Customer Spotlight

Compass Coffee reduced HR and IT admin task time by 96%


reduction in time spent on HR & IT tasks


admin hours saved per month

faster employee onboarding


Washington, DC



Implementation time

1 month

The Challenge

Compass Coffee had outgrown its existing solution, Gusto, and was spending significant time on manual tasks, including calculating PTO, tracking employee hours, and provisioning accounts for new employees.

The Outcome

With Rippling, Compass reduced time spent on HR and IT tasks by 96% and dramatically decreased employee onboarding time. Compass can now focus on more important projects, like building more cafés and expanding their retail presence.

Every day, thousands of people frequent Compass Coffee’s 12 stores across the Washington Metro Area. Co-founder Michael Haft has enjoyed bringing people together over “real good coffee” and seeing the Compass community grow since launching in 2014. “Even during COVID, we get appreciation notes from our customers about how Compass provides a bit of normalcy during this time,” he said. “We could be the best five minutes of someone’s day, so it’s important to provide an amazing experience.”

Outgrowing Gusto and searching for other options

After several years of using Gusto for payroll and benefits, Michael realized the business had reached a breaking point with the solution: “I was spending eight hours every other week running payroll, which included manually calculating PTO, enrolling people in healthcare, and managing pay rates and job titles... Hourly employees also comprise much of our staff, so keeping track of everyone’s hours required the tedious process of manually typing those in every pay period.”

Getting Compass employees paid accurately and on time is not negotiable, Michael told us. However, human error can get in the way: “One of the most frustrating things about Gusto is that there were times when I made mistakes or something didn’t import, which affected the payroll. In that case, I would Venmo someone just to ensure they had the cash... Even if it’s an accident, you feel awful because maybe that employee was relying on that paycheque. With Rippling, I no longer have to worry because everything is automated and taken care of.

During his search for a new solution, Michael evaluated several enterprise-level HR management solutions, including ADP, Kronos and Paychex, but was unimpressed. “These products came with a lot of features but were also unintuitive and expensive. We’d rather go with a young and dynamic company like ours, and Rippling immediately appealed to me,” he said. “They want to automate the thing that humans don’t need to be doing, which means our team can focus on what we’re good at.”

“Rippling changed my life”

“Rippling solved all of the issues we had with Gusto—what used to take hours now takes minutes,” Michael explained. “I’ve texted every single one of my entrepreneur friends in D.C. and told them to check out Rippling because it changed my life.”

Michael now spends only 15 minutes every other week on payroll, which has freed up time to focus on more strategic projects, including constructing a new factory, building additional cafes and expanding the company’s product line in Whole Foods.

Other highlights include:

Easy benefits management process

Compass offers a wide array of benefits for employees. Before Rippling, managing the health, commuter, FSA and time-off benefits often involved a lot of work. But now it’s simple. “Not only was the process of switching our benefits to Rippling fast and easy—we just did our annual insurance renewal, and it only took 15 minutes. The simplicity is fantastic.”

6x faster employee onboarding

Previously, onboarding corporate employees and setting them up with new accounts took two hours. With Rippling’s automatic provisioning, it takes only 20 minutes.

Seamless and automated hourly tracking

Michael loves that Rippling syncs with Legion, their time and attendance app. “You just click a button and everything syncs over. It even calculates overtime and all of the necessary compliance.”

More granular levels of access

Michael likes Rippling’s ability to provision sub-users of admins based on organization structures. “With Gusto, you can only choose admin’ or ‘user.’ This is extremely sensitive data, so it’s great that Rippling gives me more control over who can see what.”

More accurate workers' comp reporting

Rippling’s job codes enable Michael to accurately report workers’ comp hours to Compass’s insurance company. “It’s normal for someone to work three different jobs in a year, so the ability to accurately track each employee’s hours by job code has changed the game by ensuring we’re not overpaying for insurance.”

Support when it matters most

“Rippling quickly helped us put together the necessary compliance paperwork to submit to banks for COVID financial assistance. We ended up getting a PPP loan, and Rippling was instrumental in that process. Their support is heads and shoulders above any HR solution I’ve worked with; you can tell there are real people on the other end who care.”

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