Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CompModel design update complete

We've just finished a major overhaul of CompModel's "persisting" methodology. Previously CompModel saved or persisted all data in XML files. This seemed to work fine in our development environment, but proved to be unreliable on the production server. As a result we've designed a database to save all data. This design is proving much more reliable. The end result is that all your CompModel data is available all the time. We are going to be working on some NextComp -> CompModel integration as a new feature over the coming weeks.

And CompModel is still just $99.00 a month for the basic features and $149 a month the range building features.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Culpepper/AHRS Meeting Wrap-up

I attended a great meeting in Bellevue hosted by Leigh Culpepper of Culpepper and Associates (in the middle) and Doug Sayed of Applied HR Strategies (on the left). Yes, that's me on the right.

The topics included an update on compensation trends in the Pacific Northwest in the high technology and biotechnology sectors. Doug has the depth of experience and the data to present a longer term perspective on pay changes and trends in these sectors. It's interesting to note that we seem to be entering a period similar to that of 1999 and 2000 with pay on the rise for key IT and Finance jobs. Hopefully not another "bubble" period though.

Leigh introduced the plans that Culpepper and Associates have for the AHRS survey suite. Culpepper and Associates have a great survey database and great techology for delivering the best in compensation data for over 500 job families (representing several thousand unique jobs) all over the globe.

Congratulations to Elliott. He won the door prize of a new iPod nano! I purposefully did not put my card in the drawing, but I figured Elliott was fair game. He was so excited and said "I can't wait to get home and go running with it!".

After the meeting, Doug, Leigh and I had a nice lunch at McCormick & Schmick's in Bellevue. I highly recommend it if you're in town. Great seafood. Leigh agreed to put a link on his company's website to the CompModel.net site. We are also discussing some other ideas related to NextComp.net and the Culpepper and Associates surveys. Hopefully we can make those ideas reality in 2007.

Monday, October 09, 2006

CompModel Speed Comparison

We were curious just how much faster it is to create a compensation model in CompModel versus a traditional spreadsheet. Here's our test.

Traditional spreadsheet
  1. Gather source data into one worksheet
    (10 minutes)

  2. Increase current pay ranges by 2.9% using formulas in new columns
    (5 minutes)

  3. Create formulas in new columns to check for employees that fall below the minimum of the new pay ranges
    (5 minutes)

  4. Create formulas in new columns to increase all employees pay by 4.0% without having pay increase beyond the range maximum
    (5 minutes)

  5. Create a 5 segment pay range distribution for current and model pay ranges using formulas
    (10 minutes)

  6. Move all employees to next higher segment to increase overall equity
    (5 minutes)
Total Time: 40 minutes


  1. Gather source data into one worksheet
    (10 minutes)

  2. Import data into CompModel.net
    (less than 1 minute)

  3. Increase ranges by 2.9% using the "Pay Range" operation
    (less than 1 minute)

  4. Increase all employees pay by 4.0% without having pay increase beyond the range maximum using "Base Pay" operation
    (less than 1 minute)

  5. Create a 5 segment pay range distribution for current and model pay ranges using "Model Settings"
    (less than 1 minute)

  6. Move all employees to next higher segment to increase overall equity using "Base Pay" operation
    (less than 1 minute)

Total Time: Less than 15 minutes

CompModel.net is 56% faster than using traditional spreadsheet formulas.

This is just a simple example. More complex models can be created in CompModel, and the time savings would be even greater.

Monday, October 02, 2006

CompModel Trial Accounts Released

We've unleashed CompModel on the world! .

Trial accounts are now available for sign-up.

Sign-up Now for a free no obligation trial account.

We've completed our initial round of testing and we are ready to open up CompModel for a wider audience. You can sign-up now for a trial account. The trial account lets you create one model. You can add another person to the account to get a sense of how CompModel works with multiple users.

Here's a 10 minute demo of CompModel in action.

This is a 23MB Quicktime movie, so you may have to download the file before playing it.

Very soon we'll be releasing the Full Version which let's you create unlimited numbers of models with an unlimited number of users.

And we are working on a Max Version with some really cool range building tools.

We hope to see you next week at the Culpepper/AHRS survey meeting in Bellevue, Wa.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Culpepper/AHRS Northwest Survey Meeting

Culpepper and Associates recently purchased the Applied HR Strategies suite of compensation surveys.

Leigh Culpepper will be in Bellevue, WA. on October 10th to discuss the new survey formats and other Culpepper offerings. Doug Sayed from Applied HR Strategies will also be in attendence presenting on compensation trends in the Northwest.

Elliott and I will also be there with some CompModel marketing materials. CompModel will be "live" by the time the meeting rolls around so we'll have the chance to introduce people to the fully functioning application.

Here's a link for more information.

Maybe we'll see you there!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

CompModel previewed at San Diego Compensation and Benefits Association meeting

The San Diego Compensation and Benefits Association (SDCBA) held their quarterly meeting yesterday in La Jolla. I was invited by the group to present the features of NextComp and CompModel. The topic was Compensation Technology - Real World Examples. I had 15 minutes to present so it was a quick pace. The group had a very positive reaction. There were a couple of “oh’s and ah’s”. Best of all they liked the price point.

Here is a 3 minute
Quicktime demo
that I presented at the meeting.

The demo shows the following:

  • Increasing the pay ranges by 3.2%
  • Moving all employee’s pay from below the minimum up to the minimum
  • Creating a “distribution model” for a new merit matrix (see explanation below)
  • Updating the model with the model merit matrix
  • Viewing a bar chart showing the current and model payroll totals by grade

The demo doesn’t have voice-over since I was there to walk through the steps.

The model distribution merit matrix is a great tool for planning a new merit matrix. The tool creates a model distribution of performance ratings and then applies a merit increase to the employee’s pay. It is accurate to within a couple of 10th of a percent. We’ve been using a similar tool in Excel for years, but this is much easier to work with than the formulas in Excel!

We’ll be creating several more thorough demos with voice-over in the next week.

It’s an exciting time at NextComp as we prepare to release CompModel for beta testing to a select group of companies. After a couple weeks of beta testing we’ll release the tool to the public for $99.00 a month.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

COMPMODEL.NET's new blog home

We're getting close to launch time and we thought it a good idea to have a blog devoted to CompModel.

The johnsonhr.blogspot.com blog will be devoted to other more general compensation and total rewards items.

We're excited, it's getting closer and the tool is looking great.

Keep checking back for more updates.