour-and-a-half commutes on the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles. What memories: The NPR fatigue. The stale minivan air. The deep identification with the characters in Waiting for Godot. But that’s all in the past. Gelb, a project manager at a giant HMO, SCAN Health Plan, has given up her Ethan Allen-style office, yanked down the family photos, and moved into her home office. Members of the professional class normally have to beg their managers — or at least delicately negotiate — to allow them to work remotely. But in Gelb’s case, it was her boss’s idea.
SCAN is one of a growing number of companies encouraging workers to toil from home. Sure, employers have been doing this for years. But as the recession bites and companies look to save money on real estate costs, what was once a cushy perk is now deemed a business necessity. And that, along with a few choice enticements — voila!, a shiny new BlackBerry — is how companies are selling it to employees, whose emotions range from ecstasy to befuddlement.

The health-care sector is one of the few industries that is still expanding these days, and SCAN is no exception. “We needed to find a way to grow without incurring any more fixed costs,” says Chief Financial Officer Dennis Eder. To encourage more of its workforce to become post-geographic, the company has been offering free high-speed Internet access and gratis office furniture, complete with a couple of delivery guys to set it all up.

Gelb jumped at the opportunity but still found herself struggling to adjust. “I never thought to myself: What would I do with all that extra time that I wasn’t sitting in my car?” So she set about building new routines. “Instead of going on my commute in the morning, I go for a walk,” says Gelb, 40. That makes up for the cardio workout she used to get running up and down SCAN’s four flights of stairs attending meeting after meeting. Now that she simply dials in, “I don’t really move much,” she concedes. On the days when she does come into the office, Gelb shares her old digs with her three direct reports, who also work flexibly. She says they see each other more now than they did when they were squirreled away in their corporate warrens.

Still, persuading managers to embrace no-collar work isn’t always easy. Jack Weisbaum, CEO of accounting firm BDO Seidman, has spent endless hours over the past year managing what he calls the “yeah buts.” These are the old-school execs among his crew who have an arsenal of reasons why untethering workers is a lousy idea: They’ll become Facebook addicts, ignore clients, develop a bad case of alienation. Weisbaum went on the road to nearly all 37 of the firm’s offices to explain how he sees flexibility as a business strategy. He told the troops that allowing people to work where and when they want is enabling BDO to prevent layoffs. The real estate savings are a big reason for that. When BDO moves into its new Los Angeles offices in June, it will be taking over a radically reduced space. “Bricks and mortar are like a noose around your neck,” says Christopher Tower, BDO’s leader for the Western region.

“Homeshoring” has enabled BDO Seidman’s controller for the Western U.S., Grace Renteria, to essentially give herself a raise: the amount of money she saves by working at home, a café, a club—anywhere, in short, that doesn’t require a commute. There’s the $15 a day Renteria used to lay out for lunch. Then her $70 a week in gas. Add wear and tear on her Lexus LS 400. On top of that, she no longer has to lose productivity from co-worker interruptions. “I only go into the office,” Renteria says, “when I don’t have a lot going on.”

“THIS IS DESTINY”
Capital One is one of many companies where status has long been measured in square footage. The bank’s human resources chief, Matt Schuyler, has had to deal with executives made anxious by the prospect of losing their wood-paneled lairs as they begin new lives as laptop hobos. Schuyler, who is also in charge of corporate real estate, meets with them one on one, whipping out the stats showing how much a skinnier footprint benefits the bank. Then he delivers his sweetener: “The bad news is, I’m taking away your office. The good news is, here’s your new laptop and your shiny new BlackBerry.” Another enticement is the $1,000 managers can dole out to workers to freshen up their home offices. So far the company has cut 20% of its real estate costs. “This is destiny, and other companies will have to get there,” says Schuyler. “We’re at the tip of the iceberg with respect to this stuff.”

