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Atlas swag | Would you spend 6 cents for awesome? - Atlas All Access 113

Ever wonder how we find, source, and test Atlas swag? Want to know how much it actually costs?

All the Atlas swag you see comes out of a separate operating budget from Atlas. It's a small way for us to give back to you. (It is not factored into your contract). But if you've ever wondered how the math breaks out, come with us on a swagtastic journey.

Got a suggestion of new Atlas swag you would like us to consider? Let us know in the comments!

Rich Smith: On this episode, we talk all about swag and the actual cost of it with the Director of Brand Experience for Atlas, Mr. Matt Loughran.

Matt Loughran: Hello.

Rich Smith: Atlas All Access starts now.

Rich Smith: Matt, well come back to Omaha.

Matt Loughran: Yeah, it's good to be back.

Rich Smith: So for those of you that don't know, Matt started off with us how? Four?

Matt Loughran: I'm going on, yeah, about four and a half years.

Rich Smith: Four and a half years ago.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: Lived in a small town in Iowa for a while and then decided to move back to Western Nebraska, which is kind of where you're from in the first place.

Matt Loughran: Yep. My family's from Broken Bow. And it just was a good opportunity for my wife and I who is also a recruiter.

Rich Smith: Absolutely.

Matt Loughran: To move back here and just be with our families. And I was lucky enough with Atlas to actually let us move. And we both work from home remotely and it works out great, so.

Rich Smith: So he's the one, whenever you get a shirt or a hat or a cup or the welcome kit or anything that has our logo on it, generally passes through Matt's hands first.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: Generally.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: And I saw this on one of the Facebook groups. I don't even know. It was last week or something. It wasn't necessarily us. Maybe it was another company. Honestly, I can't even remember. Somebody sent out a jacket very similar to this.

Matt Loughran: Okay.

Rich Smith: Right? And of course, inevitably in the comments there was, "Well, you're paying for that. It comes out of your check." And I only use that voice because that's my, when I read comments.

Matt Loughran: Like a Kermit the Frog.

Rich Smith: Exactly.

Matt Loughran: Yeah. Okay.

Rich Smith: Yeah. When I read the comments, it's just in different voices.

Matt Loughran: Yes.

Rich Smith: So, "You're paying for that. It comes out of your check." So I thought we've done this once or twice before. Let's break it down again. Let's talk about actual costs.

Matt Loughran: It's interesting because, even as I was going through this and kind of pulling some of these together, how much ... how little some of this stuff costs.

Rich Smith: Yep.

Matt Loughran: Because when we're buying this, we're buying it in such huge quantities that it allows us to get such an amazing deal.

Rich Smith: So a discount.

Matt Loughran: But yeah, it's interesting as you look through and you break it down through the life of a contract, kind of what they're looking at and how much we are spending on that stuff.

Rich Smith: Right. And I think what's important to remember too, because you reminded me of this, not that I forget, but anyway, as we talk through this, it's important to repeat as much as we just have the bill rate, right? I mean, that's it.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: Any of this stuff isn't coming out of ... We're not figuring this into your pay package to begin with.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: Like we don't figure in, "Here's $50 worth of swag and I will send you $50 worth of swag over the lifetime of your contract." That doesn't exist.

Matt Loughran: Right. And that's important. And that's super important to know because we're not taking from their pocket. Right?

Rich Smith: Right.

Matt Loughran: When we have a budget for experience or brand, that money comes out of that portion of that.

Rich Smith: Off our side.

Matt Loughran: Right. That comes from my budget. That comes from your budget and ...

Rich Smith: From the money that Atlas makes that Atlas would keep.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: On our side, separate from what we pay the nurse on the deal side.

Matt Loughran: Exactly.

Rich Smith: And I get it. I understand the argument. We just have the bill rate. I understand that, or whatever. But companies are in business to make money.

Matt Loughran: Sure.

Rich Smith: I think everybody knows that, right? We're not nonprofits. There are nonprofits obviously, but not in the staffing world. We're all here to make money.

Matt Loughran: And everybody has some sort of marketing department that's paid for somehow. So whether it's through commercials or magazines, or whatever it is.

Rich Smith: Whatever it is.

Matt Loughran: You're still paying for that. We're just using our marketing budget for stuff that's useful, right? Like stuff that you could actually take with you on assignment or something that you'd like to have that says Atlas and you can help support us and we'd give you something nice to take along with you on your next trip and ...

Rich Smith: Right.

Matt Loughran: So.

