StringCan Interactive, an Arizona marketing agency serving businesses dedicated to improving people’s lives, began as a lean startup in 2010. Serial entrepreneur, founder, and CEO Jay Feitlinger knew from experience that he’d need a robust yet flexible HR solution to grow successfully.
With Zenefits, the agency has increased operational efficiencies, expanded benefits offerings to the growing team, and even started turning heads among more established peers in the Agency Management Institute, a national group of marketing agencies.
Jay Feitlinger describes himself as the classic entrepreneur, better at dreaming up innovative strategies than managing details. But painstaking HR tasks were getting in the way of his latest vision: growing a marketing agency in the Phoenix area.
Sarah Shepard started as an executive assistant and was tasked to use Zenefits to take work off Jay’s plate. She quickly realized, after using Zenefits for payroll, that there was so much more the company could do by leveraging Zenefits. In the five years since, Sarah had helped make the growing agency more competitive—both with prospective hires and with clients. And she also built her own skillset and career. In 2020, Sarah become Chief Operations Officer at StringCan.
Expanded options differentiate StringCan Interactive
StringCan Interactive offers its people what other small agencies can’t, which Sarah says helps in recruiting and keeping talent. “If it weren’t for Zenefits, we wouldn’t be able to offer this level of flexibility of health care, let alone things like 401(k) plans or supplemental insurance.” She’s even taken the next step of offering a flextime policy that’s especially attractive to their young, creative workforce.
Jay added, “Our business is focused on companies that improve people’s lives, so it’s important for us to offer options that let our team improve theirs. Plus, we have huge growth targets for 2019, so we need the ability to hire great new talent as we scale.”
Data-driven efficiency helps fuel smart growth
Using metrics from automated payroll reports, Sarah can more accurately forecast StringCan Interactive’s budget and growth plans. Calculating the agency’s burden rate, or billable rate per hour, has allowed the team to be more strategic with how they spend their time internally and with clients. It’s even resulted in shorter, more efficient meetings. “Thanks to Zenefits, creating reports and reconciling our budget is lock-tight, and I don’t use Excel anymore unless I want to. We’ve made huge gains this year with those changes.”
“Extraordinary” customer service for benefits and HR
Sarah appreciates Zenefits’ evolution over the five years she’s used the products. She loves the ongoing product integrations and enhancements, content resources like the New Hire Checklist, and the partnership with OneDigital, Zenefits’ largest Certified Broker Partner for benefits management.
Zenefits has made bigger and more established agencies ‘jelly’! Our peers now look to us for expertise for anything from onboarding processes to time tracking. Zenefits is a HUGE part of that.
Chief Operations Officer
“This year, Open Enrollment was super successful. I hosted a health and benefits seminar and the employees were blown away. I’ve been so impressed with OneDigital and the Zenefits team; I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait more than 24 hours for a response. The OneDigital team always goes above and beyond. And the customer service is extraordinary with Zenefits.”
Making bigger, more established agencies “jelly”
Sarah says Zenefits has put StringCan Interactive on the map among bigger, more established marketing agencies within the Agency Management Institute, a network of other agencies in North America.
“Zenefits has made bigger and more established agencies ‘jelly’! Our Agency Management Institute peers now look to us for expertise for anything from onboarding processes to time tracking. Zenefits is a HUGE part of that.”