None of this is to say the corporate office will disappear. But hard times will accelerate a Digital Age makeover. Adieu to cubicle farms, fixed walls, and standing-room-only conference rooms. Hello to sliding walls, moveable furniture, and lots of lounge areas. Space will be allotted by function, not title. Square footage will be based on office presence, not rank. The flexibility will cut costs and at the same time accommodate both loud talkers and hermits. The new workplace will be less about working alone and more about working together. One thing, however, will never change: The office will remain the primary spot for meetings, collaboration, and, of course, gossip.

Our perspective:
The economy is challanging us to now think outside the box. Companies, besides fighting to survive, are still looking for the opportunity to grow and expand.
How can they be unique?
Robert Kennedy once eloquently stated that “some people look at things and ask why, I say why not?”
We got to where we are today, for we took our eye off the ball . This is not to say that we should turn our back on everything. There are many things that we can still incorporate. But it is time to also incorarate opportunities, to introduce efficiencies that will not take away from the ability to service our clients
There are only 24 hours in a day. Use our time more effectively. That is the key. Those willing to adapt will succeed.
What will we be looking at?
Teleconferencing…. Telecommuing…. Video Conferencing… Video Training
All of these play into raising efficiencies, lowering cost and challenging the norm.
Let us know your thoughts?
Should you like to knw more on incorporating these opportunities into your business? Leave a comment or email george@hbsadvantage.com

Conlin is the editor of the Working Life Dept. at BusinessWeek.

2009-03-10 23:39:19

Unemployment hits 7.6%

February 6, 2009

Written by JEANNINE AVERSA | February 6, 2009 10:34 AM EST  AP

WASHINGTON — Recession-battered employers eliminated 598,000 jobs in January, the most since the end of 1974, and catapulted the unemployment rate to 7.6 percent. The grim figures were further proof that the nation’s job climate is deteriorating at an alarming clip with no end in sight.

The Labor Department’s report, released Friday, showed the terrible toll the drawn-out recession is having on workers and companies. It also puts even more pressure on Congress and President Barack Obama‘s administration to revive the economy through a stimulus package and a revamped financial bailout plan, both of which are nearing completion.

“These numbers, and the very real suffering of American workers they represent, reinforce the need for bold fiscal action,” said Christina Romer, chief of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers. “If we fail to act, we are likely to lose millions more jobs and the unemployment rate could reach double digits.”

The latest net total of job losses was far worse than the 524,000 that economists expected. Job reductions in November and December also were deeper than previously reported.

With cost-cutting employers in no mood to hire, the unemployment rate bolted to 7.6 percent in January, the highest since September 1992. The increase in the jobless rate from 7.2 percent in December also was worse than the 7.5 percent rate economists expected.

All told, the economy has lost a staggering 3.6 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. About half of this decline occurred in the past three months.

“Companies are in survival mode and are really cutting to the bone,” said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics. “They are cutting and cutting hard now out of fear of an uncertain future.”

Factories slashed 207,000 jobs in January, the largest one-month drop since October 1982, partly reflecting heavy losses at plants making autos and related parts. Construction companies got rid of 111,000 jobs. Professional and business services chopped 121,000 positions. Retailers eliminated 45,000 jobs. Leisure and hospitality axed 28,000 slots.

Those reductions swamped employment gains in education and health services, as well as in the government.

Just in the 12 months ending January, an astonishing 3.5 million jobs have vanished, the most on record going back to 1939, although the total number of jobs has grown significantly since then.

On Wall Street, investors pushed up stock prices on hopes that the miserable jobs report would get Congress to move quickly on the economic revival package. The Dow Jones industrials gained about 120 points in morning trading and broader stock indicators also rose.

Employers are slashing payrolls and turning to other ways to cut costs _ including trimming workers’ hours, freezing wages or cutting pay _ to cope with shrinking appetites from customers in the U.S. and overseas, who are struggling with their own economic troubles.

The average work week in January stayed at 33.3 hours, matching the record low set in December.

With no place to go, the number of unemployed workers climbed to 11.6 million. In addition, 7.8 million people were working part time _ a category that includes those who would like to work full time but whose hours were cut back, or those who were unable to find full-time work.

