Outsourcing: 'You can only juggle so much'

Friday, February 29, 2008

NORCROSS, Ga. - While many providers waffle over the value of outsourcing such obvious tasks as billing, Extracare embraces it as part of an aggressive growth strategy.
"In any small business, you decide what's important to be successful, and then decide which ones you are likely to do well yourself," said Scott Lloyd, president of the three-year-old respiratory company. "We feel competent in our ability to develop and manage a great sales force, customer and clinical service, and delivery."
Among the tasks Extracare outsources: billing and collections; CPAP compliance and supply reorders; various accounting functions; delivery of liquid oxygen refills and employment.
"It gives us the capacity to grow quickly," said Lloyd. "You can only juggle so much at once."
About a year-and-a-half ago, Extracare switched to a professional employer organization (PEO) to handle human resource functions like payroll, benefits management and worker's compensation. The company's 25 employees--including Lloyd and his partner--are essentially employees of the PEO.
Extracare handles employee recruiting and hiring, and sets policies for vacation and sick days and 401K matching, but the PEO handles the details.
Because workers are part of a larger pool, they have access to more comprehensive benefits that a small company might not afford otherwise, said Lloyd.
"It's been a negligible expense," he said. "Any costs have been offset by savings in worker's compensation. And it's nothing but positive for the employees."