No. 91 – Paytime

Paytime – Robert Gialamas, president

Q: Give us an example of a business challenge your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

One of our biggest business challenges occurred in the late 90s. We had become quite stagnant from a new product perspective. We had to decide whether we should continue to develop our own payroll software or look for a service bureau class software package.  Developing payroll software for American companies is complex and costly. To do it correctly you have to handle all of the requirements for federal, 50 states, and thousands of local tax agencies and jurisdictions. 

We realized that our core competencies are our understanding of payroll accounting, customer service, and enabling people to live better lives by taking away some of the necessary yet mundane tasks of running a business. Developing software was not our core business and we found there are companies that are better at and more focused on developing payroll software than we were.

We found and switched to a service bureau class payroll product which still allows us a great amount of customization ability. This has helped us to grow and offer new products, such as Web-based payroll and timekeeping, much faster and more cost effective than if we had to focus on developing software for ourselves.

Q: In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

Creating or offering the latest and greatest widget or device is great. However, in the service industry, the widget or device being offered is often secondary to service or is service itself. That is why it is called a service industry. Paytime offers service and a relationship built on integrity. In order to offer great service, you need a team culture that will take an active and caring role toward the client as well as the performance of their own company. 

I really don’t consider myself all that innovative. Our cast and crewmembers at Paytime develop and practice innovation. Even the things that should be simple like the ability to return a phone call within a couple of hours or to resolve an issue quickly is quite innovative in today’s world. It’s about cultivating a culture so focused on doing what is right for a client that innovation happens automatically. 

Oh sure, we strategize and create product offerings that we call leading edge like our paperless payroll solutions. However without the proper people and culture, it would be almost meaningless. Everyone knows culture eats strategy for lunch every day. Paytime has great people and culture. 

Q: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned and how have you applied it?

There are so many great lessons that it is difficult to choose one. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is one from the heart. On September 11, 2001, approximately 3,000 people lost their lives while at work in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. These people did not ask to be in harm’s way, nor did they have any clue what was about to happen that day. Many did not get a chance to tell those who meant the most to them how much they love them. Since that day, I’ve tried to treat everyone with the utmost respect and understanding. I tell my family daily how much I love them. I believe overall, that day in history, has made me a better leader by highlighting what is truly important in life.

Q: How does your organization make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

Paytime’s impact on the community and regional economy is vast considering our small size. Aside from providing good paying positions with benefits for 33 people in Northeast Ohio, Paytime also supports many local businesses. We strive to purchase supplies from vendors in our area. Paytime donates to many charitable causes located right here in North East Ohio and elsewhere. Not to be forgotten, Paytime is responsible for accurately paying over 70,000 payroll checks or electronic payments each month to employees of business all across our region. We help business owners improve their business processes around payroll, timekeeping and HR.

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