Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Playground Business - Increasing medical insurance costs - NPCAI February

To all playground fans,
We all have lost loved ones in our lives, so as we ramp up our business for the spring season, please take time to hug your kids, your spouses, your parents and other loved ones. It is a great reminder to them and to yourselves on how important they are to our lives.

My reflection this month regarding human resources is on the rising cost of healthcare. I am sure it does not matter how big our small your business is you have noticed the significant increase in health insurance premiums over the past several years.

Some reasons given to me:

1) Medical costs in general have increased dramatically and so insurance costs have followed

2) Some insurance companies are hedging their bets against legislation that will hurt their profits

3) Some insurance companies are concerned about competing with a government run health program

4) The presumption that patient/doctor/insurance company, with no regard to fiscal considerations, are making medical decisions

5) I am sure there a few other arguments here, with these and others having a point and counter-point..too many to mention

As small business what can we do? I wish I had the answer, as this is the question ALL businesses are asking. How do we remain competitive and "in business" with the booming costs of healthcare.

Some options are:

1) Increasing employee sharing of rising medical costs, high deductible plans are increasing for small business

2) Changing percent coverage of in network and out of network coverage

3) Another option is to make changes or renegotiate the details of your health plan or soliciting quote from other providers

4) Increase employees monthly contribution to their premium - this is difficult to ask when trying to retain key employees but must be done

5) Joining a group like a local Chamber of Commerce that offers additional discount with health insurance providers

If you have any other suggestions for how to manage the ever increasing health care costs please send them my way.

Now that we are well into 2012, the NPCAI is improving our member benefits but is always looking for feedback from members. Please send any and all feedback to myself or other board members so that we may consider it. As always, we welcome anyone's interest in joining our board in order to help our mission as playground contractors.


Playground Fan

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

BCI Burke partners with State of Ohio Department of Administrative Services

BCI Burke, leading manufacturer of commercial playground equipment with headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisc., was selected to the Ohio Office of Procurement Services contract which makes purchasing Burke products more efficient for governmental entities. Burke’s professional representative firm, Snider & Associates, Inc. will administer the contract through the process of procuring playground equipment using the Ohio State Term Schedule.

“We are thrilled with this partnership as it will enable us to assist our Ohio communities to save time, paperwork and money on playground equipment purchases,” said James Snider, Snider & Associates’ Vice President. “Children, fitness and play are vital to our mission and we look forward to providing straightforward recreation opportunities through collaboration,” he said.

This Cooperative Purchasing Program provides members leverage to spend to provide deeper volume discounts. Membership in the program, which is administered by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), is voluntary and open to all counties, cities, villages, townships, state colleges and institutions of higher education, public school districts, chartered non-public schools, public libraries, transit authorities, parks, airport authorities, ambulance and fire districts, metropolitan housing authorities and other governmental entities through the enactment of the Cooperative Purchasing Act of 1986.

“Along with the highest quality in innovative playground and recreation options, this alliance allows Burke and Snider & Associates to provide our Ohio customers with additional value-added resources such as free site evaluations, discounts, a playground curriculum for Burke’s Intensity® fitness play complex as well as a safety training program from the National Program for Playground Safety,” said Tim Ahern, BCI Burke CEO/owner.

BCI Burke, with headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, showcases continual improvement and premium commitment to their customers, as well as designing, building, delivering and servicing the highest quality playground products, backed by the best warranty in the industry. For more information, visit www.bciburke.com.

Snider & Associates, Inc., with corporate headquarters in North Royalton, Ohio, has been providing playground, park and recreation resources to Indiana, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and Michigan communities since 1989. For more information, visit www.cvsnider.com.