Rich Smith: Yep. Okay. So let's start breaking this down. Let's talk about some of these. And I do ... We just, we have a nice sel ection here. Let's start with the welcome kit because I think that's the first kind of experience that you have with us.

Matt Loughran: Sure.

Rich Smith: You get this in the mail two weeks after you start?

Matt Loughran: Yep. So two weeks after somebody starts, they get a new hire packet. I don't know if you can see this or not, but it's branded with all of our stuff on it. And this is ... There's nothing special in here, nothing crazy, but it is just a great like, "Hey, thank you for taking the time to trust us ... "

Rich Smith: To choose us.

Matt Loughran: "And to choose us." And it gives you enough time to get settled. Whether you're in somebody's house or you're renting an apartment from somebody. It's going to have a card inside it, something similar to this, and it's going to be signed. And it's signed by Rich and Steve, the two owners, which is, I know it's a pain a lot of times. Because when you're sitting down and you're signing 800 of these, it takes a lot of time. But I feel that it's super important for people to know that you are worth their time to have a hand signed card, and people don't do that anymore. So hand signed card. A nice koozie.

Rich Smith: I got the koozie. That's $1.00 right there.

Matt Loughran: Okay.

Rich Smith: $1.00.

Matt Loughran: Atlas chapstick.

Rich Smith: Chapstick, 85 cents.

Matt Loughran: Yep, 85 cents.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Oh, that's a ... What is that, a zip reel or what is that?

Matt Loughran: Like a retractor.

Rich Smith: Let's call that, oh badge reel $1.25.

Matt Loughran: Okay. $1.25.

Rich Smith: $1.25.

Matt Loughran: So good to go with that.

Rich Smith: Oh lanyard.

Matt Loughran: Is a Atlas breakaway lanyard.

Rich Smith: Yeah, breakaway lanyard. So like if they grab you with psych patients or whatever-

Matt Loughran: So on a side note, I'd be really interested like do nurses still wear these? Like do you need these or is everybody wearing these?

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt Loughran: Because I've been told different things, so.

Rich Smith: Yeah. Or like mine to get in the office, right, I just clip on my belt.

Matt Loughran: Right. Because if people aren't wearing these anymore, then I would do something different.

Rich Smith: Because that one right there is two and a quarter.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: $2.25.

Matt Loughran: Yep. This is a cleaning cloth. Again, $1.00. All this stuff is usable stuff. We want you to be able to take with you and leave in your car, put in your backpack, whatever. So just a cool little Atlas cleaning cloth. And you said $1.00.

Rich Smith: $1.00 Okay. Yep.

Matt Loughran: This is one of the items that's been with us since I started probably for five or six years. And it's a Atlas pen. Awesome.

Rich Smith: With the little flashlight on the end.

Matt Loughran: And it's got a stylus.

Rich Smith: A little stylus because we all use PalmPilots still.

Matt Loughran: Right. Right. Actually I used mine the other day on my computer. I got one of those [inaudible 00:06:38], like a touch.

Rich Smith: Oh interesting.

Matt Loughran: Surface.

Rich Smith: Okay.

Matt Loughran: But we've had some cool stories from these. Nurses love these things. We've sent a lot of these out. We've had one nurse. They had to do a trachea on a guy and they needed a light and she pulled out her Atlas pen and was able to use the light and she sent us a kind of a story and a breakdown. And of course we sent her a bunch of pens.

Rich Smith: More pens.

Matt Loughran: Yeah. But these are very popular.

Rich Smith: $1.14.

Matt Loughran: $1.14 so ...

Rich Smith: Yeah, per pen.

Matt Loughran: A little more. But it's a nice pen and we send out thousands of these, so.

Rich Smith: Yes. Sending out a lot of those.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: Yep.

Matt Loughran: So that's your new hire packet. That's what's going to show up two weeks roughly after you start your assignment with us.

Rich Smith: And then somewhere along the way you may get an assortment of other Atlas goods for whatever reason, right?

Matt Loughran: Right. So like say nurse's week.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt Loughran: Right? That's coming up here. So we're working. We're currently working on that as well. That'll be a surprise. And every year, again, you're trying to find a gift for a group of individuals that is men, women, young, old, something that it's usable, that they can take with them, that they're just not going to throw away. We're always looking for new ideas. If anybody's got any good ideas, but I think we've got a good one for this year and we'll announce that.

Matt Loughran: So you have that. You have Christmas, which we always do. And we make sure that we get, again, a thoughtful gift and something that's useful. We've done so many different things in the past.

