Established in 1997 and currently known nationwide for its modern beanbag chairs and molded furniture for humans and their pets, Comfort Research has had its headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan for two decades. In 2013 Walmart became a customer, doubling the company’s revenues from $17 million to $40 million annually. Comfort Research has since expanded to include two other locations across America.
Controller Barb Shaffer recalls the company had OnBase as its enterprise content management system when she joined Comfort Research in 2015. “It was not connected to [Microsoft Dynamics] GP,” she explains. “The more and more we used it, the more we didn’t like it.” She says the search function was “horrible” and it was really difficult to find documents, especially if any of the search words were misspelled. “Then we had problems with workflows,” she recalls. “We would tell people they had to go in every day to ensure nothing was waiting on them.”
As one of Comfort Research’s biggest, multimillion-dollar clients is notorious for regularly disputing invoices, the AR department constantly faced challenges, also. “We’d often have to find bills of lading,” she explains. “Bills were being pulled, scanned as a PDF and put in a folder. We literally spent hours looking through multiple PDFs.”
When someone suggested a new product for development, going through the paces to make it a reality was bothersome since the company depended on email exclusively. Various department reps would update documents, then send them around for approvals and such, often realizing later that they had been working on old, outdated versions.
Solution Design & Project Management
Amber Bell of Training Dynamo, a GP consultant, recommended PaperSave, and Shaffer reports her entire team of directors were onboard quickly after the first demo and it didn’t take a lot of time to implement the system. The shipping department, however, took a little convincing. “They don’t like change,” she says. “But they love it now! They can find everything they need. Now we all know what’s going on.”
Just in time for the holiday season, Comfort Research bought PaperSave and began implementation. Because they were so happy with the initial program, they purchased the Forms Creator program, as well. Soon the accounting department learned to keep non-inventory-related purchase order requests (office supplies, for example) on PaperSave’s workflow, along with New Hire forms and checklists. “You can do all that document storage and it will attach right to GP. The workflows are so easy to use,” she reports. “And we can modify them.”
The company also uses PaperSave’s Web Forms Creator tool to help the new product development process go smoothly. First employees create a cost worksheet in Excel; then any production or design change suggestions go through the development team, sales and finance; then the commercialization team sees the document next, before it passes it through GP for multiple approvals. “Anything and everything that’s related to our daily business is now in PaperSave,” she explains.
Key Success Indicators
Today nearly the entire 150-employee company is on PaperSave: shipping, accounting, sales, purchasing, inventory and operations. “When we did the ROI, we estimated a savings of $62,000 each year just from people’s time searching files and getting approvals. PaperSave eliminated all searching for items, even customer agreements. I love seeing a ‘paper’ trail all there. You can see every step of the way.” Now that written approvals are a thing of the past, Shaffer also reports a “huge reduction in paper”—something important for a company that prides itself on being green—which started with the elimination of three tall, wide filing cabinets.
“It’s such a simple system. So easy to use and easy to teach. And the best thing for us is that it is a huge time saver. All documents are in one place. Everything related to our daily business is in PaperSave,” Shaffer says, then adds, “I never thought it would save us that much time. Our entire company really loves this system. We’re finding more ways to use it every day.”
- Searching for bills and invoices takes seconds, instead of hours
- No storage for paper files is needed
- Workflows can be adjusted in-house
- Approvals are easy to track and completed quickly
“PaperSave did the demo and we were sold right away. We picked the right product. It’s extremely familiar. Our director of finance calls it our One Source of Truth.”
— Barb Shaffer, Controller, Comfort Research