High U.S. unemployment brought a surge in the incoming payments handled by SHPS, a benefits administrator in Louisville, Ky. Fortunately, the company had streamlined its systems with state-of-the-art banking products before the wave hit and was prepared to handle higher volumes and provide quick turnarounds to keep last-minute payers insured.

"The economic collapse did impact us," says Kevin Scarborough, vice president of finance at SHPS. "It brought us new clients and more volume from existing clients as more participants went on COBRA. We hated to see more people unemployed, but we welcomed the additional business.

"We were lucky that we had improved our operations, because that allowed us to take on more volume without increasing our costs substantially," Scarborough adds. "We made the changes to improve internal operations, but it turned out to give us a business advantage."

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