Rich Smith: You get the sunglasses on your head right there?

Matt Loughran: Oh, yeah.

Rich Smith: Yeah?

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: Those we handed out in Vegas last year.

Matt Loughran: In Vegas, yep.

Rich Smith: And a couple of different events too, we've had those.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: Sunglasses $1.50.

Matt Loughran: Yes. And they're actually polarized.

Rich Smith: Yeah, they're not bad.

Matt Loughran: Yeah.

Rich Smith: Yeah.

Rich Smith: We kind of slacked off on this and we're back to it now again. We reordered these. If you send us a beer for a beer with Atlas, we would send you a pint glass. The pint glass was $2.39.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: Yeah, not super expensive.

Matt Loughran: No.

Rich Smith: For that.

Matt Loughran: No, not at all.

Rich Smith: Let's talk about bigger ticket items now too. So coffee mug.

Matt Loughran: Okay.

Rich Smith: Pretty heavy-duty. Ceramic coffee mug.

Matt Loughran: Yeah. Super nice.

Rich Smith: Yep. I use mine a lot at home. Coffee mug, $9.

Matt Loughran: So could we find a cheaper one? We totally could.

Rich Smith: Could.

Matt Loughran: But again, if we're going to give you something, I want something that's going to be useful and something that's going to be long lasting, right?

Rich Smith: Right.

Matt Loughran: This is a coffee mug that you're like, "You know, I'll take ... I only need one of these for my assignment. I'm going to take this mug because this is a nice mug."

Rich Smith: It's heavy-duty, right? Yeah. I've seen someone actually drop that at waist level onto a carpet, like onto our carpet, which it has very a little pad-

Matt Loughran: Was it a beverage?

Rich Smith: It was, yeah, but it didn't break. It didn't break.

Matt Loughran: That's good.

Rich Smith: Yeah. So I mean pretty heavy-duty.

Matt Loughran: Yeah.

Rich Smith: Hats. I love our hats.

Matt Loughran: We have lots of different hats. I don't actually have one of my hats on, but we have different hats for all types. And so we kind of, a general number there for the hats.

Rich Smith: $10.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: So I'll say, go buy a hat with a logo on it. Let's say go buy an MLB hat or an NFL hat or something. You're paying $25, $30, $40 for a hat maybe.

Matt Loughran: Yes. You know what? And here's the other thing I want to bring up, is that when we purchased this stuff and we put this on our store and we send this out, if we're selling some of this on our store, this is all it costs, right? So we are making zero money on this. That's not why we have this stuff on the store, on the swag store.

Rich Smith: The store is definitely not like a second revenue stream for us whatsoever.

Matt Loughran: No. No. If anything, it probably costs us money to run it and to manage it-

Rich Smith: To maintain the site and ...

Matt Loughran: A little bit, but it's just, it's a way for us to give back. But again, we're not trying to make any gain off of that.

Rich Smith: Sure. Okay, so let's take a step up then, t-shirts. We give out a ton of t-shirts.

Matt Loughran: We do.

Rich Smith: And you see the Where You Belong t-shirt everywhere. T-shirts, anywhere between $6 and $11.

Matt Loughran: Yep, just depending on the size and the style and stuff like that, so.

Rich Smith: Right.

Matt Loughran: Again, if you go and look at a shirt at a store that's branded, it's significantly more.

Rich Smith: Absolutely.

Matt Loughran: Especially, and these are nice shirts. These are amazing shirts, soft and everybody loves these things, so.

Rich Smith: Yep. Okay, one more step up. Okay. Hoodie, you've got on right there.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: $29.

Matt Loughran: Yes.

Rich Smith: So again, for a hoodie, it's not a bad price.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: That's actually a pretty good price.

Matt Loughran: And this is actually a nicer hoodie than most. And it's ... When we pick stuff like this out, we're never sure if they're really going to like these. And this was one of the ones that people just went nuts over. So we've added three of these to the store now. So we have three of these sweatshirts to the store, different colors. But yeah, $29 for a ... This is a posh, nice sweatshirt.

Rich Smith: And one of the things where Matt will bring it into the office, we will all try it on first. And like, if we like it, then it gets added. If we don't, then it's ... We've done that with a few hats. Like these hats fit like garbage. I don't want ...

Matt Loughran: It's not good.

Rich Smith: Right.

Matt Loughran: And we run everything through, because this is a great stepping stone for that and a test.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt Loughran: I know somebody here in the office that is been hounding me for a ... like just a plain sweatshirt with no hood on it.

