Archive for February, 2012

iPads & Tablet computers: Salary Packaging update

Hi Readers – Simon Ellis here, blogging about iPads and Tablet computers…

With the upcoming release of the iPad 3 (iPad 2s?) we thought now was a good time to update our customers on the state of play regarding salary packaging and tablet computers – which are growing fast as a salary packaging option.

Lots of our employers allow laptop packaging but in just a couple of years, the number who now allow an iPad/tablet alternative has grown to nearly 25% from almost zero.

“Why the change?” I hear you ask.  What’s different for an employer now that wasn’t different a few years ago?

Well, initially there was resistance from employers within the industry when it came to packaging these items.  It was assumed that employees with iPads/tablets would struggle to meet the eligibility test for packaging – i.e. that the device must be used primarily as an employment tool.

However that perception is starting to change as employers come to recognise:

  1. that the business-use potential of iPads and Tablet computers is greater than previously thought and more people are using the devices in their day-to-day employment activities, and
  2. that many employees use an iPad/tablet in conjunction with a laptop to provide a more complete mobile computing solution.

To be clear, the “primarily for employment purposes” eligibility test still applies and the assumption that iPads/tablets are unsuitable for certain business roles is still valid in some cases.  The rules haven’t changed – what’s changed is our general understanding of how iPads and tablets can be used as a business tool.

So what does this all mean for someone thinking about packaging an iPad or tablet computer?

It means that if you use (or intend to use) an iPad/tablet computer in your day-to-day employment then you should raise the option of salary packaging such items with your employer – if it isn’t already offered.

And if it is already offered . . . then you should probably think about taking advantage of the tax savings available!

* Smartsalary customers should check their employer’s salary packaging rules, accessed via login to their packaging account, to confirm the tablet/portable computer packaging options available to them.

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Culture at Smartsalary: a sneak peak

Several years ago I had the pleasure of listening to the Dean of Harvard Business School, Nitin Nohria, lead a discussion on leadership. The discussion focussed on a paper that he co-authored in 2003 titled What Really Works. This paper was the result of a 10-year study that sought to uncover the business practices of companies he termed as winners – that is, companies that consistently outperformed their peers. According to the study, there are 4 primary practices that all winners employed. At the top of that list was to devise and maintain a clearly stated, focussed strategy. The focus here was not just on having a concise, coherent strategy, but also one that every member of the organisation understands and appreciates . . . after all, what hope does a company have of executing a strategy that isn’t absolutely clear to everyone who works there!

Smartsalary-Strategy-Triangle_October-2014

With that in mind, we created our Strategy Triangle to simply articulate the few concepts that we thought were central to the Smartsalary Way of doing things. The key principles include:

(a) an Engaged Workforce (as measured by the likes of AonHewitt), and

(b) Lean Systems and Processes (as outlined in The Toyota Way), would help to drive

(c) Customer Loyalty (which we have chosen to measure using Net Promoter Score).

And just this year, we are enhancing our triangle with 2 further practices:

(d) Agile development (which is actually a whole-of-business initiative), and

(e) Innovation (we’ve adopted a methodology outlined in Clay Christensen’s The Innovator’s DNA).

Taken together we have the new 2012 Smartsalary Strategy Triangle. As you can see, it all starts with Staff Engagement at the base of the triangle, and builds with practices like Lean, Agile development and Innovation to help drive our end goal at the tip of the triangle, which is Customer Loyalty. This should help us achieve our company vision, which is: To be widely recognised as the easiest salary packaging and fleet management company to deal with.

Each of our practices have a capability maturity framework attached to it, which helps us keep track of how we are progressing against our important goals at a granular level. And then we have company-wide KPIs whereby everyone across the organisation has a component of their remuneration determined by how well the company performs against these KPIs.

We’re not there yet, far from it. We know how far we’ve come, but we also know how much farther it’s possible to go in our journey.

We are in the process of rolling out this triangle throughout the company. Hopefully with this clarity of purpose, we can endeavour to be as good to you, our valued customers, as you have been to us!

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Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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