Posted by: danielrashke | May 10, 2017

Taking the Time to Listen

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Just a few weeks ago, our top performing Providers enjoyed an exclusive reward incentive trip to Banff, Canada. Each year, as part of our Provider Incentive Program (PIP), TASC recognizes those distributors, brokers, account managers, accountants, and other vital partners who distribute our services to their Clients all across the country.

It’s a great time for all of us – but in particular for me as CEO, because I get to hear feedback “straight from the horse’s mouth.” You see, at TASC, we’re about far more than telling our team about recent developments or direction – we’re about listening to them, the people who know us best, our Providers and our Clients.

We believe in making the time to sit and listen. To ask questions and wait for the answers. To consider the answers fairly even when they make us uncomfortable. We know that the challenge of constructive feedback is absolutely essential to our organization. Over the years, we’ve heard suggestions to improve services, our interactive voice response (IVR) phone system, our sales materials, and even our website. We’ve also tested new services with this group, garnering their feedback about new innovations. And even when (as happened one year!) a Provider says, “Dan – you can’t do that! That’s a crazy idea!” we hear it and absorb it. In that particular case, we went ahead with the idea anyway and MyCash was born. Once it launched, that skeptical Provider could see it was a good idea, and today is one of its staunchest supporters.

This year we held strategy meetings with each and every Provider on the trip. That means, every Provider was given a half hour, one-on-one session with a TASC sales, marketing, or executive representative to make sure his or her voice is being heard. That’s how important Provider feedback is to us.

It’s all about give and take. Ask and listen. I’m fortunate to work with great Providers who believe in TASC’s vision now and for the future. I hope to see even more people at next year’s PIP Trip. Maybe you can join us?

Posted by: danielrashke | January 13, 2017

New Year, New Challenges

american-flagFor eight years a Democrat has occupied the White House. And as I sit in my office in January of 2017, we are mere days away from swearing in a new President of the United States. Donald Trump, a Republican, is moving in, and President Barack Obama is moving out. Meanwhile, both Houses of our government are now controlled by the Republican Party.

As discussed for years by Republicans, a key issue to them continues to be the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare. Indeed, the Senate has already started the process of repealing the ACA a full week before the incoming President’s inauguration. And while Donald Trump has promised a replacement for the ACA, up to now, we haven’t seen any specifics.

So where might such a change leave those of us who are involved in the benefits administration industry? What might it mean for our customers and their employees? I clearly recall asking questions like these eight years ago. Back then, the ACA was working its way through committees and debates. Many people on both sides of the aisle were speculating about how the passage of this bill would affect us and the people we serve. Many suggested that this bill would signal the end of the road for TASC and others like us. But we are still here. And we’re stronger than ever.

In 2013, I wrote a blog about the upcoming ACA changes just as some of the major provisions of the law were being enacted. This is a passage from my December 27, 2013 blog: “Trust your business with a Third-Party Administrator (TPA) who takes the time to research and comprehend ACA! We continually implement necessary changes and continually update administrative processes to comply. In every instance, we are pro-Client and pro-Participant. This means, as always, that TASC will continue to make every effort to transition promptly, as necessary, and to assuage possible financial harm to Participants or Clients as we do.”

The blog expressed TASC’s position regarding the ACA then, and it expresses our continued position today. We hold fast to the meaning, no matter what the future may bring. In a world of constant change, isn’t it reassuring to know you can count on TASC? As always, we’ll continue to meet the challenges of change. And as always, we’ll help you do the same.

Posted by: brucestein | November 23, 2016

National Directors Institute

ndi-executive-exchangeRecently, I was honored and pleased to join a panel discussion addressing Board Committee Structure, Responsibilities, and Composition.  This Chicago-based event was sponsored by the National Directors Institute’s (NDI) Executive Exchange, a forum for business leaders looking to explore the latest developments in the corporate finance and governance landscape.

I thank Attorney Steve Barth of Foley & Lardner for asking that I participate. Moderated by Attorney Anne Ross, the discussion also featured Ann Wenzel, Assistant Secretary, Associate General Counsel at American Family Mutual Insurance Company. Attendees with widely diverse experiences joined us from a variety of industries and organization large and small.

As you can tell by the title, we focused on utilizing boards in the corporate world. Because TASC is privately held, I’m allowed a certain freedom in designing our board, a looseness not afforded to officers in a publicly traded company. While the TASC board focuses on strategic planning, our governance and protection are that of a publicly held organization.

At TASC, our board philosophy is one that stresses “throughput” and simplicity. I use a scale to illustrate the span between protection and planning, a span that our board addresses via oversight and development—for myself, for my leadership, and for the entire organization. To achieve desired outcomes, “TASC Forces”—our spin on the more traditional committee—focuses on five components to achieve desired outcomes: financial audit, non-financial audit, governance, strategy for TASC, and strategy for our holding company.

