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In an interview with CIO Applications, EVCO Insurance’s Everett Lebherz, President, and Michael Musgrave, VP of client strategy, share their insights into how their company marries the expertise of insurance brokerage with technology to offer cutting-edge, paperless employee benefits and HR solutions for small-and medium-sized businesses across multiple industries.
Beyond Your Typical Brokerage Services
Musgrave: While we have the expertise to identify and select the best insurance rates in the market, and formulate a superior benefits strategy, it is not the only aspect that defines EVCO Insurance today. We aim to bring this expertise to our clients through digital platforms. Guiding a company at each stage of their digital transformation, we help our clients enjoy a paperless experience for communicating, understanding, and processing benefits.
Lebherz: Our goals lie at simplifying the employee administration cycle. It is not something that is ‘one and done.’ It is an uninterrupted process that begins with the hiring of a new employee, onboarding him/her, and then enrolling the employee for benefits every year. At EVCO Insurance, we digitalize and simplify this workflow for small businesses. Alongside, through digitally-administered employee benefits and insurance solution, we also help instill a strong sense of non-essential employee responsibilities— such as enrolling in benefits and periodically updating personal information on HR platforms—within the workforce.
Conforming to Compliance
Musgrave: California—where EVCO Insurance’s headquarter is situated—is considered one of the strictest places in the U.S. in terms of compliance management. Every time we hire a new employee at our office, we have to provide them the standard w-4 (indicates an employee’s tax situation) and I-9 (employment eligibility verification), along with the company’s handbook and several other compliance documents. We understand that keeping up with the changing federal and state laws can be daunting for employers. EVCO Insurance strives to solve this burgeoning concern for enterprises by not only digitalizing the compliance management process but also automating the manual tracking and storing of the legal documents. So when a client comes on board, they can rest assured that all their compliance requirements are being effectively taken care of through our compliance modules.
Lebherz: Not just compliance, our holistic HR solution checks many more boxes that other traditional brokers cannot. For instance, we also integrate a full-scale paid time off (PTO) management in our benefits administration solution.
Listening to Our Clients above All
Musgrave: At the heart of all our innovative endeavors are our clients. We constantly listen to our clients’ needs and strive to meet those requirements. The reason we are able to make it happen is that EVCO Insurance is not confined to a single insurance company or technology. We probe into a company’s challenges, allow them to choose and weigh their solution preferences, and simply marry the two with our expertise.
At the heart of all our innovative endeavors are our clients. We constantly listen to our clients’ needs and strive to meet those requirements
EVCO Insurance’s Success Trail
Musgrave: We have many clients from the San Francisco Bay Area—which is majorly dominated by startups. Working with those startups we have understood that the primary setback of the company might not be migrating their benefits administration and payroll system online. More often than not, a startup might not even have an established HR solution in place to move at all. For instance, a client that we had onboarded did not have an employee handbook in place. To help such startups, we have built a network of resources by partnering with different HR companies and technology vendors. So, seeking assistance from our partner vendors, we first helped our startup client put together an employee handbook. In case of more complex systems (like payroll system), we assist our clients in the initial rounds of communications with the vendors—explaining the challenges and requirements—and provide a list of recommended solutions. Once the solutions are up and running, we support our clients on ways to operate the HR system on a day-to-day basis.
Lebherz: On the other side, we also work with well-established companies. In one scenario, we were working with a large firm, and a majority of their workforce was blue-collar employees. The company had 80 stores that were spread out nationwide. Soon the company realized that managing paper applications of all their distantly-located employees becoming an uphill task for their HR department. Although the company wanted to digitalize their HR systems, their workforce—lacking email accounts—made it virtually impossible to turn their digitalization dream into a reality. Getting onboard with us, within 12 months, we had over 90 percent of the employees’ email accounts created and integrated into a centralized HR platform. This project helped us prove the fact that digital solutions can be implemented for the blue-collar industry as well.
Even from the pricing perspective, we are more cost-effective than a professional employer organization (PEO) or an HR outsourcing company. Last year we engaged with a company with 15 employees, and we were able to save them $50,000 a year on their premiums as it did not include the monthly PEO administrative fees.
The Path That Lies Ahead
Musgrave: The core of what makes us successful is our ability to broker employee benefits and HR tech. We broker innovative technologies and benefits administration practices to improve the overall employee management cycle and offer a more consolidated HR solution for small businesses. Keeping up with that trend, in the next 12 months, our endeavor lies in integrating a payroll system into our solution. We are confident that payroll management will add an extra edge to our paperless HR drive.