Fourth Annual Event Celebrates
Employee & Revenue Growth
11a.m. Networking, Noon Program, April 9
at Sharonville Convention Center

Cincy's Tristate Success Awards

were created on the premise that the Tristate's strength as a thriving business center is built on the growth and success of its businesses.

The fourth annual awards, with platinum sponsors Humana and First Financial Bank and silver sponsor Flagel Huber Flagel, honor the companies that grew in revenue and employees in the eight-county, three-state region. The information is self-reported or submitted by nominators.

The Tristate Success Awards not only honor the most successful and consistent companies in the Tristate, but also serve as a forum for business and community leaders to connect with other decision-makers on the issues and objectives the region faces.

Go to www.cincymagazine.com for tickets and information or call Jenna Toon at (513) 297-6215

 Keynote Speaker Stuerat Aitken,
CEO of dunnhumbyUSA, which
is building a four-story office
complex at Fith and Race
Steets, Downttown, will address
his company's success
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Winner Profiles
 

Paycor Performs

Cloud-Based Software Simplifies Work for Clients

Paycor is taking employee administration out of the filing cabinet and putting it in the cloud.

Not those frothy blankets in the sky but the web-based computing model that puts everything at the click of a smart phone or mobile device.

The payroll and employee administration company's newest software product, Perform, can do everything from issuing online check stubs and attendance tracking, to accessing employee handbooks and phone lists, to tracking their shirt size and 401k deductions.

By emphasizing customer service and ease of use, Paycor has a hit on its hands, says Bob Coughlin, founder and CEO.

EMBRACED BY CLIENTS

Since it was introduced last June more than 12,000 of Paycor's 22,000 national clients "” typically companies employing 1,500 or fewer employees "” have embraced the technology. Coughlin expects all Paycor's clients will be using it by the end of this year.

"We really look at it as this company is reinventing itself again," says Coughlin, who launched Paycor in 1990 by selling shares to friends and family and borrowing $100,000 from the Small Business Administration.

Today, Paycor has revenues of $100 million and employs nearly 700, including 450 at its corporate office and software development center in Queensgate. Clients include well known names such as Servatti's Pastry Shop & Deli, the Cincinnati Reds and Churchill Downs.

The company, which has 20 sales offices around the country, has expanded its sales staff, adding more than 30 new people in its sales organization in the last six months.

Coughlin says that should help accelerate Paycor's annual revenue growth from about 15 percent into the mid-20s over the next year, which would mean the company could double its size in about three years.

Next year Paycor will move into a new $20 million headquarters in Norwood's Linden Pointe office park that can accommodate up to 750 employees. The four-story building will include amenities such as a fitness center, café and open, collaborative workspaces that reflect the company's focus on developing user-friendly software and services.

Good customer service starts with taking care of Paycor's own employees, Coughlin says. "They're the ones who do the work. I understand what they do because I used to do it myself."

Coughlin, who worked for industry giant Automated Data Processing after college, thought the rise of the IBM PC would create an opportunity for automated payroll processing to smaller companies. The start-up initially licensed software, but in 1997 made a big investment to develop its own that launched in 1999.

As Paycor's payroll processing and employee administration services grew over the ensuing decade, the software landscape changed. As more companies used software, they also demanded more user-friendly products.

"We focused more on good software design and making the products more colorful and easier to use, instead of the battleship gray spreadsheets," Coughlin says.
 
Paycor is building a $20 million
headquarters (rendering left) in
Norwood as part of CEO Bob Coughlin's
top plan to accelerate growth.

DEDICATED SPECIALIST

As part of Paycor's customer focus, the company doesn't use a traditional call center to handle client needs but assigns a specific customer specialist to each account to provide personal service.

It's paid off. Earlier this year Paycor won its second People's Choice Stevie Award for Best Customer Service in the Financial Services Industry.
 


 

Data Trackers

RoundTower Keeps Information Flowing for Clients

Businesses are being flooded with massive amounts of data. Beyond the normal account and product information, there are emails, photos, videos and social media flowing daily on their servers.

"How does a company get its arms around that growth? How do they protect it? How do they manage it? And how do they leverage it? That's where we come in," says Stephen West, co-managing partner with Stephen Power of RoundTower Technologies in Blue Ash.

Started by West and Power in 2007, RoundTower has grown dramatically as an information technology consulting firm, helping an array of corporate clients store, manage and protect their data. Among its regional clients are First Financial Bank, Western & Southern Financial Group, AAA Allied Group and Standard Register Corp.

"If you look at the downtown Cincinnati skyline, the vast majority of signs you see are RoundTower customers," says Power, who like West is a native of Boston.

