Beam Dental is the fastest-growing provider of dental benefits in the United States, and there’s a good reason why. Using machine learning to tailor pricing and smart technology to make better toothbrushes, Beam is modernizing an antiquated industry. Perhaps nobody at Beam has had a better view of its explosive growth than Craig Shapiro, the company’s controller.
“What I like most about my job is I get to work with everybody, from hourly employees to the CEO,” he explains. “Every department relies on spending or making money, so I have a unique opportunity to work across the organization with every team.”
A platform that sustains growth
Before adopting Rippling, Beam used Gusto as its payroll provider and benefits administrator. In the early days, when Beam had fewer than 100 employees, this was adequate for the company’s needs. But eventually it became clear that Gusto’s platform could not scale with the company.
“We simply outgrew the platform,” Craig says. “When you outgrow a system’s typical employee count, it gets clunky and slow. It isn’t designed to answer the questions you have. It doesn’t support the integrations you need for a larger headcount.”
Growth was Craig’s biggest consideration when searching for a replacement. He wanted a workforce platform that would solve his most pressing issues while also being a sure bet for the future. “Not only were we looking for a system that could accommodate us today. We also wanted a platform that would allow us to grow.
Checking the integration boxes
Finding new technology that could integrate all of Beam’s existing apps was key, especially core HR and finance systems such as 401(k) management and accounting. In his search Craig evaluated competitors like Zenefits, Namely, and BambooHR. All of them supported some of the integrations that Beam needed. But none of them supported all—except Rippling.
“Only Rippling checked all the boxes with our integrations. We chose it because it could connect with the software we were using and also the software we plan to use. Implementing Rippling caused the least amount of disruption with our current processes.”
Beam’s benefits broker, Filice, was a trusted partner while searching for Gusto’s replacement. The team at Filice knew Beam needed a system where benefits administration and payroll were tightly integrated. Although they had never worked with Rippling before, the team at Filice was convinced after seeing the depth of Rippling’s carrier form automation.
Beam’s integrations with Rippling
Beam Dental was able to keep its preferred systems and add new apps through Rippling’s App Shop.
Implementation was easy
Switching to a new platform can be stressful, but Rippling made it a smooth transition for Craig and his team. “It was a very hands-on partnership. Our implementation manager walked us through each step. It felt like he was invested in our success on the platform.”
For all questions, big or small, there was a quick answer. “Our implementation manager was super-responsive and helped us resolve small technical hiccups along the way,” Craig says.
In light of Beam’s explosive growth, Craig and his team chose Rippling’s most robust implementation package, Managed. “To anybody considering Rippling, I would strongly recommend the package we got. It made our transition seamless and easy.”
Automating admin work
It wasn’t long before Craig saw results. “With our first pay run on Rippling, I knew we’d made the right decision.” Automating payroll with Rippling saved time and eliminated mistakes. With Gusto, Craig was nervous the first time he ran payroll. “I was a lot more confident the first time I ran payroll in Rippling. Rippling’s ability to highlight missing information is game-changing. When I run it and someone’s bank info is incorrect, Rippling lets me know to follow up with them.”
Before Rippling, journal entries were also a cumbersome process. “We used to download payroll journals and map them in Excel, which took at least 2 hours per pay run,” Craig says. “And since we’re not machines, that process was subject to human error.”
Rippling’s integration with NetSuite was a huge factor in Craig’s choice of Rippling. He can map specific departments and locations to the correct journal entry and seamlessly feed payroll journals from Rippling’s system into Beam’s accounting books.
The rest of Beam’s HR team has benefited from automation, too. Previously, when an employee had a change in benefits coverage, the team would have to manually update enrollment. This process easily took a couple of hours every month. Now, with Rippling, the team is getting that time back.
“Eliminating administrative tasks so people can focus on the job they were hired to do is huge,” Craig says. “All of us, especially HR and recruiting, are really excited about that.”
Fast, intuitive, custom reports
As controller Craig is accountable to many different departments at Beam. His job depends on being able to provide his colleagues with accurate information in a timely manner. He found that Gusto was often sluggish, and he would have to wait for reports to generate.
“The first thing I noticed about Rippling is that the reports load quickly and easily,” Craig says. “Getting instant results when I’m trying to quickly analyze compensation reports or send an answer to the CEO and CFO during updates to the board matters.”
Just as important was customizability. With Rippling, Craig is able to quickly build custom reports that show his colleagues the data they need to see, without unnecessary clutter.
“Being able to choose data a la carte has been super helpful” he says. “Especially when I want to show parties information they need and exclude information they don’t.”
Many platforms force customers to choose between power and usability. Having seen Rippling’s speed and customization, Craig was surprised by how simple and intuitive its design was, too.
“When it comes to system design, sometimes less is more,” he says. “Rippling’s platform looks like an iPhone. It’s easy to figure out where to go and how to use it—but it’s really powerful, too.
“Our administration time is way down”
For Craig, the value of Rippling is clear in the busy work its automated and how seamlessly it fits with Beam’s existing systems. “Our administration time has been cut way down—in Beam’s month-end close process, in the payroll process, in the onboarding and offboarding processes.
Separately, these gains allow each member of Beam’s HR team to focus on the work most deserving of their attention. Taken altogether, Rippling’s automation saves Beam 20 administrative hours a month. And there’s an even better metric than that.
“Generally, if something is wrong, people will tell you about it,” Craig says. “But that hasn’t happened with Rippling. Everybody is super happy with it.”