Posted by: danielrashke | July 9, 2015

On the Subject of Being Influential

In Business Cover

A local business magazine, In Business, recently released its list of the 2015 25 Most Influential People in Madison, Wisconsin. I am truly honored to be on that list. But this tribute got me thinking about what it means to be influential. Merriam-Weber defines influential as a person or thing that exerts influence or has the power to cause change. Influence is defined as the power to have an important effect on someone or something. Finally, if someone influences another person (or thing), they are changing that person or thing in an indirect but important way.

According to the article, crisis management is a dominant theme among this year’s honorees. Fortunately, this is not apt in my case. Any crisis in my life pales indeed when compared to crises that challenge our Police Chief and District Attorney, two other “influentials” on the list. Nevertheless, the magazine stated that we all share a unique trait: we offered something significant during the past year. For me, it is my commitment to philanthropy, demonstrated by giving TASC employees up to five days of paid time off each year to contribute their time to bettering the community, and by serving as the 2015 campaign chair for the United Way of Dane County.

But still, I wondered, what makes a person influential? An article in Forbes Magazine by Mark Fidelman listed 25 things influential people do better than anyone else. And while I certainly don’t identify with all 25, a few definitely fit me. For example, number four says influential people exhibit passion for their interests. I know I have a lot of passion for TASC, and for the United Way and philanthropy in general. Hopefully, it shows… Number nine says influential people maintain an intense focus. I can be intensely focused at times; just ask my staff.

I certainly believe influential people are multi-taskers (#13 on Fidelman’s list), are flexible and adaptable (#14), and leverage technology to improve their reach (#17). These three traits are the absolute bedrock of what makes TASC tick, and are reiterated in our Mission, Vision, and Values. Lastly, I completely identify with number 23: influential people don’t have an off switch. Again, just ask folks at TASC.

The moral of this story is clear: any individual can strive to adapt to various traits on “the list,” to work to become influential. Anyone.

Posted by: danielrashke | June 19, 2015

One TASC

We’re not resting on our laurels. It’s true that we’re celebrating our 40th year in business. And it’s true that we are the largest, privately-owned third onetasc-01party administrator in the nation. But if you think we are slowing down or taking it easy, you couldn’t be more wrong. We have spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours in labor to bring an improved customer experience, new system capabilities, and new service offerings. Under the project name, One TASC, we are working to integrate our multiple service offerings into a single experience for our Clients so things work smoother and faster.

One TASC is actually several different projects, each addressing an area of process improvement. The first coalesced calls, training, and communications to address all services contracted, no matter the number of services the Client has with TASC. The result?  An on-boarding process that’s simpler and less time-consuming for Clients with multiple services. In another project, we removed potentially confusing language and redesigned our website to reflect the way Participants use it, putting the most common actions on the front page. And with our Participants in mind, we are working to offer a single access point for TASC services, which should be ready later this summer.

Finally, we are tweaking a robust system that will store all Participant information in a single place. Clients will be able to search for employees across service offerings, and once there, make additions, changes, and terminations with the data flowing to all affected service offerings. This will eliminate double data entry, save time, and increase accuracy.

After 40 years of growth and innovation, we continue to expand our services and provide the best possible customer experience. Considering our commitment to strengthening customer relationships, our history of technological development, our experience and expertise, and our scope and breadth, this should come as no surprise. It’s how we live up to our name “Total Administrative Services.”

We’re not stopping there! Of course you can expect more exciting innovations coming from TASC. I’ll be talking about these in a future blog.

Posted by: danielrashke | June 11, 2015

Our TASC

Posted by: danielrashke | June 3, 2015

TASC Provider Learns the Value of ERISAEdge

Do you know anybody who wants to be audited? I don’t! Recently, a TASC Provider witnessed firsthand the benefits of signing Clients with TASC’s ERISAEdge. Thanks to TASC and ERISAEdge, Keith Zuckerman, President of Professional Group Plans, Inc. was very pleased with the results of a Department of Labor (DOL) audit.

After the DOL audit, Keith told his staff how thankful he was that the Client in question had signed with ERISAEdge. After all, as directed by ERISAEdge, the Client had distributed Plan information in a manner acceptable to the DOL. Having done so, the Client was able to quickly provide the information requested in the audit. Indeed, the DOL Senior Investigator said the quick turnaround truly helped. And thanks to ERISAEdge—and the Client’s promptness—the DOL Investigator started the meeting by saying it would be brief and painless. And it was. He said he had not seen a group with ERISAEdge before; that almost every company he meets with fails to have the required Summary Plan Description (wrap document).

Keith was convinced and convincing in this post-audit email to his staff: “Now, here is the important part. My Client couldn’t thank me enough for insisting they buy ERISAEdge and then encouraging them to distribute the information in a compliant manner. Believe in this product and sell it. It will help you build and fortify relationships!”

I have been in this business for more than 30 years and must admit that Keith’s is one of the best complements I have ever heard.  Like Keith, I’m convinced that all businesses deserve this level of guidance and protection.

Posted by: danielrashke | May 7, 2015

All About the AND

ampersandAfter a week with our top distributors in Scottsdale, Arizona, I’m settling back into the office and looking back at that important gathering, and at another. Specifically, I’m ruminating about our annual Company Meeting, held in March, and about our Provider Incentive Program (PIP) Convention, held early in May. At both events we spent considerable time, effort, and resources getting our message across to our most important partners.

At both meetings, we talked about the power of one word: AND. At TASC we want to grow AND excel. How long would we last if we chose to focus on growth alone and neglected our service? Or if we focused on exceling without any thought of growth? Both are vital to the long-term success of TASC.

We strive for strategic AND operational excellence. We don’t sacrifice one for the other.  Even when we grow, we grow through acquisitions AND traditional sales. Throw into the mix incremental AND transformational innovations. Incremental innovations are the little tweaks you make to improve something, to make it better. We are really good at that. Meanwhile, we strive for transformational innovations as well; these are the innovations that transform the industry.

AND is not easy. Of course you all know what a challenge it can be to juggle our many roles. Who wouldn’t want to be a better spouse AND a better employee? And while we can’t have perfect balance between the two at all times, we all strive for just that.

So why is TASC all about the AND?  As I stated earlier, it’s because we’re striving to ensure the long-term sustainability of our business. To ensure that we remain relevant AND achieve our desired financial outcomes. If we ignore the AND, we won’t find the next new product, the next market opportunity, or the next new way of doing business.

Without a doubt, the biggest and most important AND we talked about is you AND me. That’s the other theme we stressed during these meetings. You AND I can succeed better together.

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