Job hunters also are facing longer searches for work.

The average time it took for an unemployed person to find any job _ full or part time _ rose to 19.8 weeks in January, compared with 17.5 weeks a year ago, underscoring the increasing difficulty the out-of-work are having in finding a new job.

Workers with jobs saw modest wage gains.

Average hourly earnings rose to $18.46 in January, up 0.3 percent from the previous month. Over the year, wages have risen 3.9 percent.

An avalanche of layoffs is slamming the nation from a wide swath of employers.

Caterpillar Inc., Pfizer Inc., Microsoft Corp., Estee Lauder Cos., Time Warner Cable Inc., and Sprint Nextel Corp. are among the companies slicing payrolls. Manufacturers _ especially car makers _ construction companies and retailers have been particularly hard hit by the recession. Talbots Inc., Liz Claiborne Inc., Macy’s Inc. and Home Depot Inc. are all cutting jobs. So are Detroit’s General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

Americans cut back sharply on spending at the end of last year, thrusting the economy into its worst backslide in a quarter-century. The tailspin could well accelerate in the current January-March quarter to a rate of 5 percent or more as the recession drags on into a second year, and consumers and businesses burrow deeper.

Vanishing jobs and evaporating wealth from tanking home values, 401(k)s and other investments have forced consumers to retrench, which has required companies to pull back. It’s a vicious cycle where the economy’s problems feed on each other, perpetuating a downward spiral.

Many economists predict the current quarter _ in terms of lost economic growth _ will be the worst of the recession.

With fallout from the housing, credit and financial crises _ the worst since the 1930s _ ripping through the economy, analysts predict 3 million or more jobs will vanish this year even if lawmakers quickly approve Obama’s stimulus plan, which has ballooned to more than $900 billion in the Senate.

Obama has repeatedly pressed Congress to swiftly enact a package of increased government spending, including big public works projects and tax cuts, to revive the economy and create jobs. He says his plan will save or create more than 3 million jobs in the next two years.

But the recession has proven stubborn. Despite record low interest rates ordered by the Federal Reserve and a raft of radical programs, including a $700 billion financial bailout, consumers and businesses face high hurdles to borrow money. Foreclosures are skyrocketing, home prices are sinking and Wall Street remains on edge.

Our Perspective:

The public has lost confidence in our economy. Companies are scrambling to cut cost and one of the first things you look at is jobs.

Where will all this lead? I see people shaking their head saying, “I have never seen anything like this before!”

Everyone is looking to Washington. Do they have the answer. Decisions they have made in the past have put us here. A delicate balance must be met. To stimulate the economy, they must only focus of items that will truly stimulate the economy. Cut the pork.

Money put towards rebuilding our schools, infrastructure and alternative energy are quality of life issues and are considered an investment in our own future. This will create jobs. All the other projects fall under special interest that should be looked at in more detail and not be part of a stimulus package.

Cut out the politics and realize that we should all be focused on helping one another. Extend your hand and and offer real help.

Let us know your thoughts? You may leave a comment or email george@hbsadvantage.com

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

An Excerpt as reported in Bloomberg

By Bob Willis

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) — Manufacturing in the U.S. shrank again last month and consumer spending recorded an unprecedented sixth monthly decline in December, offering no sign the economy has hit bottom.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index was 35.6 in January; readings less than 50 signal a contraction and the measure has been below that level since February 2008. The Commerce Department said personal spending fell 1 percent in December, and reported a third monthly drop in construction.

Factories are likely to cut back further as the slump in household purchases leaves companies with stockpiles of unsold goods. General Motors Corp. plans to slash production at 15 plants through June in an effort to work off the surplus inventory, and Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are also cutting back.

“The numbers are still terribly weak,” said James O’Sullivan, senior economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. “Manufacturing is still contracting rapidly” while consumer spending is unlikely to recover “for a while,” he said.