It was certainly an honor to sit on this panel. Yet, with all the knowledge in the room, I wish I’d been able to learn more about what these movers and shakers were innovating within their own organizations. On the other hand, the audience had some great questions for me.

I was asked how TASC achieves cross-pollination between our different committees. My answer: committees are chaired by board members, and committee participants include at least one additional board member. Together these individuals bring key findings and questions to the full board each quarter. When asked how we keep TASC committees fresh, my answer was simple: board members have staggered term lengths. By maintaining a good mix of turnover we keep ideas and viewpoints fresh. And this strategic timing also helps us maintain consistency because our entire board doesn’t turn over at the same time.

The topic was very interesting and the discussion was excellent. I am happy I could be part of the Executive Exchange and heartily encourage others to attend this worthwhile event.

Click on this graphic below for more information about the NDI Executive Exchange.

foley-lardner

Posted by: danielrashke | October 27, 2016

On the Campaign Trail

totalGreen Bay. Denver. Minneapolis. No, these aren’t the stops on a political campaign. But then again, they just might be. You see, after 41 years in business, TASC is at a crossroads of sort. We can stay as we are today and most likely continue to experience consistent growth. At least for the time being.  And while staying the course wouldn’t hurt us in the near future, I believe the time is right to take a new direction at TASC. One that, hopefully, will help ensure long-term growth for TASC. I’ll write more about TASC’s “Total 2020” in a future blog…

I admit that it’s quite an undertaking to get nearly 1,000 employees, in more than 60 locations, all heading in the same direction at the same time. That’s why I am on the campaign trail to create excitement and build support for this new direction. I am hitting the road to bring this message to TASC’s employees who work outside of our corporate headquarters.

It started with our officers and executives at a Strategy Retreat in Green Bay, Wisconsin. That was in late September.   It continued in front of our entire Sales Team, some 150 strong from all across the country, in Denver, Colorado. That was last week. Next, we were on to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a large number of TASC’s team resides. And I expect many more campaign stops along the way. We will repeat this presentation wherever we can pull a sizeable group of employees together efficiently without disturbing TASC’s day-to-day operations.

I believe strongly in this new direction. So strongly, that I am willing to make the commitment to spend this time traveling to our employees, to take this time to explain our new direction, to ensure complete understanding, and to get everybody on board.

By presenting this information in person to our remote staff, we’re taking a completely new path in the way we’re disseminating new ideas. Meanwhile, staff in the corporate headquarters will view the presentation via videotape. (To give them insight into and appreciation of the remote experience.)

We value our remote teams. At TASC, this personal approach is just one indication of how serious we are about maintaining and engaging our remote staff.

Vote for TASC in November!

Posted by: brucestein | July 29, 2016

It’s who you know.

BIC_PayAwards2016Sometimes in business, it really comes down to who you know. Or at least, who you do business with. A few years ago we had the opportunity to join forces with the worldwide leader in payment cards, MasterCard. We reaped the benefit of this partnership right away. Working with this industry leader has made us stronger and better equipped to bring the latest innovations and service offerings to our clients and to the market.

As I have mentioned in an earlier blog, with MasterCard’s support and nomination, TASC was awarded “Best in Category” in the 2016 Best Health Benefits Delivery Pay Awards program. This prestigious worldwide award honors the best use of a business or corporate funded prepaid card to deliver health care benefits, including FSA, HSA and HRA programs. TASC was selected by an expert panel of judges who in recognizing the TASC Card said “when it comes to health benefits delivery, the cardholder experience and ease of use are paramount. The card that rose to top of this category is the one that offers a means to pay for eligible expenses and a separate purse for unrestricted spending of reimbursement funds.”

That is high praise indeed. Equally as gratifying is the message that Elaine Harkins, Vice President, Healthcare Business Development, MasterCard, U.S. Market Development sent to us. “We’re so proud to submit your nomination for this award, and even prouder to be your strategic partner!”

I feel exactly the same way about MasterCard. With their assistance we are able to deliver multiple purses, including the MyCash purse, which holds reimbursement funds for eligible purchases made with a payment method other than TASC Card. These funds in the MyCash purse can be spent where MasterCard is accepted, withdrawn at ATMs, or transferred to bank accounts. Additional cards are available for spouses and dependents, and cardholders pay no card-related fees. Our innovative MyCash has proven to be a true market differentiator for TASC, with MasterCard a partner in this process.

Thank you to MasterCard and the team that works with us. We are happy to have you as part of the TASC team, helping us drive our innovation forward. With MasterCard’s help we are not done innovating, not by a long shot. I am convinced that with everything in the works at TASC regarding our card program, the best is yet to come.

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