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Odyssey buys in bulk for small business

Dan Sherman

Running a company involves keeping a lot of balls up in the air.When the task becomes overwhelming, that’s when Odyssey Business Services, Inc.

steps in.

The six-year-old Carson City company provides small businesses with payroll, human resources and risk management support.

“I like to consider myself a small business owner’s best friend,” said founder and CEO Charles “Charlie” Harrall.

“By customizing our program, we allow the business owner to focus on business and not the headaches that accompany the employment process.”

Odyssey provides the benefits of a large company human resources department to small companies, according to Roger Diez, sales manager.

It becomes a “co-company of record” with their clients and focus on the administrative needs of their employees, while the client controls the operational duties of the staff.

“We offer economies of scale,” said Diez.

“We buy workers compensation and medical benefits in bulk, and turn around and offer them at affordable prices to our 350 client companies.We currently service close to 1,700 employees.”

Employee leasing, as the industry is called, is not a new idea.

Many companies offer the service on a national scope, but Diez feels that the local touch is partly responsible for its success.

“We serve companies in northern Nevada and northern California, and soon we’ll be expanding to Las Vegas,” said Diez.

“There are three reasons why companies come to us,” said Diez.

“First, they want to focus on building their business, and they don’t want to hassle with the administrative issues of employees.

Second, if they need worker’s comp insurance, or have recently lost it, we can get it for them and keep their doors open.

Third, we can provide affordable medical benefits which helps them reduce turnover and worker’s comp claims.”

Odyssey serves a range of small businesses, including medical offices, beauty shops, legal offices, manufacturers, nonprofits and every kind of construction company.

“We have businesses as small as two people, up to 50 people,” said Diez.

“Our average client has five to 10 employees.” Another aspect of the company’s offering is risk management.While large companies are required by law to have a safety coordinator and safety manuals, small companies don’t have those resources, said Diez.

“We have a whole department dedicated to helping our clients meet OSHA and other government safety regulations,” said Diez.

“We provide safety training programs and drug testing.”

If there is a mishap on the site of an Odyssey client, they jump in to help.

“We investigate all accidents and manage the worker’s comp claims for our clients,” said Diez.

Odyssey also helps clients navigate the maze of human resources law.

“We have experts in human resources on staff to help our clients stay in compliance with state laws,” said Diez.

“Many companies just don’t know all the rules they need to follow.”

Since Odyssey is not alone in the employee leasing business, it seeks to provide an exceptional level of service to keep itself ahead of the competition.

“We respond very quickly to client problems,” said Diez.

“For instance, if there is an injury on the job site, our risk management people go right out and take the injured worker to get medical care.

We’ve even used care flight helicopters.

We see that the employee gets treatment and gets back to work if appropriate.”

If one of its client’s employees is hurt, Odyssey will search for “light duty” such as office work for that person.

This enables a company to avoid the worst of a worker’s comp claim a risk that might bring a huge jump in their rates.

Personal service is important at Odyssey.

They don’t use voicemail during their office hours of 7 am to 5 pm, and the staff personally drives to clients to deliver payroll.

“We’re in the service business,” said Harrall, “and we live by that code.” Diez likes its central location in Carson City, where 27 staff members keep the payroll churning out.

“Because we serve Fallon, Fernley, Carson City, Gardnerville as well as Reno and Sparks, we’re in a great place here,” said Diez.


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