Treasuries advanced and stocks gyrated between gains and losses. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock index closed down 0.1 percent at 825.43 in New York. Yields on benchmark 10-year notes fell to 2.72 percent from 2.84 percent at last week’s close.

A separate report from the Federal Reserve today showed a majority of U.S. banks made it tougher for consumers and businesses to get credit in the past three months even as lenders received infusions of taxpayer funds.

Our perspective:

The senate continues to debate over the new stimulus package as the economy continues to crumble. The question is, will it be a stimulus package or is it just more pork?

Hope has been running high that we can finally break through all the politics and turn our attention toward providing jobs and restoring stability. We must turn our eyes towards Washington and pray that they finally get it right.

Let us know your thoughts? You may leave a comment or email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

David Duprey / AP     As reported on MSNBC.com

Manufacturing particularly hit, analyst sees trend continuing through year

WASHINGTON – Rising unemployment spared no state last month, and 2009 is shaping up as another miserable year for workers from coast to coast.

Jobless rates for December hit double digits in Michigan and Rhode Island, while South Carolina and Indiana notched the biggest gains from the previous month, the Labor Department said Tuesday. A common thread among these states has been manufacturing industry layoffs tied to consumers’ shrinking appetite for cars, furniture and other goods.

With tens of thousands of layoffs announced this week by well-known employers such as Pfizer Inc., Caterpillar Inc. and Home Depot Inc., the unemployment picture is bound to get worse in every region of the country, economists say.

 

“We won’t see a light at the end of the tunnel until 2010,” said Anthony Sabino, a professor of law and business at St. John’s University.

The number of newly laid off Americans filing claims for state unemployment benefits has soared to 589,000, while people continuing to draw claims climbed to 4.6 million, the government said last week. There’s been such a crush that resources in New York, California and other states have run dry, forcing them to tap the federal government for money to keep paying unemployment benefits.

Aside from manufacturing, jobs in construction, financial services and retailing are vanishing — casualties of the housing, credit and financial crises.

  Highs, lows
States with the highest unemployment rates in December 2008:

1. Michigan, 10.6 percent
2. Rhode Island, 10 percent
3. South Carolina, 9.5 percent
4. California, 9.3 percent
5. Nevada, 9.1 percent
6. Oregon, 9 percent
7. District of Columbia, 8.8 percent
8. North Carolina, 8.7 percent
9. Indiana, 8.2 percent
10. Florida, 8.1 percent

States with the lowest unemployment rates in December 2008:

1. Wyoming, 3.4 percent
2. North Dakota, 3.5 percent
3. South Dakota, 3.9 percent
4. Nebraska, 4 percent
5. Utah, 4.3 percent
6. Iowa, 4.6 percent
7. New Hampshire, 4.6 percent
8. New Mexico, 4.9 percent
9. Oklahoma, 4.9 percent
10. West Virginia, 4.9 percent

Clobbered by problems at Detroit’s auto companies, Michigan’s unemployment rate soared to 10.6 percent in December. Rhode Island’s jobless rate hit 10 percent, the highest on records dating back to 1976.

Those states — along with eight others and the District of Columbia — registered unemployment rates higher than the nationwide average of 7.2 percent, a 16-year high.

South Carolina and Indiana posted the biggest bumps in their monthly unemployment rates. Each state logged a 1.1 percentage point rise in unemployment from November to December.

In South Carolina, the unemployment rate bolted to 9.5 percent as laid-off textile, clothing and other factory workers found it difficult to find new jobs.

“The money I was making, I’d be hard-pressed to find a job paying that,” said Gregory Smalls, a 49-year-old Columbia, S.C., resident who lost his more than $50,000-a-year job as a truck body shop manager when his department merged with a dealership’s service department.

Indiana’s jobless rate soared to 8.2 percent in December as workers were hit by layoffs in manufacturing — including at engine maker Cummins Inc. — as well as in construction and retail.

