Product Switch Yields Bonus for Paychex

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Paychex, which provides payroll and other employee-related goods and services for small and midsized businesses nationwide, generated a 75 percent sales increase by replacing one of its time and attendance offerings with a new product in its latest catalog.


The roughly 490,000 customers who received the fifth version of the company's 24-page Paychex Employers' Resource Direct catalog in November no longer had Time Guardian -- which lets workers swipe a magnetic badge instead of using an old-fashioned timecard -- to choose from.


The item was replaced by Time in a Box, one of 12 new items in the book of about 250 selections. It was described by Mike Reed, manager of catalog services at Paychex, Rochester, NY, as an improved item.


"Since we started publishing the catalog in October 2002, we sold Time Guardian," he said. "It did well for us, and the pricing of the new unit -- which is one of the most expensive we offer -- was comparable with the old one. Both are between $500 and $1,000.


"Had we stuck with Time Guardian, I think it would've given us a 30 to 35 percent increase in sales over the last catalog we produced in July [2003].


"It's a natural fit for our clients," he said. "Time in a Box has enhanced reporting features, providing employers with greater ease in managing workers' hours.


"Time in a Box represented about 25 percent of the gross revenue from the issue. Time Guardian would've been in the high teens."


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