cSubs – Subscriptions Simplified is owned by Julie Auslander and was recently named one of Inc. Magazine’s “5000 Fastest Growing Companies”. cSubs offers a complete, managed, web-based system that enables companies to easily and conveniently control and administer all subscriptions and requests for newspapers, magazines, books, directories and online services ordered by their employees, at no additional cost.
With easy searches, minimum rate selection, batched renewals, automatic approval routing, consolidated cost-center billing and downloadable management reports, cSubs offers a convenient online way to reduce unnecessary publisher paperwork.
MO: Can you explain to our readers what problem you saw that made you create cSubs, and how cSubs is the solution?
Julie: cSubs was born on my kitchen table as a result of my frustration with managing my own subscriptions. I couldn’t keep track of when I needed to renew, how much I paid, how to change an address, how to cancel a subscription, knowing exactly what I was suppose to be receiving and when or was I getting the best price. cSubs’ user friendly web based product solves these issues for large corporations.
MO: What is the user-experience like for working with cSubs, is there a lot of time intensive labor in getting setup with cSubs?
Julie: cSubs’ purpose is to eliminate labor, not create it. Each client we bring on has its own unique set of reporting & billing requirements. After years of serving the corporate market, we have developed a brief 10 question survey that enables us to set up and tailor our web based system to suit their individual business needs & goals.
MO: You mentioned that as a woman-owned company you have found many innovative ways to support the needs of families. Can you expand on this?
Julie: The notions of having a business serve its employees and its customers became the foundation of our company’s mission and the reason for its success. Our work helps to supports 18 families @ cSubs economically while nurturing the growth of the individual. We work to honor the gifts we has been given by others by ensuring that the parents in our company will never have to decide between their children and their work life. We proudly offer Flex-Time instead of sick days, Telecommuting, Health Insurance, fully paid FAMILY VACATION INCENTIVE PROGRAMS, In house LUNCH & LEARN, Massages, NEWSBRIEFS and a respect for the individual. We believe,” that the more we grow, the further we’ll go.”
We consistently back our credo for creating a sense of community in the workplace with actions, policies and programs. This can readily be seen in the corporate culture characterized by every employee’s sense of belonging and responsibility for co-workers and volunteering to help each other without having to be asked. Working parents with young children are welcomed by progressive workplace policies that contribute to the “family” environment. Our policies are designed to provide flexibility so that employees can take care of the unexpected. Employees can pick up sick children from school, bring them to work, attend to conflicting personal demands in their life or just take a “mental health day”. This is encouraged and supported so that there is no need for employee stress or guilt feelings.
Employees are equipped with the tools and technology to work from home as needed. When employees feel ill, we can ask them to work from home to avoid infecting others and insure a speedy recovery. We have uniquely designed and implemented a performance Incentive Award Program to reward excellence and actions above and beyond what is expected. Employees are awarded cSubs dollars for unsolicited, positive customer feedback, creative solutions to unique problems, new client referrals, and new employee referrals, innovative ideas to improve our processes, system and procedures, special thoughtfulness toward another employee or on behalf of the company and community service. Accumulated award dollars may be exchanged for family vacations in most major resort locations throughout the world.
Training and development is an ongoing corporate objective. The company offers opportunities for employee advancement as they are ready to move up to the next level. New employee training is structured by modules comprising all of the functional areas of the job. A training matrix is provided to the employee for self evaluation. The supervisor works with employees to jointly agree on which areas have been mastered and which may need additional training. The “Lunch and Learn” program delivers training on specific topics over lunch and often includes invited guest speakers. Employees also attend industry events and outside courses covering job related skills. cSubs values ongoing learning. We work in a colorful office environment and are provided with state-of-the art tools for the job, including high speed computers with large, dual LCD monitors to foster productivity. Other benefits include: paid vacations, holidays, flex days which may be used for any purpose, employee massages, health care coverage, disability and flexible work schedules.
MO: Tell us about your newest feature with cSubs in creating the eContent Management Service?
Julie: In keeping with our early motivations for starting cSubs, keeping track of all your passwords to access electronic content is the latest frustration. At cSubs, we are now preparing to offer a new service which will provide an enhanced management of e-content for companies, including not only electronically delivered publications but also market data, research and analyses, and other electronically delivered content.
cSubs eContent Management Service (CEMS) will provide users with automated single sign on logins and a variety of controls to prevent unauthorized use and sharing of passwords, facilitate access to both free and subscribed online content, store publisher contracts and terms and conditions, manage seats by relinquishing and securing access in response to users leaving or requesting access, provide usage reports to enable management to assess their e-content and database budgets, offer options for user discussion groups, and more.
MO: You are currently an expert blogger on FASTCOMPANY. Why do you believe it is important to engage in guest blogging?
Julie: People have an amazing story to tell and 1 million people read my blog on FASTCOMPANY weekly. I’d love to highlight what people do and how they do it. People’s hope is waining now and others can be so full of promise.
My blog is about work life balance (especially for women). How do we create it? What are the results of not having it & Innovative ways to achieve it. I think about guest blogging with me to discuss your work is great exposure. Visiting my blog: http://csubs.com/blogs/jsa gives an idea of the structure. Being a “Guest Blogger” gives people a very sought after space that they would not have the opportunity to have on their own. I have offered it to many, but as I speak about in the blog, few people shift to take advantage of it. It has always been my intention to use this FastCompany blog as a forum to have other worthy voices heard, exposed and promoted through this huge medium.
MO: You mention that you have helped companies large and small save time and reduce costs by 15% or more, how do you measure the savings?
Julie: Through cSubs complete, managed, web-based system companies can easily and conveniently control and administer all subscriptions and requests for newspapers, magazines, books, directories and online services ordered by their employees. When there is control, waste is eliminated. Users can see if there is somebody else in the company that they can share a subscription with instead of buying it. Unwanted subscriptions can be rerouted or cancelled for a refund.
With easy searches, minimum rate selection, batched renewals, automatic approval routing, consolidated cost-center billing and downloadable management reports, cSubs offers a convenient online way to reduce unnecessary publisher paperwork and reporting that tracks savings.