Blog Post

A New Distribution Channel for your SBO

Guest author Lindsay Edgerley, Sales Director for Employee Navigator

We hear the term “HCM” regularly in our line of work and we usually relate it to “HCM technology”. But why is this important? The definition for Human Capital Management is “a set of practices related to people resource management which are focused on providing specific competencies to an organization in three categories: Workforce Acquisition, Workforce Management, and Workforce Optimization.”

The payroll and benefits industries have always been intertwined because of their close ties to Human Capital Management, yet avoid each other at all costs. When their paths do cross, however, it’s likely because the payroll company is trying to win the insurance business away from an existing broker. But now, thanks to the evolution of technology, the vast majority of employers utilizing a benefits administration system and/or payroll system are forcing the two systems to join forces. This provides them with a best in class solution to improve their internal processes and focus on what matters most: their employees.

We have service bureaus that explicitly don’t sell insurance, and we have health insurance brokers that don’t offer payroll services. Yet they’re both going up against the same competitors— companies that offer both insurance and payroll services. So why haven’t they teamed up to create a better experience for their customers?

Since health commissions were reduced significantly after the Affordable Care Act, its forced brokers to be creative and provide a new kind of value to customers. Companies like Zenefits and Gusto have forced the broker to acknowledge the need for an online benefits portal, or HRIS platform, for small to medium sized businesses. They’re turning to broker-based enrollment platforms like Employee Navigator to compete, opening the door to new possibilities not only for the employer, but for the broker, and you: the service bureau.

The insurance carriers need brokers to distribute and educate employers on their product because brokers build trust and create long-lasting relationships them. Employers look to their brokers for guidance on Human Capital Management. Since employers are looking to their brokers for guidance on Human Capital Management, this leaves an incredible opportunity for service bureaus across the country to partner with insurance agencies in their area. The payroll service bureau would create a new sales distribution channel for their organization and build a best-in-class service model for the customer.

Forward thinking payroll service bureaus are already realizing the value a broker brings to the employer.  If you have not explored working with insurance brokers, now may be the time.


Lindsay Edgerley, Sale Director, Employee Navigator, can be contacted at