Established for almost three decades in Southern California, Advanced Battery Systems is a respected volume dealer of quality batteries and electrical systems products. Providing batteries for everything from forklifts to golf carts, the company is known for providing the pricing, quality and service that the wholesale marketplace demands. Advanced Battery Systems help companies and businesses save time, money, and headaches by delivering a full line of heavy-duty batteries that range from specialized industrial products to emergency back-up systems.
Since batteries are their business and not just a line item, the company is able to deliver the best prices and services in their competitive industry. Once products are purchased from the company, the service is not over. Rather, as true battery specialists, Advanced Battery Systems has a staff of trained battery professionals who can service comprehensive battery, accessory, tester, and charger needs from start to finish. Testing, installation or instruction and legal disposal of lead batteries are all handled in a single phone call without the weight of external vendors.
As the President and Founder of Advanced Battery Systems, Richard Klein has over 30 years of experience in the battery replacement business. Early in the company’s history, Richard undertook an aggressive campaign to develop innovative new products and services for ABS customers. Under his leadership, ABS has grown from a modest automotive battery distributor into the industry’s leading battery replacement supplier and full-line battery distribution operation.
Richard Klein particularly is proud because the company’s growth over the past year and a half has been amazing. Advanced Battery Systems won the US Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Small Business Award. By delivering quality services without letting HR difficulties get in the way, the company has flourished. Richard Klein and his senior staff are soon going back to Washington for a big presentation of the award. For Total HR Management, Advanced Battery Systems is the exact type of success story that validates the work we do. By giving Richard the freedom to focus on what is essential to Advanced Battery Systems, allowing him to work for his business and not in his business, Total HR Management has helped the company continue to grow and prosper.
President Richard Klein:
1. What led you to consider outsourcing the Human Resources portion of your business?
There are things that we are good at and we need to accomplish to ensure the success of our business. We have to get those things off of our plate. Everything to do with HR gets in the way of the operation, the day-to-day operation of our business.
It also creates tension among the employees when you’re trying to handle stuff in-house. So having an outsourced manual, having not to think about our medical, dental, vacation schedules, the clock and payroll, helps our business to grow. Total HR is not just about payroll services; it delivers a total system and a whole separate business that we know we can rely on.
2. So what made you choose Total HR? What are the things that made you comfortable with going with Total HR?
Before Total HR, we were with other Payroll services and that was all they did. It was their only function. The number one reason I chose Total HR is trust and that is a big deal. The whole HR function is a big deal in a growing company. And I felt I could trust Dennis Bernstein implicitly. Dennis was my initial contact, but James has turned out to be great as well. They’re all great, Shelly and everyone I have dealt with. It is just a wonderful staff. Total HR helped our company come up with a growth plan. They have all sorts of seminars, and Total HR involves my company and myself at a level of planning and service that’s much higher than I have seen at other HR outsourcing companies.
3. How has working with Total HR helped? There are specific things that you really notice or things that are surprising to you. How has it really helped? You mentioned that it’s allowed you to focus on your business. Does anything else come to mind?
Total HR gave us a rock solid employee manual. I also appreciate the ability to add things as we grow. For example, right now we’re looking at a 401K. Rather than have to find a new vendor, we have one source solution for all of that stuff.
I like being able to pick up the phone and say “Hey Shelly, where are we—you know. What do we do with this?” And they have taken the time to understand our business so they know what could help us. It is not only a function of us needing the HR functions I have described, but it’s also them continuing to bring ideas that help my business to the table.
4. Would you recommend Total HR Management to other companies?
Not only would I recommend Total HR, but I have. As we grow, I’m the chairman of the Goldman Sachs alumni committee for 10,000 small businesses; I’ve already recommended them to dozens of people. And I will continue to do so because executives growing their businesses need to get things off of their plate in a simple way with somebody whom they can trust.
This is exactly the way I feel about Total HR; I know from experience that I can both trust and rely on them to provide first-rate services. I mean, I think their whole concept in terms of their pricing for what they offer is amazing. And I always get an answer when I need an answer. And it’s not like I’m talking to a machine because I have a dedicated rep at Total HR. Plus I have their Timeforce function online so I can see when my people clock in and clock out. With Total HR and Timeforce, I have total control of seeing what’s going on with my business in a snapshot at any time. That’s huge for me.
5. These questions have been a bit structured and specific. Is there anything you wanted to add on your own about Total HR Management?
Sure. When you go with Total HR as your outsourcing provider, make sure you attend the mixers that James and his staff set up because the connections that you make and the business development that you get a s a result of being involved have been huge for me and plus they are free for clients.
Total HR set-up this round table group of executives composed of customers and clients. That management group was like a vestige group because it provided everyone there with awesome connections. What is great is that James and his staff at Total HR kind of transcends HR while maintaining their primary focus. Working with Total HR is like having a consulting company that examines my business from a total service perspective.