National Growth

Revenues last year reached $53 million, up from $38.6 million the previous year. West expects similar growth this year. Last year it opened an office in Baton Rouge, La. It also has offices in Indianapolis, Philadelphia and West Palm Beach, Fla.

Power and West came to Cincinnati to work in sales for data storage giant EMC Corp., which has a large presence here because of the number of Fortune 500 companies.

As EMC expanded to reach more small and mid-size companies, West and Power sensed there was an opportunity to help them find the best solution for dealing with growing amounts of data.

A big issue for most clients is how to manage their data in a cost-effective manner, says Power.

"A lot of companies have the same size staff, but their data has grown five or 10 times," he says.

Over the years, West says, companies tend to buy technology to solve specific problems.

"They point to a problem and buy a solution for that. Another problem crops up, and they buy a solution for that. All of sudden what do you have? One big problem. It can't be controlled. It can't be leveraged and it can't be protected one way," he says.

RoundTower's approach is to assess a client's data infrastructure before offering advice.

"We can't help that client without first understanding their environment and the data in their environment "¦ the nature of that data, and the life cycle of that data," says West.

"We flood our clients with great technologists who understand data infrastructure to a granular degree."

RoundTower employs 65 people, 47 of whom are technology experts.

With its knowledge of a client's data infrastructure, West says, RoundTower is able to design a system that fits a client's needs, implement that system by picking from multiple vendors and increasingly manage the system for the client.

Managed Services

That is the fastest-growing part of RoundTower's business.

"That can include everything from coming in on a secure connection to monitor the client's data backup activity to actively managing the data network on a 24/7 basis," West says.

For example, for a large Manhattan financial company, RoundTower oversees its data center infrastructure remotely.

When Hurricane Sandy hit last fall, the firm's data center was hit hard. RoundTower handled the switchover to the firm's backup data center in Chicago, and ran it for a week and half remotely until the primary center was operational again.

"The company never even recognized a switch had been made," West says. 
 

 

Individualized Innovation

Flottman Tailors Message Across Multiple Platforms

When is a commercial printing company not just a commercial printing company? When it's family-owned Flottman Company in Crestview Hills.

Flottman, which started in 1921 as a commercial job shop, has repositioned and rebranded itself over the last few years as a full-service graphic communications provider offering strategic marketing and design services using variable data printing and cross-media campaigns that incorporate print, web and social media.

It's paying off. CEO Tom Flottman says the business has grown about 30 percent over the last five years to revenues of more than $6 million last year, up $1 million from the prior year. Employment has increased to about 50, with additional hiring planned.

The company is investing more than $1.5 million in new facilities and equipment, including a planned 20,000 square-foot expansion this year of its building off Centre View Boulevard that will double its size.

Innovation is not new at Flottman. More than 40 years ago, the company began printing inserts for the pharmaceutical industry. It was an early adopter of micro-folding technology that can reduce a 22-inch by 28-inch printed sheet to a one-inch square for pill-bottle inserts. That capability became increasingly important in the 1970s when the Food & Drug Administration required pharmaceutical companies provide more disclosures on the makeup and effects of their products.

 
From left, Sue Flottman Steller,
Tom Flottman and Peter Flottman
of Flottman Company.
 
Nearly 20 years ago, Flottman formed a strategic alliance "” Rxperts "” with a North Carolina label maker and a Wisconsin carton maker to offer pharmaceutical companies a one-stop shop for their packaging needs.

"If you do the same thing five years in a row, you'll be out of business before long," says Flottman, who owns the business with his sister, Sue Flottman Steller, who is president, and brother Peter Flottman, the chief financial officer and vice president of operations.

They're the third generation in the business started in 1921 in Cincinnati by their grandfather F.E. Flottman.

"Our industry is changing a lot," says Tom Flottman. "There's been a lot of consolidation. There are a third fewer printing companies than 12 years ago."

About five years ago, Flottman says the company began a strategic planning process to plan for future growth.

Flottman developed many graphic and creative services in-house over the years and it added marketing expertise to leverage that capability.

"We had all the ingredients here. So it was a logical next step," he says.

Flottman began marketing its capability to existing clients, and one of its first successful crossovers was a campaign last year for Penn Herb Co., a Philadelphia retail and online supplier of natural herbs and remedies. Penn Herb wanted to improve its customer contact list, improve brand recognition and get new customer referrals.

The one-month campaign used personalized direct mail, email, social media and store promotions to produce double-digit gains in sales and customer traffic.

New variable data printing technology allows Flottman to tailor each piece of a printed document to an individual customer. For example, a direct-mail appeal incorporating the recipient's name is more likely to get the recipient's attention than one sent to Resident. Even more sophisticated: An auto dealership sending service reminders that feature the same color vehicles as the recipient's own.

"Every piece is original," says Flottman. "The more we know about a customer, the more customization is possible."