Last month (November, 2001) we met the Boffa family at a trade show it New York City. When I gave Rob my card he said, "Family Business Strategies? We are a family business." At that point he handed me his company’s brochure, describing how his dad- and now his brothers- are in business together.
When I described some of the experiences I had witnessed working with family owned companies over the past 25 + years, he said "You must have been looking in our windows." With that, I knew we had found someone to interview for our weekly business profile.
We have received many stories of how retailers (see our Profile Library) are using the Internet to grow, but Rob provided us with a very different perspective – PCI is a service company. How can service companies use the Internet? How can they offer enough information to be of value without giving away their proprietary resources? And just what is employee leasing anyway?
PCI, which began in 1960 as Universal Coordinators, operates out of offices in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Their concept of employee leasing is simple: companies, often small and mid-sized organizations, come to PCI for personnel solutions. PCI, in turn, becomes the employer of record for the leased employees and handles all the administrative paperwork, including payroll and documentation. Employee leasing is particularly attractive to smaller companies because, by leasing their employees from PCI, they are able to offer benefits such as health insurance, which may otherwise be too costly. The companies save themselves time, money, and administrative hassle while gaining the ability to reward their employees with greater benefits.
The business world knew a good thing when they saw it, and over the years PCI has grown to open offices in 40 states. But Rob, who had worked for the family company since high school, decided that word-of-mouth wasn’t enough. It was time to capitalize on the Internet revolution and get PCI on line.
PCI launched the first iteration of their website, http://www.pcipeo.com , in 1995. Since then, it has already gone through one major overhaul. Rob and his brothers, as members of the tech-savvy generation, were the driving forces behind the implementation of the site and the development of PCI’s web presence. We asked him if his dad- who has headed the company since 1969- was "for or against” the proposition, and the reply was consistent what we are hearing elsewhere. "He is for doing whatever we can to be competitive – keep ahead of the competition." He also mentioned something about dad’s ability to program the VCR – but we didn’t press it.