It’s newsletter time again! September is behind us, and Autumn is coming. Grand Prairie just had its third quarter Safety meeting and finished it up with hamburgers and brats for the team. It was a nice day in the low 80’s and had Mickey and Eric cooking at the top of their game. It was organized by Chris Bell and it was nice seeing everyone together again. Thank you to everyone that helped get it set up and torn down.
We are going into the 4th quarter having had a good year to date. Yes, supply chain issues have plagued us, inflation, and we still need people, but we are having a good year despite all of that. We still have a little Covid around, but we seem to have done well learning to live with it. Though slightly down from August, it appears September might be a good billing month giving us a chance to catch up on our revenue goals for the year.
The great news this year is benefits. We have been able to renew all of our benefits without a price increase this year. This is simply amazing. In this year of inflation, surcharges, and shortages on everything, to be able to get a flat renewal in healthcare is a real win! We are having Open Enrollment on October 24th at 11:00 am for Arkansas only and 2:30 pm for everyone else. We will have Ramona Rook as the host, and she will have Rodney Dryden and his team as her guests to go over all of the programs and help you make your choices for 2023. The good news is everything is staying the same and so are the prices, so the biggest decision is do you want to stay with the same health program, same deductible, or add more life insurance. The team will help clarify how and what to do to get signed up or extended for another year.
The Town Hall this month went as planned on October 6, 2022, at 2:30 pm and was dedicated to 401k and retirement. It was a virtual workshop on retirement and posed the question, “are you saving enough to be able to retire comfortably?” It was hosted by Ramona Rook of Lone Star and Ona Powell with Ascensus, our 401k fiduciary, and was followed by a Q & A session. It was a great way to talk about the 401k program and how we must invest.
Sales were brisk in most offices in September with a big push in the last week of the month. It will take us a week to get all of the projects processed and sorted out, but it was another record month with some big clients. This will be a record month/year for backlog, sales, and revenues year to date for sure and we will have to see where it tracks for the year as a whole. Either way, feel comfortable that we are going to have a lot of work for a long time. “We’re going to need a bigger boat…” (“Jaws”, circa 1975 Cape Cod…)
We are really moving in the right direction in Professional Services. Professional Services is seeing new opportunities every day and it is really exciting. CareSight is going to become a big part of Professional Services in the future. Kenny Schiff, founder of CareSight, is joining Lone Star Communications Professional Services group as our Director of Analytics. The CareSight product will provide new opportunities in every healthcare facility we are currently working in or have equipment installed. Having Kenny as part of the direct team will help Lone Star maximize the impact of CareSight and help us move quickly to seize opportunities as they arise. Unfortunately, Kenny’s house was in the direct path of hurricane Ian last week and Kenny is working on assessing the damage and working a plan to have a place to live while repairs are being made. More on that as we learn more. Good luck Kenny, our thoughts are with you.
New hires. We have had a successful month with new hires. We have hired 15 people company wide, and we have another 24 temps working various roles. With Patt Bowles leading the charge, we had a Rock (initiative) to hire 38 new employees in this quarter, so we are well on our way. This has led to a weekly meeting between the COOs and the hiring managers in all offices and hiring personnel in Corporate Services, consisting of Alatrae, Patt, and sometimes Trey, in an effort to keep focus on hiring for the total of 46 positions we currently have open. We must make sure we are hiring the right people for the right job. Just because we need several new people doesn’t mean we are going to lower our standards of the right employee for the position the first time…sound familiar? Don’t forget, we still have a referral program in place, and you can receive cash for referring the right person!
Well, that’s all for now. As always, thank you for what you do for Lone Star Communications. It is because of Lone Star Employees that we have become the number one company at what we do! One Team, One Purpose, One Family.
Until next time, Ray
- Ray Bailey, President