Rio Grande Fence Co. of Nashville, Tennessee, had humble beginnings. In 1958, armed with $1,500 and pure tenacity, Derek Smith’s grandfather and grandmother invested everything they had and started the company from scratch. Over the years, the company made the decision to move away from the residential market and concentrate on providing fencing to general contractors, business owners and government agencies. This decision has enabled the company to give “white-glove treatment” to a more focused clientele and to work on establishing itself as The Commercial Fence Professionals™.
That tradition of service excellence doesn’t stop with Rio Grande’s customers. It extends to the company’s more than 40 employees who, through their access to ADP TotalSource®, are empowered to more easily personalize their benefits selections, plan for retirement, and monitor their payroll. And the ADP® onboarding solution helps company management find and introduce new employees to this nurturing company culture.
“A company of any merit that wants its employees to give great service has to give its employees great service,” said Smith, Chief Operating Officer of the company. “We wanted to offer our employees high-quality, turnkey solutions so their personal lives were less stressful and their interaction with the human resources department was consistently done with care.
“It’s very important to us to give our employees the tools they need to make their lives easier,” said Smith. “We wanted to provide them with a benefits package that was the same as the one our family uses. We wanted them to be able to go to top-notch facilities and get great care. After studying several options, we decided to outsource the company’s human resource functions to ADP TotalSource, a professional employer organization that we learned was recently certified by the U.S. government.”
A PEO like ADP TotalSource provides a co-employment relationship in which clients retain day-to-day management of their employees, and the PEO handles HR and employee benefits administration responsibilities. Clients who partner with ADP TotalSource gain access to a larger suite of offerings, including FORTUNE 500®-caliber health benefits and employee growth and development programs. These, in turn, allow clients to provide more robust benefits to help attract and retain employees. As of March 31, 2017, ADP TotalSource supported 471,000 worksite employees.
Rio Grande Fence Co. of Nashville employees appreciate the convenience and buying power that comes from having an established PEO provider, the company said.
“We wanted our employees to have immediate access to their information,” Smith explained. “So we put a computer in our break room for employees to access the ADP HR portal, and an adjacent ‘red phone’ that automatically dials the ADP MyLife Advisors help line.
“The red phone is more than just a symbol,” said Smith. “It means instant action. And it’s a visible reminder to employees that we’re committed to giving them access to professional human resources administrators who can provide them expert advice and resolve their questions the first time.”
ADP TotalSource solutions also are helping Rio Grande address the needs of employees who cut across multiple generations and have varying interests, according to Smith.
“The younger employees love the ADP® Mobile Solutions App,” he said. “They love being able to view pay statement, check company hours, or check on company news from their mobile phones. Other employees prefer using a desktop computer, so we’ve provided that option. The point is, no matter what your learning style or how you prefer to view information, ADP has the right options.”
Basic HR functions like payroll also have become easier to manage, said Smith.
“Payroll processing is now very streamlined,” said Smith. “And enrolling for benefits is practically as easy as buying a pizza online. The user interface is so intuitive and the information is in a very approachable format. Employees understand exactly what they’re getting and know what they’re choosing. And the system provides pricing instantly for various scenarios so employees can see the cost of their choices and possibly adjust them to suit their family’s budget. The solution gives them accurate information to help them make informed decisions for themselves and their families.”
This level of ease and convenience wasn’t always the case for Rio Grande.
“When we first switched to using a PEO, we used a smaller firm,” Smith explained. “Unfortunately, we found that although a PEO is a great concept, its services can leave a lot to be desired if the company doesn’t have the resources of a company the size and experience of ADP. That’s especially true if you’ve told your employees that they’ll be getting first-class service and they don’t. Our previous provider didn’t return employees’ calls promptly and that made them very frustrated and disappointed with us.
“We also discovered that a small hometown PEO couldn’t match the buying power of ADP,” Smith continued. “It couldn’t offer the breadth of options ADP can. For instance, our previous PEO offered only one health plan rather than the four we have access to through ADP TotalSource. ADP also has better 401(k) plan options, many of which weren’t available with our previous provider.”
Rio Grande Fence Company of Nashville also values the quality of ADP client services, which helps managers resolve HR issues for employees.
“Each manager has an ADP contact sheet they can use to help resolve employee issues,” said Smith. “ADP is like an extension of our staff. For instance, we have a professional safety and health consultant, an experienced payroll administrator, as well as access to workers’ compensation experts to help us with those evaluations. Access to insights from industry experts makes us more productive and frees us to focus on our day-to-day jobs and on helping our business grow.”
Introducing new employees to Rio Grande’s processes and company culture is one of Smith’s personal commitments to the growth of the family business.
“I sit with every new hire,” Smith explains. “I spend the entire first day with them and walk them through the process. The ADP TotalSource new-hire process is tremendous. It leads them through every aspect of the hiring process. There’s no guesswork. And for an employer, it helps keep the company in compliance with the correct processes it needs to satisfy. ADP TotalSource also has a wonderful video that explains the relationship between TotalSource and Rio Grande. The new-hire online solution system gets people comfortable on day one and familiarizes them with how we operate.”
As Rio Grande Fence Company of Nashville looks to the future, Smith remains committed to the PEO model.
“There’s no way we could offer industry-leading benefits to our team without ADP doing the heavy lifting for us,” Smith concludes. “We couldn’t offer best-in-class benefits to our employees on a small business budget. And it’s nice to have a business partner that can scale with us no matter how large our company becomes. And we’re confident that as we grow, ADP will be there to provide us with resources we need at any level.”