Many Indiana counties with high jobless rates are in the northern part of the state, which has been battered by layoffs in the recreational vehicle industry. Hundreds of workers have lost their jobs at RV makers such as Monaco Coach Corp., Keystone RV Co. and Pilgrim International.

Gayle Glaser, who owns the Shortstop Inn restaurant in Wakarusa, Ind., said those job losses have hurt her business, too.

“We just don’t have the traffic here from the plants,” she said. “All my customers coming in — they’re all laid off.”

States that have been spared the worst of the recession’s pain tend to benefit from energy and agriculture production, while also having relatively minimal exposure to the housing and manufacturing busts.

  Economy in Turmoil
Unemployment rose in every state in Dec.
  Rising unemployment spared no state last month, and 2009 is shaping up as another miserable year for workers from coast to coast.

Wyoming posted the lowest unemployment rate, 3.4 percent in December. It was followed closely by North Dakota at 3.5 percent and South Dakota at 3.9 percent.

In 2008, the country lost 2.6 million jobs, and in 2009 at least 2 million more jobs are forecast to disappear.

Minneapolis-based retailer Target Corp. said Tuesday that it will cut an undisclosed number of workers at its headquarters. Elsewhere, specialty glass company Corning Inc. said it would cut 3,500 jobs, or 13 percent of its work force, as demand slumped for glass used in flat-screen televisions and computers. And chemical company Ashland Inc. said it would eliminate 1,300 jobs, freeze wages and adopt a two-week furlough program.

Roughly 40,000 layoffs were announced on Monday by a string of companies, including Pfizer, Caterpillar and Home Depot.

To stimulate job growth and the broader economy, President Barack Obama and Congress are racing to enact a $825 billion package of tax cuts and increased federal spending, including money for big public works projects.

The U.S. has been mired in a recession since December 2007. It is on track to be the longest downturn since World War II.

Frigid temperatures and winter storms have blanketed the country from New Orleans to Chicago this month, weather that usually leads to a spike in the price of the most popular fuel for home heating, natural gas.

But not this year.

Natural-gas prices remain in a slump because manufacturers, which are even bigger users of gas than chilly homeowners, have cut back their operations in response to the recession. And low demand means low prices.

Associated Press

Despite a cold, stormy start to winter in much of the U.S., natural-gas prices have stayed relatively low as the recession hits industrial usage.

Despite an uptick this week, natural-gas futures have fallen 9% this month, to $5.910 per million British thermal units, and are down 16% from last year despite colder weather. Prices haven’t been this low in December since 2003.

Storage levels remain 3.4% higher than normal even after the frigid start to the season. According to federal data released Wednesday, the U.S. withdrew 147 billion cubic feet of gas from storage last week, about normal for this time of year, but less than would be expected after a bout of cold weather.

Boon for Consumers

Low prices are a rare piece of good news for consumers, who might get smaller bills this year for home heating and electricity.

But the price slump spells bad news for gas producers, who have been forced to slash spending on drilling, and for gas-producing states like Texas and Colorado, which had been shielded from the national economic slowdown by their strong energy industries.

[Natural Gas Futures]

The low prices come despite an unusually cold start to winter, which has seen rare snowstorms in New Orleans, Houston and Las Vegas, subzero temperatures in Chicago and a devastating ice storm in the Northeast.

Michael Schlacter, chief meteorologist for the forecasting service Weather 2000, said the weather so far this season has been the most extreme in at least eight years.

“Mother Nature’s doing all she can,” Mr. Schlacter said.

Manufacturing Downturn

But rising residential and commercial heating demand has run up against slumping industrial demand for natural gas, which is used to make everything from diapers to fertilizer.

“Industrial demand is going away in a big way,” said Abudi Zein, senior vice president at Genscape Inc., which monitors electricity generation and fuel supplies.

Forecasters expect the weather to warm up in at least parts of the country early in the new year, but industrial demand isn’t likely to recover for months because the recession has knocked down industries like auto manufacturing.

