A global electronics manufacturer was experiencing a variety of service delivery problems within its health and welfare (H&W), defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) services. From payroll deduction errors to inaccurate pension calculations to improperly amortized repayment schedules on 401(k) loans, the issues varied in nature and scope — but they all contributed to an escalating level of participant consternation and compliance risk.
A shoestring HR staff was hard-pressed to run an RFP process while managing its daily responsibilities, so the client sought SBA’s help evaluating and selecting new vendor partners.
Entrenched errors in DC plan administration made replacing that vendor a priority, so SBA searched for a new provider that could better serve the manufacturer’s needs and provide a higher degree of quality at a more favorable cost. Eighteen months later, SBA used the same approach to search for a new H&W and DB vendor:
- Helped the client develop its specific selection criteria for an optimal vendor
- Worked with the client team to define the desired service set and project outcomes
- Assisted client in understanding the industry, including recent trends, emerging vendors, and other important factors
- Researched, identified, and contacted potential vendor partners
- Created a focused RFP and executed a full search process, including a comprehensive analysis of vendor responses, qualifications, job sites and references
- Facilitated and attended presentations at finalist locations and facilitated vendor evaluation and selection
After selecting vendors, SBA helped the client negotiate favorable contract terms:
- Identified hidden liabilities, reviewed renewal terms and made wording suggestions
- Provided a comprehensive, redlined contract for final review that included modifications from SBA, benefits staff, procurement and client counsel
- Orchestrated contract negotiations with all parties
- Developed service-level agreement terms built to motivate vendor performance
- Negotiated reasonable contract early termination provisions and eliminated end-of-term transition fees
Finally, SBA assisted with the implementation of new services to three new providers, enabling the manufacturer’s HR staff to better focus on its daily responsibilities:
- Orchestrated specifications/requirements process, including meetings, reviews and final sign-off
- Ensured consistency between approved requirements and final programming
- Developed and executed comprehensive test plans
- Managed an extensive issue log and worked with the vendor on the client’s behalf to resolve problems
- Led overall project management for all three services in transition to ensure vendor accountability and adherence to plan
In the end, a company that previously considered an optimal solution to be having all of its benefits with one outsource provider found the opposite to be true. SBA assisted the client in all phases of the evaluation, transition and contracting to ensure the client achieved the higher levels of quality and service that the company and its participants sought. Today the client is experiencing optimal results from best-in-class vendors who have eliminated the client’s previous troubles.