Project interview JAS Forwarding GmbH
Sector: Air and sea freight service, third party logistics, customs clearance services
Turnover: around € 110 million in Germany
- Optimization of an annual wage and salary review
- Further implementation in existing HR system
- Increase of employer attractiveness and employee retention
- Support for internal communication
Reference interview with Mr. Jürgen Erdt, Managing Director Germany at JAS Forwarding GmbH
Can you briefly describe in your own words what the aim of the project was?
Erdt: The aim of the project was initially to integrate all legal possibilities for tax benefits into an annual wage and salary round. Through this we can cover the annual wage adjustments – regardless of whether they are due to collective bargaining or inflation – with tax-free benefits. (The company JAS Forwarding is not bound by collective bargaining agreements, but is oriented towards tariffs usual in the industry, editor’s note.) The second step of the project was the further implementation of such tax-privileged modules in our existing wage and salary system, of course without net disadvantages for our employees.
Were you skeptical or rather open-minded at the beginning of the project?
Erdt: In general, we were a bit skeptical at first, as we have had no real experience with other tax options – apart from job tickets or petrol vouchers. However, due to Kloepfel Personalmanagement’s extensive information on the available tax options, the skepticism quickly subsided.
What were the biggest challenges at the beginning of the project?
Erdt: First of all, internal communication was a major challenge. At first, the training of the extended management team on the advantages of integrating the tax-free extras was very important in order to face the employees with a one-voice approach. In a second step, information had to be provided to the employees because of the fact that there was no fundamental rejection, but a certain basic skepticism, for example with regard to social contributions or pensions. That is why i believe that internal information and educational work was the biggest challenge.
What has been the feedback of your employees on the optimized net wage increase?
Erdt: The skepticism quickly disappeared when the employees saw that there were no personal disadvantages for them and that real examples were available. This gave people some confidence in the benefits this model offers.
How would you describe the operating principles of the Kloepfel project team?
Erdt: Right from the beginning a good cooperation was guaranteed. Kloepfel Personalmanagement received professional consulting from a tax expert who was able to clarify the tax issues. On the other hand, project management skills were imparted, like how such a project works, how the information was designed or what experience was gained from other projects. I perceive this as a very good combination and underlined the competent cooperation.
Joint project success is also always person-dependent. We are talking about being temporary colleagues in the projects. How was your feeling?
Erdt: We have always had the opportunity, whether in tax or organizational matters, to ask for help and advice. Also through the attempt to work off certain ‘milestones’ a very close contact arose.
What is your conclusion after the end of the project?
Erdt: We see this first cooperation as an introduction to the topic of wage cost optimization. By integrating the tax-privileged components, we were able to significantly reduce our wage costs in the first year and at the same time take our employees with us, which was very important in order to have acceptance for such benefits in the future. Therefore, this is more an intermediate step than the end of a project in order to further integrate the topic increasingly into wage adjustments in the future.
Would you recommend Kloepfel Personalmanagement?
Erdt: Due to the very professional and positive cooperation with Kloepfel Personalmanagement, I can definitely recommend a cooperation to others.