Exclusive Interview with Ron Shahani owner of ACRO Service Corporation
July 23, 2020
Exclusive Interview with Ron Shahani
Owner of ACRO SERVICE CORP
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By: Kamilah Johnson
1. What is a certified Minority- Owned Business Enterprise?
A certified Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) is an organization that is (a) at least 51% owned and operated by an individual or individuals that belong to a disadvantaged minority group as defined by the government and, (b) certified as an MBE by a recognized body like the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). The broader term by the government is a Diverse Business Enterprise (DBE) of which certifications are required to denote that businesses that are at least 51% owned by a ‘disadvantaged’ member of the population. A certified Diverse Business Enterprise (DBE) is a term that refers to a wide array of business certifications available to businesses that are owned and operated by a “disadvantaged” member of the population, which can be women, minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, or other businesses deemed disadvantaged due to their size, location, or other group that is socially or economically disadvantaged. In addition to federal government contracts, many state and local governments have committed a percentage of their contract spend to diverse-owned businesses so as to allow their supplier base to be more inclusive of all business types. This also extends to the corporate world, where many large businesses have been recognized for their supplier-diversity programs.
2. As Marketing Manager of one of Detroit’s largest Staffing Service Companies – what do you do to continue to stay on top?
Ron Shahani is the President and CEO of Acro Service Corporation (Acro) which is one of the largest workforce management companies of which staffing is one service offered. Acro is a full-service staffing company that places temporary, temporary to permanent and direct placement employees. Additionally, Acro offers outsourcing solutions such as Payroll Service Outsourcing (PSO), Managed Service Provider (MSP) programs as well as Vendor Management Systems (VMS) tools that make managing the supply base to compliance metrics, much easier. Ron has invested in marketing to including hiring Amy Keely as Acro’s Director of Marketing to help continue to stay on top of market conditions to understanding what customers want from Acro and develop content to communicate how Acro can help their organizations operate more efficiently. Amy manages this by conducting market research and shares the findings with Acro’s clients via Acro’s Intelligence Reports and in the marketing materials that Acro produces. The company uses several paid and unpaid sources like the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor statistics and industry associations to conduct its market research, which has allowed it to emerge as an industry thought leader. Amy also manages the content creation in response to RFP’s, presentations, brochures, videos, and more.
3. Since 1982, what has been the company’s strategies to continue to grow as one of the largest minority owned workforce and staffing organizations in the U.S.?
Acro strategically decided to diversify its portfolio of services offered beyond staffing which has contributed to the exponential growth in its business over the years. So what began as just full-service staffing company in 1982 (for temporary, temporary-to-hire, permanent placements and payroll services) has expanded to offering outsourced workforce management solutions such as Managed Service Provider (MSP) programs for contingent labor and Statement-of-Work (SOW) resources that use a Vendor Management System (VMS) tool, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), Employer-of-Record Outsourcing (ERO), Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO) and more. Acro is also keenly focused on client satisfaction and to meet and exceed a client’s expectations. Acro’s employees are immediately responsive to client communications and to finding optimal solutions, all of which requires thought leadership and a consultative partnership with clients. Equally important, is designing flexible and customizable programs for each client given no two companies operate in exactly the same manner. To further its horizontal diversification, Acro has steadfastly expanded its footprint to numerous industries and geographies. It also has a thriving business unit that focuses strictly on the public sector clients. So, it is Acro’s diversification strategies, high-touch client relationship in responsiveness, thought leadership and the ability to create tailored programs that resolve each company’s very specific issues now and into the future.
4. Can you name a few of the clients that you provide industrial and professional workers for?
Acro’s clients are diversified by industry and locations around the globe with many being Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies. For example, our clients include a large Michigan-based food production company, the automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their Tier 1 suppliers, and numerous other organizations including technology companies. These clients employ thousands of employees and use thousands of temporary staffing workers across the world. In helping these clients manage their labor needs, we learn more about how they operate and their forecasted needs for workers based on the economic supply and demand for their products and services. That is why Acro is able to provide global business and economic insights, about changes in the labor needs (specifically what is going on in the US and abroad with COVID-19) based on the needs of our clients.
5. How is the company providing research and safety precautions to the work environments concerning OSHA and COVID-19 conditions?
