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Ruprecht has been an essential part of the Chicago meatpacking industry since 1860. They provide food service businesses and retail establishments with a stable supply of raw proteins with global sourcing and exacting standards as a division of Kilcoy Global Foods, complete with five premium beef brands. More recently, Ruprecht has become the industry’s leading provider of sous vide cooked proteins that save chefs valuable time and increase food safety.

In early 2019, Ruprecht prioritized modernizing their HR and benefits in order to foster an overall more productive and engaged workforce. The company’s leadership team had recently changed and new CFO Frank Patton and the rest of the executive team wanted to focus on building a positive workplace,

“Ruprecht as a company has been around since 1860, so we’ve got longstanding history and longstanding employees in our organization. But it didn’t feel like we were really helping them with their high-touchpoint activities. The CEO and I had come on board at Ruprecht and were very focused on making the culture more employee-centric and started evaluating how we did core things within our organization.” said Frank Patton.

As Frank and the rest of the team looked at what they could change about how Ruprecht operates to make it more employee-centric, they came to realize that they needed to overhaul their benefits package and human resources administration. But while they knew what they needed to change, they did not know how best to go about optimizing their benefits package and HR systems. They needed a more proactive HR partner who could guide them through the process rather than just connecting them with vendors. As Frank elaborates,

“As you would expect, benefits and all things payroll-related are big touchpoints for our employees. And so it was really at the beginning of our time at Ruprecht that we started to evaluate areas of our business that needed some care and feeding. We started to evaluate our partners and realized we didn’t have the right partner for HR administration and benefits who could be a thought-leader for us to help us understand how we should look at big cultural elements such as benefits.”

The Ruprecht team discovered Launchways through a trusted business referral and quickly realized that the Launchways approach aligned well with their goals for how they wanted Ruprecht to operate. And, best of all, Launchways promised to be the active, engaged partner that Frank and the leadership team was looking for,

“We started having conversations with Launchways and realized that there was very good alignment between how Launchways was approaching business and the business model and what we were looking for. I would say this is a huge differentiation for Launchways. They very much want to embed themselves within their clients’ businesses. If you’re going to be a partner, you can’t be a drive-by partner. You have to be somebody who is actively involved in the discussion.”

Launchways worked with the new Director of Human Resources, Ryan Klatt, to review and streamline existing HR processes and identify the ideal HR technology solution to improve the experience for the HR team and the entire Ruprecht team. Launchways was able to put together a comprehensive technology suite that met Ruprecht’s needs and fell well within their budget. Launchways also evaluated Ruprecht’s current benefits package and put together a proposal for a new benefits package based on employee needs and financial considerations. As Frank reports, Launchways’ transparency was refreshing and empowering, especially from a finance perspective,

“Launchways gives you complete transparency. You get a view of here’s what that brokerage fee relationship was and here’s how we drive value. So from a financial person’s perspective, it was wonderful. I know what my spend was, I know what I’m going to spend in the new relationship, and I know the value that I’m going to get.”

This new approach to HR and benefits gave the Ruprecht team valuable peace-of-mind and clarity regarding their benefits strategy. What used to be a complex and frustrating expense with limited impact for employees and unclear ROI became a positive force in building a more engaged workplace,

“For us, it’s transformed our view of how we should look and think about benefits. It’s open-book, completely transparent, and this is a great area to do that with because it’s so mysterious to begin with. It’s a black box. So now we don’t have as much mystery and we can sit down and talk openly and honestly about it.”

Another aspect that the new leadership had to tackle to align Ruprecht’s workplace realities with the company’s values was workplace safety. As in the case of benefits, Ruprecht knew they needed to overhaul their safety processes but were at a loss as to what changes to make. Frank asked Launchways if we could help evaluate resumes for a new safety officer, which led to Ruprecht hiring Launchways to conduct a risk assessment and recommend improvements to their safety systems.

“It was extremely helpful because it meant we could have someone come in, spend some days in our facility and evaluate not only the person we have in that role but also what that person is doing and our highest priority needs. And honestly, I think we will be using Launchways again on the safety front because it helped us come up to speed so quickly and the value that we got from that discussion, I don’t think you could get any other way.”

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