M9 Solutions is a small business with expertise in Federal IT services and solutions with a good challenge: It’s forecasted growth. M9 has developed a reputation for DELIVERING THE DIGITAL FUTURE™ by providing government contractors with top talent in specialised areas, such as digital transformation, cloud migration, applications & infrastructure, cybersecurity, software development, and data analytics.
"Our long-standing clients come back to us because they know we provide really great staff and have strong relationships with our account managers,” says Bryn Bernstein, M9’s Human Resources Manager.
A crucial part of the firm’s ability to stand out has been its focus on providing an outstanding employee experience. For over fourteen years, M9 has been a great place to work. But once it appeared that M9 would grow significantly in a year, there was doubt about whether their systems in place could sustain a larger headcount.
“Our company’s growth rate really started to accelerate,” says Kim Krueger, M9’s Operations Specialist. “We needed a solution that could scale with us.”
Ms. Krueger had seen first-hand the limitations of M9’s human resource information management (HCIM) at the time. She disliked how its clunky software complicated the onboarding experience and the additional manual steps required which slowed the process. A new solution would be a welcome change – not just for Ms. Bernstein and Ms. Krueger, but for everybody at M9.
Onboarding made effortless
“My primary focus is onboarding and offboarding our employees,” Ms. Krueger says. “I’m continuously trying to make those processes easier for my team, the rest of the company, and for new employees.”
Our previous benefit system had been more user-friendly than some of its legacy competitors but was insufficient for M9’s growing headcount. Ms. Krueger wanted a platform that would allow more customisation for the different M9 compensation packages.
“We templated as much as we could. Their templates weren’t that robust, though. We could determine what paperwork a new joiner was sent, but there wasn’t any granularity beyond that. We couldn’t make edits to an offer letter beforehand, for example. We can do that in Rippling, which is huge.”
With limited customisation, Ms. Krueger had to make mental notes about which employees received specific provisions. She found herself asking things like, “Does this new joiner get an M9 email address? Which time-off policy applies to them?” Plus, she had to make all those changes manually.
By implementing Rippling, M9 was able to greatly reduce the manual tasks required by both the HR and Onboarding teams. Whereas before she had to remember everything, now Rippling automates new joiners’ account provisioning through smart rules.
“With Rippling, the onboarding workflow can take anywhere from 60 to 120 seconds,” Ms. Krueger says. “If it’s on the slower end, that’s just because of my internet speed.”
Focusing on the big fish
Ms. Krueger might be M9’s Rippling power-user, but her colleagues have benefited from it too. In the past, if she was out of office, someone else on the operations team would have to sort through internal process documents to keep onboarding running smoothly.
With Rippling’s workflows, Ms. Krueger’s not only saving herself time – she’s sparing her colleagues the trouble of taking on her job. For M9, implementing Rippling has streamlined many of the challenges that come with a fast-growing company.
Accuracy, for example. Before Rippling, Ms. Krueger was careful to reconcile information across M9’s many systems and records.
“M9 is a go-go-go environment,” she says. “Sometimes the information that hiring managers put into the applicant tracking systems would not match other systems. Before Rippling I had to act as a filter, sorting out these discrepancies. Now Rippling is our company’s single source of truth.”
By automating workflows and consolidating systems, Rippling has freed Ms. Krueger and her team’s bandwidth to focus on more important business objectives instead of data entry/auditing. “Rippling allows us to redirect our focus toward other things. Now that we have benefits and payroll in the same place, we know Rippling is making updates across those areas.”
Employees feel it too
Before Rippling, benefits, payroll and dozens of other business apps were administered through separate systems at M9. To access all the software relevant to their day-to-day tasks, employees had to remember several logins.
“That didn’t make a strong first impression,” Krueger says. “Forcing people to keep track of all that information isn’t a very good employee experience.”
By consolidating siloed systems into a single hub, Rippling has made the lives of every employee at M9 easier. They only have to remember one login to access benefits, payroll, and all the integrations that M9 uses with Rippling.
“Our patchwork of platforms was a lot less user-friendly,” Ms. Krueger says. “Now everybody knows Rippling is the place to go – for benefits, payroll, and more.”
A partner in growth
Ms. Bernstein believes employee experience is one of the qualities that sets M9 apart from other firms. She’s constantly trying to improve it to influence metrics that matter, such as retention. As M9 has grown, Rippling has become a core part of strategic planning for Ms. Bernstein.
“I run reports in Rippling all the time,” she says. “I use pre-built reports as well as a few I’ve created. I probably check my Rippling reports three to five times a day.”
In this way Rippling has become a reliable partner during a period of change at M9. Ms. Bernstein finds the Help Centre robust enough to answer most questions, but she also knows she can get a quick response using Rippling’s Live Chat feature.
“With other HRIS products I’ve used, my question goes into no man’s land. I don’t hear anything back. Rippling’s customer service is heads above other systems we’ve used, in terms of documentation and response time.”
Ms. Bernstein is excited by Rippling’s own growth. She and her teammates have been impressed by how frequently Rippling releases new products. When one of them receives Rippling’s monthly updates email, they excitedly pass it around. Rippling has been a great partner who really listens to M9’s suggestions and takes actions from our feedback to improve the user and admin experience.“ As Rippling keeps evolving, we’re following their lead,” Ms. Krueger says. “Before Rippling we were trying to keep our heads above water. Now we’re thinking outside the box. We love that Rippling is not just another static HR system.”
In a year of incredible growth, Rippling helped M9 save time, dazzle new employees, and focus on the tough problems that matter. And that’s only the beginning. By 2025, M9 is expected to have 500+ employees. Luckily, Rippling will be along for the journey.
“Rippling was the solution that could put all those important HR systems into one place and accommodate various integrations as we grow,” Ms. Bernstein says. “Simply speaking, Rippling is the solution that can scale with us.”