“We know industrial demand is going to be impacted in 2009 — it has to be,” said Dave Pursell, an analyst at energy-focused investment bank Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. in Houston. “Everything that goes into a car — steel, glass, plastic — is natural-gas intensive.”

Adding to the downward pressure on prices, natural-gas production has remained relatively high. Gas producers such as Chesapeake Energy Corp., Range Resources Corp. and Exco Resources Inc. have been slashing drilling budgets since autumn in response to falling prices. But it has taken months for those spending cuts to show up on the ground in the form of reduced drilling activity, and it will take months more for production to fall significantly.

Rebound Is Seen

Longer term, many analysts think prices are likely to rise. Tudor Pickering, for example, predicts gas will drop as low as $4.75 per million BTUs in the third quarter of 2009, but will rebound in 2010.

Subash Chandra, an analyst at Jefferies & Co., is predicting a faster recovery. Even though a lot of gas is in storage, he said, it can’t all be tapped right away, so the immediately available supply of gas is lower than many people think.

But after a year of ups and downs, no one can have much confidence in price predictions, he said. “Gas has thrown so many head-fakes in the past,” Mr. Chandra said. “Anybody who thinks they’ve had it figured out in December, even if they’re freezing their noses off, well, history tells a different story.”

As reported by Sam Stein

 

Last week, Barack Obama let it be known that when it came to formulating a stimulus bill, all ideas were welcome — whether they came from the bowels of conservative fiscal philosophy or New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

“I want this to work,” said the president-elect. “This is not an intellectual exercise, and there’s no pride of authorship. If somebody has an idea for a tax cut that’s better than we’ve proposed, then we’ll embrace it… If Paul Krugman has a good idea, in terms of how to spend money efficiently and effectively to jump-start the economy, then we’re going to do it.”

Now Krugman has taken Obama up on his offer. Writing in today’s Times, the Nobel Prize winning economist puts together a laundry list of economic to-do’s, with the general theme of making the stimulus “bigger.”

• “Mr. Obama should scrap his proposal for $150 billion in business tax cuts”
• He should “get an early start on the insurance subsidies — probably running at $100 billion or more per year”
• His plan should “include[e] a lot more public investment in his plan.”
• He should not “wait for proof that a bigger, longer-term plan is needed… Right now the investment portion of the Obama plan is limited by a shortage of “shovel ready” projects, projects ready to go on short notice. A lot more investment can be under way by late 2010 or 2011 if Mr. Obama gives the go-ahead now — but if he waits too long before deciding, that window of opportunity will be gone.”

 

In providing Obama stimulus advice, Krugman is not alone. Writing on his personal blog, last week, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich had a specific recommendation for Obama’s economic team. If you wanted to create “lots of new jobs” while also investing “in the nation’s future productivity,” go green, he wrote.

… there’s no reason to think about “green jobs” as simply high-tech. Many low-income and low-skilled workers — women as well as men — could be put directly to work providing homes and businesses with more efficient and renewable heating, lighting, cooling, and refrigeration systems; installing solar panels and efficient photovoltaic systems; rehabilitating and renovating old properties, and improving recycling systems. “Green Jobs Corps” teams could be trained to evaluate and advise homeowners and businesses on these and other means of conserving energy.
[snip]

I’d suggest that all contracts entered into with stimulus funds require contractors to provide at least 20 percent of jobs to the long-term unemployed and to people within comes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. And at least 2 percent of project funds should be allocated to such training. In addition, advantage should be taken of buildings trades apprenticeships — which must be fully available to women and minorities.

 

As Reich and others argue, training people for “green jobs” could be a relatively cheap down payment for long-term economic growth. Employers may have to be nudged into helping — one of the chief concerns is not the cost but that a large enough work force won’t be in place — but once the ball is rolling a green corps could provide a large bang for the stimulus buck. And Obama has offered support for the idea.

“Not only does it generate good high paying long term jobs,” said Sasha Mackler, a research director for the National Commission on Energy Policy, which will be releasing a report on jobs generated from energy projects this coming spring. “It also gets us going in the direction we need to be in a lot of other fronts, including climate change and energy, which will be good for Americans in other areas.”

