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Executive Q&A: Remedy President Steve Mills discusses strategy, opportunity

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Business model simplifies administration and cash flow, helping franchisees concentrate on growth

With his 30 years of experience in the recruitment industry, including 15 years in global franchising in the recruiting sector, Steve Mills doesn’t hesitate to tell you why he’s passionate about Remedy Intelligent Staffing.

“One of the things that has always amazed me, and kept me here this long, is the two sides to our business,” he says. “On the one hand, we have this amazing client population where we can do business with just about anybody, and on the other hand we have an unlimited talent pool. Our job is to take the two, put them together, and keep the business scaling.”

Below, Mills talks about some of the ins and outs of our operations and why the Remedy franchise is such a great investment for the right entrepreneur.

Remedy President Steve Mills
Remedy President Steve Mills

Take us through what it’s like to operate the business for a franchisee.
A good way to describe our business model is that you’re running your own business on our platform. So what does a franchisee do on a day-to-day basis? We offer extensive back office franchise support, taking away from the franchisee all of the administrative responsibility, allowing them to focus on sales and service. That’s going out, prospecting, finding clients, understanding the needs of those clients; then going to recruit the associates (the temporary employees who sign on with Remedy to serve clients), matching the associates to the right positions and putting the two of them together.

How does Remedy deal with royalties?
We’re a little unusual in the world of franchising. Unlike most franchise systems, we don’t take a royalty off the top. We actually share the gross margin generated by the franchisee for servicing the client, which means we’ve got skin in the game with the franchisee in every sale they make. So the way our business model works is that the franchise owner and their team provide the associate to work with a client. Following the week’s work, the associate’s time is then processed, which we handle completely in-house, freeing up the franchisee from administrative duties. So we process that time. From that, we generate an invoice that goes to the client. We also, most importantly, ensure our valued associates get paid accurately, on time, every time. It’s then our responsibility to collect that debt.

What does that do for franchisees in terms of cash flow?
Once a month, we pay our franchise owners their share of the gross margin. That means our franchisees have a predictable cash flow. They know they’re going to receive payments from us 12 times a year. They know the day it’s coming, so it’s predictable and it’s manageable. Our job is to collect the cash. Our job is to fund the payroll. And on the very odd occasion where a client doesn’t pay — unfortunately it can happen, just like in any business — we share in that debt with the franchisee.

How would you describe the business model?
The way I like to think about our business model is that our franchisees are in the business of staffing. They’re servicing clients, they’re recruiting associates. We’re in the business of supporting our franchisees. If you look at the key aspects of our model, we’re first and foremost a funding source for our franchisees. We pay the temporary workers, we invoice the clients, we collect that debt, and we forward the gross margin collection to our franchisees.

We’re also an insurance company. We have one of the largest workers’ compensation programs in the industry, and I’m biased, but I think it’s also one of the best. We work very closely with OSHA to develop their staffing industry guidelines. The other side of risk is risk mitigation with our franchisees. So, it’s the franchisee operating as an independent business, but on a world-class platform.

How does franchising fit into the overall strategic plan of Remedy and EmployBridge?
Our parent company, EmployBridge, is one of the largest staffing firms in the world, and the market leader in industrial staffing in North America. Remedy makes up around 15% of EmployBridge overall and is an important piece of the business strategy. We’re looking to expand our franchise business in open markets to give us the best distribution channel in the industry.

What is the benefit of having EmployBridge as a parent company?
There are many benefits to having a strong parent. The numbers are very impressive. For example, in 2017, we issued almost half a million W2s. But what does that data mean, and how can that benefit prospective franchisees? Well, first and foremost, it means there’s probably nothing you’re going to experience as a potential franchisee that we haven’t already experienced and learned how to deal with.

How does that resonate with franchise candidates?
We have tremendous expertise and strength in depth. And from that data, we can make really good decisions. There’s a wealth of data available to our prospective franchisees as they’re starting to look at the business opportunity. Once they’ve established their office, they can use meaningful data to make good decisions to build a strong business.

And actually, something else that issuing almost half a million W2 means is that our system works. It means you, as a prospective franchisee, can be absolutely certain coming in that you’re following a well-trodden path.

What makes Remedy Intelligent Staffing a truly unique franchise?
We’re unlike most businesses in that we can potentially do business with every single commercial entity in the country. Whether it’s a one-man band business that needs additional help, or whether it’s the largest company in the country. We can potentially work with every single company. And once we’ve started working with them, we have the ability to keep that revenue recurring long-term through adding more people, selling into different departments. We have virtually unlimited potential there.

Learn more about becoming a Remedy franchisee

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