How BEI Makes Time for Its Two Missions: Service and Diversity

April 6, 2016
By

BEI Net.works

With technology constantly changing, how can businesses stay relevant? One answer is to hire a skilled technology partner—an experienced team to manage the very backbone of technology: the network. Founded in 1991 by network engineer Kris Bruno, BEI Net.works focuses on providing full service and staying ahead of the curve. Businesses both big and small—from stadiums to schools—rely on BEI to design networks that meet the needs of now, but also anticipate future trends.

In 2005, Darby Bruno took majority ownership of the business, so Kris, her husband, could concentrate on operations and she, as CEO, could focus on strategy and growing the business. She also had a personal mission: “I have my own supplier diversity initiative within my small business to hire other diverse businesses,” she explains. BEI became certified by WBENC as a Women’s Business Enterprise in 2014, and Darby is a strong advocate for women-owned and other diverse businesses. So much so, that she’s incorporated diversity into BEI’s dual missions: to provide robust service as a central part of the technology solution, and to hire other diverse businesses in the process.

From Scattered Information to Streamlined HR

Soon into running her business, Darby found she had to contend with a constant stream of administrative tasks that took her attention away from business development and BEI’s two missions. HR information was scattered in separate places. Benefits were a chore. Onboarding took several emails and as many as 30 documents. “There was always paper going back and forth,” she remembers, “And I was doing everything myself.”

The time-starved CEO learned about Zenefits and decided to give it a try in 2015. Now, information is centrally located, and there’s a single source of truth. Far from the “huge rigamarole” of past broker procedures, benefits administration is a delight. Darby can see all her employees’ benefits and deductions right through her Zenefits dashboard. “Before, I’d go into a binder, and everyone would have to fill out these election sheets, and I’d have to gather the numbers and calculate the contributions. Just my side of things would take four hours to get that kind of stuff done, whereas now it’s all right there in Zenefits.”

Increasing Visibility and Saving Hours of Work

BEI recently hired two employees through Zenefits, and Darby says “onboarding is now 1,000 times easier.” The company handbook, policies, and information are all hosted by Zenefits, and new hires can e-sign their documents. There’s zero paperwork and no back-and-forth eating up that vital first day. Employees can complete their onboarding before they start, and they can also update their HR information themselves. “If someone has an address change, they can take care of it. I don’t even have to get involved,” she says. “That has to be my favorite thing.”

And Darby keeps finding new favorite ways that Zenefits saves time. BEI is joining the New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce in NH, and yearly dues are dictated by reported payroll. Prior to Zenefits, she’d have to go through a very cumbersome reporting process to get the information on just her NH-based employees. It would’ve taken at least an hour previously, but with Zenefits she had her numbers in five minutes. “Having this kind of visibility that quickly is incredible,” says Darby. “I’m saving hours of work.”

Returning the Focus to Her Two Missions

BEI is on the leading edge of High-Density Wi-Fi, and Darby is really excited about growing the clientele for that part of their business. They’ve already provided network design or support to seven major league football teams, and they’re looking to expand into major league baseball—which, in New England, is part of the supplier diversity network and has a commitment to work with diverse companies.

“For our dual missions, my personal mission and BEI’s mission, Zenefits means I don’t have to be involved in the HR administrative tasks,” says Darby. “With that off my plate, I can focus directly on my personal mission of reaching out to diverse suppliers, and working within the supplier diversity realm to secure new contracts through that world. And for BEI’s mission of having services be part of the solution right up front, again it alleviates the administrative work so we can focus on our clients instead.”

Darby hopes to introduce BEI not only to baseball, but also to soccer, hockey, and other sports leagues. With her newly streamlined HR, she’s poised to realize her vision. “In business, there are all these administrative things that someone has to do. I didn’t have an admin to do it, so it used to take hours out of my day. And now it doesn’t. Because it’s all just right there in Zenefits.”

About

Jeremy "Sprout" Brautman is a writer, problem solver, and big fan of growth. When he's not trying to solve problems to help small businesses grow, he can be found developing amenities to increase occupancy at his urban Ladybug Hotel.

Category: Small Business Success Stories


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