Employee Ownership Spurs Growth

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USA 800 Inc. is enjoying the bottom-line benefits of being a 100 percent employee-owned teleservices company.

Last month, the Kansas City, MO-based firm completed the purchase of the company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Ron White, Sr., former owner and now chairman of the board, established the ESOP in October 1995, after deciding he was ready to retire but reluctant to sell his business to a third party.

His decision has been a major force behind the company's average growth rate of 35 percent for the last three years. Spirits are higher than ever and turnover has plummeted, dropping to about 21 percent from 50 to 60 percent before the ESOP.

"Everybody's excited. It's a really great opportunity for people, because this goes all the way down to the CSR," said David Doherty, USA 800's vice president of sales and marketing. "It's an opportunity for people. If they save money, if they do things more efficiently, if they lower costs and increase productivity, and if are really profitable then it comes back to each and every employee. It's a great incentive."

USA 800, which claims to be the largest employee-owned teleservices company in the nation, has nearly 300 employees between its corporate office in Kansas City and its second call center in St. Joseph, MO.

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