C A S E   S T U D Y

How Strategic Materials Saved Valuable
Time and Resources Through Benefits Outsourcing



Houston, Texas

Environmental Services

1,000+ Employees



Strategic Materials is North America’s largest and most comprehensive glass recycler. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Strategic Materials is a leading recycling company with facilities across the United States and Canada. With over 100 years of history and nearly 50 plants, Strategic Materials is the premier source of recycled glass. With a focus on operational excellence and process innovation, Strategic Materials strides to consistently meet clients’ evolving expectations.

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Strategic Materials Incorporated is the largest glass processor in North America. The company has over 40 operating facilities across the United States and Canada and operates with a lean HR team of only 6 employees that handle everything from data entry and payroll to recruiting, hiring, benefits administration and more.  

With a modest human resources team tasked with managing units across two countries, it’s not hard to see how Strategic Materials frequently ran into issues communicating with and managing their remote, multilingual workforce

Additionally, the recycling industry is very demanding and traditionally has a very high turnover rate. Strategic Materials wanted a better way to put benefits front and center as a differentiator to help with recruiting and retention efforts without overwhelming the already busy HR team. 

“Outside of managing the cost of our benefits package, our objective it to serve employees proactively—to make sure that they understand their options and know that we care about them” 

And, Strategic Materials wanted to enhance the benefits experience from an administrative perspective with a more robust and flexible platform with more accurate data, customizable reporting and a partner that offered a hands-on, high-touch approach.

  • Diverse, mulit-lingual workforce spread across multiple locations
  • Data integrity and accuracy concerns
  • Missing core benefits features and functionality
  • Inadequate and inflexible reporting
  • Lack of service and timely issue resolution



After a thorough vetting process, Strategic Materials announced PlanSource as their new partner for a full benefits outsourcing solution. The enhanced offering included a full benefits administration upgrade, an employee contact center, benefits billing and reconciliation, COBRA administration and a dedicated team to ensure a smooth and timely implementation.

  • Employee Contact Center
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Benefits Billing Service
  • Robust Features and Functionality

Benefits Billing and Reconciliation   Benefits Outsourcing 

Employee Contact Center    Modern Benefits Platform



Going through a platform or vendor change can be stressful. However, PlanSource delivered a seamless and on-time implementation just in time for open enrollment. 

Strategic Materials offered the mobile-friendly benefits platform for enrollment and supported these efforts with mobile kiosks in the manufacturing plants where employees could easily upload required documents, like birth or marriage certificates, and the employee contact center for on-demand enrollment. These enhancements supported the diverse workforce by providing more enrollment opportunities, particularly for employees that might not have a personal computer at home. 

In addition to a stress-free and timely launch, Strategic Materials was able to invest in PlanSource and absorb a slight rate increase from the carrier without passing that cost onto employees. This was a huge win for the company as they made several strategic changes to help provide a better benefits package to employees and were able to do so at no additional cost.

Enhancements Strategic Materials implemented after investing in PlanSource:

  • Added an employer contribution to HSA accounts. PlanSource’s real-time analytics was incredibly helpful in identifying employees that did not choose to enroll in the HSA and opened a line of communication to employees about why not—they were leaving free money on the table! 
  • A new rate structure that correlated with an employees’ salary tier. The new rate structure has six different tiers and different plan rates that are proportionate to each tier. This new program was designed to be sensitive to the manufacturing environment employees that have lower salaries than corporate office employees. 
  • Three new worksite products from Metlife: Accident, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity. They wanted to provide employees with more options and launched a comprehensive communications plan to educate their workforce on the benefits of these voluntary products. 25% of employees enrolled in critical illness in the first year!
  • Increased 401(k) match and improved vesting schedule. Strategic Materials re-invested savings from benefits outsourcing back into the employees to provide a more competitive benefits package.

Strategic Materials was able to make all of these amazing changes and enhancements to their benefits packages and the overall employee experience without spending an extra dime! 

Overall, employees were very satisfied with the enrollment experience. More than 50% of employees enrolled via the contact center, and having the extra support from the PlanSource team freed up the HR team to focus on other important initiatives, like engagement and retention. 

The investment in PlanSource will allow Strategic Materials to consistently increase the value of their benefits package, making benefits more sophisticated and competitive over time. They have saved countless hours of administrative work, allowing them to focus on better servicing their employees in meaningful and impactful ways.

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Hear What They Have to Say!

“Outside of managing the cost of our benefits package, our objective it to serve employees proactively—to make sure that they understand their options and know that we care about them”
Isabel Martinez, Benefits Specialist

“This service is incredible because we don’t have to touch it! We don’t have to handle any of the calculations or spreadsheet manipulations. We literally send one email to handle 100% of the invoices to our carriers—that’s as involved as it gets!”
Courtney Scardino, Regional HR Business Partner

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