Rich Smith: I know who that is.

Matt Loughran: Yeah.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep.

Matt Loughran: And so-

Rich Smith: She's raising her hand right over there.

Matt Loughran: She is. I see her. And I see that all the time. So I'm working on that. I just didn't know people still wore sweatshirts, and there's two people right here.

Rich Smith: I do. I do on the weekends.

Matt Loughran: Do you?

Rich Smith: Dawn's wearing one right now.

Matt Loughran: I thought I said there's two people right here that wear them. So I need to get that going.

Rich Smith: I think it's one of those, it's a comfort thing.

Matt Loughran: Sure.

Rich Smith: Right? It's just one of those things and I ... Yeah, I would wear it all weekend.

Matt Loughran: Yeah. So you want like the tight wrists and like the ... Yeah?

Rich Smith: No. Does it have that?

Matt Loughran: Like a 1990s ...

Speaker 3: A crew neck?

Matt Loughran: Yeah, crew neck.

Jamie: We don't like the hoods.

Rich Smith: They don't like hoods.

Matt Loughran: They don't want hoods, okay. It just must be a age thing because ...

Rich Smith: Maybe.

Matt Loughran: I dig the hoods.

Rich Smith: Yeah. Yeah.

Matt Loughran: Yeah.

Rich Smith: I don't-

Matt Loughran: But I'm going to work on that. That's going to be my ... For Monday, I'm going to get a sample of that and I'm going to send it to Jamie and-

Rich Smith: Look how excited she is. She's so excited.

Matt Loughran: Yes. Super excited.

Rich Smith: Okay, so let's ... I want to take, and I want to take the most expensive item that we have on here, which is the hooded sweatshirt that you have on right now.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: Okay. I'm going to break that down to a per hour and then per week. So let's say, okay, you really do want this. You don't want anything with our name on it. Okay. That ... Okay, fine. How much does that add to your paycheck? Okay? So I broke this down. Average contract, and please, my math is horrible, right? Obviously my math is not very good. Steve's a math guy. I'm this guy.

Matt Loughran: Yeah.

Rich Smith: Right. But I believe this is correct. 48 ... I'm sorry, a 36-hour work week times 13 weeks equals 468 hours potential that you could work. If you worked every hour of your contract 36 hours a week for 13 weeks.

Matt Loughran: Not counting overtime, not counting anything.

Rich Smith: Just straight 468 hours.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: Okay? So if you take that sweatshirt and divide that, the 468 into 29 or 29 into 468, whichever way that goes, you get 6 cents. Okay?

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: So that equals 6 cents per ...

Matt Loughran: Hour.

Rich Smith: Is that per hour? Yeah, 6 cents per hour.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: Right? I want to make sure that's right. 6 cents per hour or times 36 hours a week, $2.16 per week.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: So we can send you-

Matt Loughran: And that's before ...

Rich Smith: Before taxes.

Matt Loughran: Before taxes.

Rich Smith: So we can send you a sweatshirt, right? You can have a sweatshirt.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: We would probably may do anyway. Right? I mean who knows why we would send some of this to whoever. I mean, there isn't necessarily any kind of schedule or anything-

Matt Loughran: No, no-

Rich Smith: ... else why we would do that. Before taxes, I can give you an extra $2.16 a week of which the government will take 30-ish to 40 whatever percent [crosstalk 00:14:27], right? So you get about $1.00 and ... or $1.65, $1.75 extra per week?

Matt Loughran: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rich Smith: Or whatever that would go into the change bucket in your car. Or you can have a sweatshirt.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: I mean that's ... And that's extreme obviously, right? I mean that's the most, that's the highest price.

Matt Loughran: So if you broke down this lip balm at 85 cents, I mean just ...

Rich Smith: Right.

Matt Loughran: Just so you know, I mean, you're looking at $1 to maybe $5 here for all of this.

Rich Smith: Oh yeah, yeah, total.

Matt Loughran: 5.50 for everything.

Rich Smith: Right.

Matt Loughran: So again, that's just us saying thank you more than anything, and hopefully it's some stuff that's useful that you could use. So there is an argument to all this, and ...

Rich Smith: I get it.

Matt Loughran: But there's no riches. What I like about this is, let's just address this, and let's just talk about it. I don't know anybody that doesn't enjoy getting free stuff and ...

Rich Smith: Right.

Matt Loughran: And especially for no reason.

Rich Smith: I want to place back into the where you belong.