Where did my day go?

November 16, 2007

 

Where did the day go? I had a whole list of things I wanted to get done but that went out the window as soon as I walked in this morning.

 

 

Sound familiar! Are you running your day or the day running you?

 Ever think of outsourcing? 

Companies have come to realize that outsourcing is a fairly powerful and effective management tool. It allows you to address an issue, provide a solution; increase efficiencies and profits while keeping your pulse on daily activities that demand your attention.

 

 

When a company approaches outsourcing for the first time the most challenging question is the most basic one:

 

Where do we begin?

 

 

 

 

A recent executive forum favored starting with generic, transaction based business processes such as finance, accounting and information technology. They felt that these fields offer quick wins, attractive returns with relatively low levels of risk.

Hutchinson Business Solutions….Your Outsource Solution

Today it is more important than ever to take an objective look at your operating expenses.

 

Below are areas with great opportunities for savings.

  • Payroll Taxes – There is a 50% chance you are overpaying payroll taxes.
  • Sales Tax – Long thought to be the “cost of doing business.”
  • Telecom – Clients are saving from 10 % to 40%.
  • Fleet Management – You can now “put your fleet in the palm of your hand.”
  • Data Solutions – Ask about our Virtual CIO Managed Service Program.
  • Utilities – Deregulated savings for large volume users.
  • Insurance – Cost continue to trend from 10% to 20% a year.

Many clients are enjoying the savings and have received refunds for overpayments.

A new global study on business outsourcing relationships finds that:

·        74% use “business outcomes” to measure performance

·        61% say outsourcing helps their companies perform better

·        74% are satisfied with their outsourcing experience

Thinking of outsourcing? Call 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadvantage.com to discuss what opportunities are available. 

Hutchinson Businees Solutions…Your CFO on the Go

Defining opportunities today, increasing profits for tomorrow.

Take the First Step Today

November 16, 2007

HBS goes beyond the “bottom line” by introducing fresh, bold ideas that set the pace for future profitability.  Opportunities to increase profits are available; take the first step today and continue reading …

Below is an overview of some of the projects HBS has been working on recently and the opportunities presented to our clients. We invite you to be one of our success stories.

Opportunity: Payroll Tax

Client spun off from major area bank and set up new company in spring of 2004. New Federal ID numbers were issued and tax rates were assigned by both State and Federal agencies.

 Solution:

Upon reviewing the assigned tax rates, it was determined that the client made duplicate payroll tax payments in three areas. Our client received a substantial 5-figure refund from these agencies.

  

Opportunity: Voice and Data

Major South Jersey non-profit health organization invited HBS to review their current voice and data configuration and costs.

 Solution:

Multiple solutions were initiated to provide substantial savings as well as insure quality of service. All Verizon platform lines were converted to a local carrier, servicing the Verizon network, for over a 40% savings. The long distance was also ported to the same provider for a 50+% savings. Total annual savings totaled over $50,000.

  

Opportunity: Sales Tax

Major South Jersey Company, building multiple locations in three states, retained HBS to review the effects of sales tax liability in those states.

 Solution:

Upon reviewing multiple invoices of multiple vendors involved with the construction of these locations, it was determined that our client had overpaid sales tax on real property issues in all three states. Customer received over a $3m refund.

  

Opportunity: Voice and Data

Growing area Mortgage Company requested that HBS review their current voice and data configuration and costs.

 Solution: Multiple solutions were initiated to provide substantial savings as well as insure quality of service. All Verizon platform lines were converted to a local carrier, servicing the Verizon network, for over a 40% savings.  As a result of our efforts, the customer was able to cancel multiple lines that showed no usage. We are currently reviewing their long distance and data contracts – potential savings over $100,000.

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend. 

Should you like to discuss opportunities available for your company to increase profits call us at 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

 

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions has a 90% success rate providing savings and getting refunds for our clients.

