When it comes to productivity services, some merely offer up convenience, while others actually save you time. Arizona-based startup, DUFL, alleviates a major pain point for frequent business travelers: being anchored by bags. With its virtual closet app and shipping service, DUFL takes the “lug” out of luggage—literally lightening the load for people who are always on the go.
The idea for DUFL came from personal experience. It was a hectic Friday at Heathrow Airport, and DUFL’s co-founders were on an international flight back to Arizona… only to be needed in New York on Monday. United in their dread for the impending unpacking, laundering, and repacking, they began to question whether all that was truly necessary. Could someone else do it for them?
“We did our research and quickly discovered there wasn’t anyone else doing this,” says co-founder and CMO, Andrea Graziani. “So we built the service that we wanted to use.”
What they built was a clean app to take care of travel’s dirty work. According to DUFL, packing, unpacking, and dragging your bags to and from the airport quickly adds up to a three-hour affair per round trip. “With the DUFL app, you can pack in about 60 seconds,” says Andrea. But it’s not just a white glove service for lazy jet-setters. Andrea points out that DUFL’s users are frequent fliers and productivity hackers—people who outsource tedious work so they can use their time for greater goals. This is, perhaps, the greatest value proposition DUFL brings to the table: the strategic ability to use time flexibly. It’s also a value they look for in partnerships, and it’s why they turned to Zenefits to manage their HR and benefits.
“Finding benefits was really challenging,” admits Andrea. “Zenefits gave us the option to choose benefits typically only available to large companies, even when we only had five employees. We chose Zenefits for that flexibility and for better choices on plans, policies and rates. We saved quite a bit of money for the company and our employees, savings that allowed them to opt in for dental and vision insurance because of the low pricing that Zenefits offered.”
DUFL’s HR director Rita Walz continues:
“It’s a real burden for small companies to get decent benefits at a reasonable price, and we really got it right off the bat with Zenefits.”
In the same way DUFL enables travellers to prioritize business meetings over bag packing, Zenefits helps Rita prioritize people over paperwork. “It’s always exciting to have new people come on board. It makes me feel good to bring in new talent and add to the team we have here,” she says.
However, before Zenefits, recruiting often had to take a backseat to Rita’s HR requirements. Hiring and onboarding was an exhausting and time consuming endeavor that included submitting and waiting on paperwork from applicants and insurance carriers. “Even just putting together an offer letter was painful,” remembers Rita. “This was a two week process that I don’t have any part of anymore,” says Rita. “Now it’s all done through Zenefits.”
Zenefits also saves Rita time answering questions from DUFL’s team of now 22 employees. “Everything from ‘I lost my medical card’ to ‘I need to add a dependent, and I’m not sure how’ are all streamlined through Zenefits,” she says. “The Zenefits portal is sophisticated and drop-dead simple to use.” As DUFL grows, Zenefits helps Rita focus on recruiting talent and spend less time worrying about managing benefits:
“When you’re trying to build a company, there’s so much to do, and we all wear a lot of hats. Zenefits opens up my time for recruiting. I’ve got the time to do that now.”
With time savings comes expansion, and DUFL has big plans. The company recently released its DUFL Sports service, in which travelers can also ship heavy and oversized sports gear to their destinations. And while DUFL currently ships internationally, they’re looking into building facilities in Europe or Asia to better facilitate inter-country travel outside the US. “Even if you travel just twice a month, by the end of the year, DUFL will have saved you over five days of your life—spent doing things you didn’t want to do anyway,” Andrea points out. “What could you do with an extra week?”
We can think of a lot.