Matt Loughran: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rich Smith: Right. And I think that's in the end, that's where I wanted to ... where I wanted to get, is every one out there, no matter what wants to belong.

Matt Loughran: Sure.

Rich Smith: Right? In some way or another, that tribe mentality, they want to belong to something or be a part of something. And I think, so Matt created the Where You Belong. I know we've talked about that before, years ago. When you first started, that was your brain child, like give some place, a place for us to gather, for all of us to gather, where we belong. We belong-

Matt Loughran: Even if it's temporary, like that's great. Like come back. It doesn't matter if you leave. You still belong to this group of individuals.

Rich Smith: There are plenty of nurses that have come and worked contracts and gone back to perm contracts we still keep in touch with. They still belong. They're still Atlas nurses no matter what.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: They'll always be an Atlas nurse.

Matt Loughran: Which is amazing, yeah.

Rich Smith: Which is fantastic. These little things along the way, 6 cents per hour on a sweatshirt or something, it's more than that. It's the belonging. It's that it's why do you like the Apple sticker when you get a new iPhone or whatever. Why do you put it on the back of your car? Why any of those things.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: Right? It's that sense of belonging that I identify with this, and that's what all of this stuff helps do.

Matt Loughran: Yeah, right.

Rich Smith: In essence. So whether it's a pair of socks or a hat or a ...

Matt Loughran: Purse, yeah.

Rich Smith: You get a pint glass or whatever.

Matt Loughran: One of the nurses say that she wanted scrunchies, so we made our own scrunchies.

Rich Smith: We made our own scrunchies. Is the scrunchy on there? How much does that cost?

Matt Loughran: I want to say it was like 60 cents.

Rich Smith: Yeah, I didn't even see it on here, which yeah, miniscule, nothing.

Matt Loughran: We've done headbands. We've done ... I mean, we've done just crazy stuff, so.

Rich Smith: And part of it is like I like stuff.

Matt Loughran: Yeah.

Rich Smith: I just, I like stuff. And the more stuff we can ... I'm all Atlas stuff, with the jacket and the hat and the ... I'm not wearing my socks today though, so.

Matt Loughran: No.

Rich Smith: And I mean the shirt. But anyway, it just has that sense of belonging. So the next time, and every other company is trying to do the same thing in one fashion or another, right?

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: Whether it's logoed scrub tops or whatever that might be, they're all trying to create that sense of belonging, because moving from one contract to another is difficult. Moving from one company to another is difficult. And so the more that we can create that sense of belonging and hang on to those travelers, not only in how we treat them, but then in that sense of belonging is important.

Rich Smith: So that's it. So the next time something like that comes up and someone actually, someone makes that comment right in my Daffy Duck voice that I use, it's important for you to understand where, how much that actually costs and how just minuscule that amount is.

Matt Loughran: And we, and again, we do this because we're grateful, right? We could use that money for something different in marketing, but we don't, and we choose to give that back to our travelers.

Rich Smith: Absolutely.

Rich Smith: Well Matt, thank you for joining us today.

Matt Loughran: Yeah, you bet.

Rich Smith: There's-

Matt Loughran: Good time-

Rich Smith: ... a lot of fun stuff coming up in the company store. If you haven't visited our company store, if you go to our website, and maybe they'll do some kind of a little fun screen capture here.

Matt Loughran: Yeah.

Rich Smith: Go to our website. At the top there is a tab called Sweet Merch.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: And within Sweet Merch you can get anything from ... You can buy anything from hats to shirts to backpack.

Matt Loughran: Sun visors.

Rich Smith: So much.

Matt Loughran: If you want an under armor shirt with, it'll have the Atlas logo on it, w.e offer that. I mean, there are just a bunch of different things.

Rich Smith: There's a ton of different fun stuff on there, so. This hat in particular is on there right now.

Matt Loughran: Yep.

Rich Smith: We don't actually give this one away. It's one that I purchased off the company store myself. So go check that out. If you want to just wear all kinds of Atlas swag all the time, I wouldn't argue with that. We had to go buy it on the store.

Matt Loughran: Right.

Rich Smith: If you want it all the time.

Matt Loughran: And send us a picture. If you've got like a picture with your Atlas swag on assignment, that'd be awesome.

Rich Smith: And then I will send you more Atlas swag if you do that.

Matt Loughran: There you go.

Rich Smith: All right, Matt. Thank you.

Matt Loughran: You bet.

Rich Smith: See you next week.

Matt Loughran: Bye.

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