Running a home improvement operation requires a lot of time and energy. Not only are you seeking the best new products and finding ways to provide next-level customer service, you also need to stay on top of a range of administrative tasks related to human resources.
One way the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) supports independent home improvement retailers is by developing partnerships with business services organizations. Last fall, NRHA partnered with human resources company Group Management Services (GMS). GMS serves small businesses that may not have in-house HR staff, and they have satellite offices throughout the U.S. That means that no matter where your business is based, you have access to HR experts as a member of NRHA.
Hardware Retailing spoke to Carie Williams, sales representative with GMS, to learn more about the company and what it offers NRHA members.
Hardware Retailing (HR): Can you tell us about GMS and what the company provides?
Carie Williams (CW): GMS is a professional employer organization (PEO) and a third-party administrator (TPA). We serve companies of all sizes across the country and help them take control of their HR functions.
Some of the many aspects GMS helps manage include payroll and taxes, administrative issues, employee benefits and risk management. There are many liabilities a retailer who isn’t well versed in current human resources issues simply might not be aware of. One of the biggest benefits of working with GMS is keeping retailers updated on all issues that could affect their business. Not knowing these issues could end up costing retailers greatly. We make sure there isn’t a scenario where retailers are caught unaware of a human resources issue.
HR: What would you say to a retailer who is reluctant to allow a company to manage their HR issues?
CW: If a retailer has multiple stores, they likely have at least one individual with a human resources background. However, retailers at smaller operations often tell me they rely on the services their wholesaler provides. While there is nothing wrong with that, I want them to understand how GMS can help. Our company has team members compliant in each state, which ensures that all rules and regulations are followed. We tailor our services to each company we work with.
We are here so retailers can focus on the goals they have for their businesses. They didn’t get into the hardware industry to learn how to do human resources. Plus, HR is a moving target, especially with constant changes in compliance being mandated from the state and federal levels.
HR: What are some examples of how GMS could help an independent retailer?
CW: GMS is here to help ensure our clients are covered. If an auditor comes to check the business and a retailer hasn’t been on top of the changes in workplace regulations, they might end up getting a costly fine. By working with our company, retailers stay on top of these state and federal changes and work with clients to implement new procedures and protocols within their businesses.
Additionally, we can be as involved or under the radar as the retailer wants. Some stores might instruct their employees to reach out to their GMS account manager. However, others might prefer to have us in the background. It’s entirely up to the retailer.
Our services include compliance advice, recruiting, background checks, payroll services and we even assist with succession planning. Once we begin working with a retailer, we’ll determine what areas they need help in and we will have an on-site visit at least once a quarter, providing personal, in-store assistance.
HR: How can retailers explore this opportunity further?
CW: If a retailer would like to talk to someone about GMS and what we can do for their business, they can contact me at 317-559-6304 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the company and our partnership with NRHA, visit nrha.org/group-management.