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updated: 11/30/2016 10:08 AM

Rosemont company stays innovative after more than 30 years

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  • Terri and John Roeslmeier are the owners of Automated Business Designs in Rosemont, which is celebrating 33 years as an IT company focused on the staffing industry.

    Terri and John Roeslmeier are the owners of Automated Business Designs in Rosemont, which is celebrating 33 years as an IT company focused on the staffing industry.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 

The first thing you notice about Terri Roeslmeier's business card is that there is no title under her name.

In fact, none of the staff members at Rosemont-based Automated Business Designs have titles on their cards -- and Roeslmeier is quick to note there's a reason for that.

"We feel it is important to work as a team and to illustrate that although we all have our specific roles, it is the teamwork of the company that has led to our success, and no one person is more important than the other," Roeslmeier, the company's founder and president/CEO, said.

It's also one of the core philosophies that has driven ABD's success for the past 33 years, Terri and her husband, John, have built the software solutions company that serves the staffing industry on a foundation of establishing solid, long-term customer relationships, and a workplace that nurtures employee engagement.

Their efforts have paid off during this past year, as the company received a number of recognitions, including being named a "Chicago's Best and Brightest Companies to Work For" by the National Association of Business Resources. Most recently, Terri Roeslmeier was awarded the Shero award from National Association of Personnel Services, which recognizes staffing and recruiting professionals or staffing industry vendors who distinguish themselves for their innovative ideas, outstanding achievements, and high level of success in the industry and philanthropic endeavors.

If there were two words that drive the company, Terri said they would be "innovation" and "service." Terri and John note innovation has been one of the keys to the company's longevity, being able to keep pace with the latest technologies.

In order to stay innovative, the company rewrites its software every two years, adapting their products to the new technologies.

"The technology just changes so rapidly that we have to constantly rewrite our stuff," John said. "We've seen so many of our competitors fall by the wayside because they didn't invest in the R&D to rewrite their technology."

That flexibility to change and provide its customers with the current technology is a main reason their customer retention rate is high, Terri notes, but she adds providing personal service to help the customer use their products to its potential is what solidifies the relationship.

"We want to build a relationship with a customer, not just sell them a product that they may be unhappy with," she said.

That relationship is tempered through a managed growth. While plans are to continue to grow the company, both Terri and John stress that won't be at the cost of its customers.

"We typically, by choice, do only around 30 new installs a year," Terri said. "We customize the implementation service. "That's why our retention is so high. We build a strong base with our customers and they stay with us forever because we rewrite the software, so they never have to look for something newer and because of the personalized service."

Longevity not only exists in their customer base. A number of the 25 ABD employees have been with the company a long time, some as long as 30 years. The Roeslmeiers note they offer highly competitive packages for their staff and promote the team atmosphere in the workplace. They recently bought Fitbits for everyone and have had held a number of competitions, rewarding employees with trophies.

"Even through we're innovative, Terri and I are pretty old school in the terms of how we run our company, how we hire our people and the benefits we give them," John said. "It's more of the old school 80s company than a lot of stuff that they see now."

The Roeslmeiers plan on staying the course with growth. While they have expanded with a representative in California, they will continue to manage their growth and maintain it without the help of outside funding.

"We pretty much like the position that we're in, how we're growing and what we're doing," John said. "We need to keep an eye on what's happening in the industry, both with the technology and how the industry is buying and what it's looking for."