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions…Your CFO on the Go. 

Defining opportunities today, increasing profits for tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

Unemployment is the 2nd  highest employer mandated tax, yet no one seems to question it.

What is your current rate?

Your Unemployment account is similar to having an open checkbook with the State:

  • The State assigns your rates

  • The State has total control of all monies in the account

  • The State determines the amount of each payment and disburses payments from this account

  • The State sends a quarterly reconciliation of all activity in the account

Would you handle your personal account this way?

How much did your company pay into Unemployment last year?

What is your reserve balance? (How much is in your State Checkbook)?

 Did You Know:

  • The State of New Jersey has a 12% error rate in the payment of unemployment claims.
    •  The state is overpaying the amount of the claim
  • The US Dept of Labor states that there is a 50% chance a company is overpaying taxes if they have been involved with a merger, acquisition or restructuring
    • All the due diligence is done prior to the above activity
    • The papers are then sent to the state to be recorded
    • Who validates that the transaction was recorded properly by the State

Hutchinson Business Solutions ( HBS ) works as an advocate for our clients. The onus is on the company to show that their rate is incorrect and that you may have overpaid Payroll Taxes.

 We have a 90% success rate 

Our team of experts deals only with Unemployment and other payroll related taxes only. We are able to look back over the past 3 to 4 years and determine if your rates were calculated properly. If there is an error, we will review the information with the client and take the necessary steps to have it corrected.

There is no upfront fee, we are only paid if there is a mistake and the client receives a refund and or credit to correct the rates. 

This is a Win / Win

  • HBS will validate your unemployment rates are correct.

  • There is no upfront cost; we work on a contingency basis.

  • These taxes have already been paid!

 You may qualify for a Refund!

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend. 

Should you like to discuss opportunities available for your company to increase profits call us at 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions…Your CFO on the Go. 

Defining opportunities today, increasing profits for tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

Why pay more taxes?

November 6, 2007

You work hard for your money. The government has imposed taxes that all individuals and companies must pay.

 

An individual hires an accountant to review their earning and verify they pay only their fair share. Tax laws are complicated so you rely on these professionals to review applicable codes to make sure the amount paid is correct.

Corporations pay multiple taxes; they hire professionals’ to review annual revenues and calculate corporate taxes due both the state and federal government. Yet companies fail to review two of the largest taxes they pay on a recurring basis.

Unemployment Taxes – This is the 2nd highest employer mandated tax. Think of having an open checkbook in the state’s hands. They tell you what your rate is and how much you should put into the account. (The states average a 10% error rate in the calculation of these rates.)  Then they send you a quarterly statement outlining how much they took out of your account.

Would you handle your personal checking account this way?

 10% error rate!! Could you be paying too much?     

Sales Tax – Talk about being complicated. Do you know the laws of what is a taxable item? You are not alone!

It seems when in doubt; tax it.

Why aren’t companies taking the time to look at these taxes?

Is paying taxes a sign of patriotism?

We all agree that we should pay our fair share!

Remember, the government is not asking you to overpay? They have taken the time to detail what should be paid.

We have a 90% success rate recovering overpayments of sales tax.

If you have not taken the time to ask yourself these questions, maybe now is a good time to start.

Next Step

We have a 90% success rate in getting refunds for our clients.

 Remember these taxes (Unemployment Taxes or Sales tax) have already been paid.  

All these issues are time sensitive. We have seen cases where clients have lost out on an opportunity to secure a refund for they hesitated and the statute of limitations to process the claim had run out.

There are no upfront costs for our services. We are only compensated by our ability to identify issues and provide refunds for our clients

Take the step to act now!

Ask the question!

 You may qualify for a refund!

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend. 

 

 

Should you like to discuss opportunities available for your company to increase profits call us at 856-857-1230.

Hutchinson Business Solutions has a 90% success rate providing savings and getting refunds for our clients.

HBS…Your CFO on the Go. Defining opportunities today, increasing profits for tomorrow.Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.