Acro has a corporate Safety Center of Excellence, that works with our account and onsite managers working with or at client facilities where accidents occur. Because the temporary workers on assignment are Acro employees, it is critical for our worker’s health and safety that we operate in tandem with our client’s hiring managers to ensure their facilities are as safe as possible to meet or exceed OSHA safety requirements. This has never been more important for the health and well-being of essential workers during COVID-19. Acro’s business continuity plan ensures we are proactively offering consultative safety white papers and industry information from OSHA but that when emergencies arise, we form a task force to closely monitor the information being released. For COVID-19, Acro’s COVID-19 task force has ensured that it is monitoring OSHA and proper uses of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for workers, but that employers are cleaning and sanitizing the facility with virus killing chemicals to reduce the spread. Acro ensures that each of its employees working in facilities are safe and protected and can contact their Employee Relations (ER) specialist assigned to them while they are on assignment. Acro was the first in the industry to create this innovative department designed for employees to have someone to contact 27/7 for questions or concerns. The ER teams have been working very closely with Acro’s workers to communicate the latest COVID-19 information, safety precautions recommended by the CDC and their assigned employers. Additionally, Acro is focused on its employees now working remotely for those whose positions were migrated to that platform. Acro’s teams had to work with its clients and employees to ensure workers had access to VPNs, updated computer equipment, phones, and have working protocols so as to provide them with structure and support.
6. How has the company been affected by Covid-19 and if so, what are some changes that will be implemented?
Like all companies operating around the world, Acro also has been impacted by COVID-19 which includes remote work for its full-time employees, and furloughs for those employees who directly service client’s with shuttered operations. Acro and its clients have elected to conduct furloughs which is a “temporary” layoff , with the intent being to hire the worker back in the same position. In some cases, Acro’s clients have elected to continue to pay the benefits and, in some cases, straight time pay for furloughed workers. They can do this because they still have customer orders to fill once the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home orders are lifted around the world. While we don’t expect that the economy will bounce right back to where it was before COVID-19, Acro is seeing its clients prepare for a planned reopening that involves operational changes that include social distancing in the workplace for the foreseeable future.
7. How has the development of a Supplier Diversity Team helped in the Metro Detroit Area?
There is always an impact when people and organizations come together to affect change. This is never more evident than with supplier diversity and inclusion. As a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Acro is acutely aware of the importance of, and strongly supports the entry of smaller minority-owned companies into the supply chain. We do so because we believe that it is the right thing to do and because our clients realize this as well. For example, in its MSP programs, clients are motivated by their association with groups such as the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), which is a certifying body as well as a facilitator between industry and diverse suppliers. Acro’s CEO, Ron Shahani is a board member of the MMSDC to lend his decades of thought leadership to help reshape the supply base for corporations around the world. Acro’s procurement teams are focused on recruiting new diversity suppliers so when there are needs in our client programs, Acro can work with new suppliers. Equally, Acro’s internal procurement teams have a database of diverse suppliers they go to when purchasing goods and services on behalf of Acro.
8. How do you help businesses become the best that they can be?
This is a critical question and what demarcates Acro from others in the industry. We find that the first step in any relationship is listening to what is going on with our client’s labor force both their full-time employees and temporary staffing needs. There are many reasons that companies seek a temporary workforce and Acro’s teams have to understand business operations of our clients and have a depth of industry knowledge. Acro’s goal is always to become a trusted advisor to its clients so that a strong partnership is formed of trust and respect. Therefore, Acro hires its employees for their combination of skills and experiences to ensure that when a client shares what is going well and what is not going well, Acro’s teams have the resources to conduct research and the knowledge of the type of solutions available to solve client issues. Acro provides its clients with frequent business reviews, intelligence reports, white papers and case studies to ensure they have the most current industry and business information to operate effectively and competitively.
9. What is the timeframe for job placements through your staffing agency?
This is a difficult question because there are many factors for job placements. There is a clear distinction between light industrial, clerical and call center positions for which the recruiting needs are more immediate so the turnaround on identifying potential candidates are much shorter. This is different than professional and technical positions (e.g., IT, engineering) where it may take longer to identify skilled talent that is actively seeking new employment. But regardless of the position, employers require varying levels of background and drug screening that take time. So, the timeframe from finding people to the start of the selected candidate depends on the type of job position and the client’s screening requirements.
10. Do you plan to expand into the healthcare business since Covid-19 has hit the Globe?
Acro always explores and takes advantage of opportunities to diversify. It is already active in healthcare staffing by providing medical billers, medical receptionists and more. We also manage suppliers that provide medical staff for any Acro opportunities. Acro is committed to helping the healthcare community find the best possible talent that can help health systems, medical device companies, and pharmaceutical companies to research, diagnose, treat and manufacture products and develop services to help create a better quality of life for those with health issues.
Largest Staffing Firms in the Unitd States NMSDC Corporate Plus @Member
Web Site www.AcroCorp.com