Payworks President Barb Gamey knows going green gives most people a feel-good glow for doing the environmentally right thing. But when she started her workforce management solutions company in 2001, she had a different motivation for creating a paperless system.
"Everybody wants to talk about data security," says Barb. "The reality is, every two weeks at every payroll provider there are bags and bags of confidential information incurred all over the country. This has been going on since the genesis of the service bureau. We printed in the eighties. That's what we did — we just printed. But from a confidentiality, data protection and integrity perspective, nothing should be sent in bags."
Recently named a Top 50 Best Managed Company by Deloitte, Payworks was the first company in the payroll industry to create a workforce management program. Developed in-house, proprietary software syncs payroll, attendance, human resources and employee self-service data, which allows one-stop shopping for the client. However, many clients used to receiving a bi-weekly sack full of envelopes with printed paycheques weren't interested in a cloud-based system. After taking the risk of receiving that payroll bag for years, a security breach due to the old-fashioned delivery system wasn't necessarily a top concern. So Barb tried a different strategy.
"We had to put a different optic on it and look at it from the green initiative, since there's a huge impact we can have environmentally by not printing and packing and shipping. That resonated more with our customers."
Now 24% of her approximately 9000 customers have gone paperless. Passing along the savings of 20%, Payworks stays true to the original vision Barb had before she launched the company.
"I looked at the value offering," she says. "Where is the industry today, where is it going to be in 3-5 years? I could see it was going down the road to large call centres and transaction driven relationships, which I felt were not in the best interest of the customer. Large print locations were sending gobs of information out the front door. As we were looking at providing services over the Internet, it occurred to me we could get rid of a lot of output concerns and deliver more information electronically. I felt strongly we could provide nice level of security and get rid of the worries of paper leaving the building."
With less paper leaving Payworks' building, more trees can stay in the ground — data security tinged an ecological shade of green.
by YouInc Columnist Tiffany Burns