I began the journey at TPG (The Payroll Group) in New Orleans, LA where a wonderful group of folks had gathered to meet with their peers, and sharpen their skills. From there I did a quick pass through Boca Raton, FL to visit PASBA where good people get together to fulfill their mission of, "Teach, Share, Learn" - working together to build each other up.
What did I learn out there? Well, the two questions that I had that were were itching to be answered were:
- How is the economy treating the payroll industry?
- What are biggest software/system related concerns on your mind today? (yeah - this is my area, and how I put food on the table)
The concensus was that:
- The 'exciting' changes in our nation's economy have not hit the payroll bureaus too hard thus far. Some concerns regarding S&H rate hikes that are to be expected, but no real increase in non-starts, or cancelations have been felt by those I spoke to.
- The biggest concerns that were expressed were regarding continuity of their product that is in use given the recent interest in a number of software products by investment groups. Quarterly Profits don't always = Customer Centric. Also, the need to move toward bundled solutions and away from 'nickle/dime' price plans was much discussed. The core need to be able to say 'yes' to anything a client wants that ADP or Paychex currently can provide was of primary concern.
I rounded out the trip at my own company's User Group in Indianapolis. It was great to see the familiar faces, and the new faces together in the same room - learning from each other, and sharing hundreds of years of combined experience.