About the company
Barry’s is a leading boutique fitness company that strives to transform lives worldwide. Founded in Los Angeles in 1998, the company has cultivated a passionate community over the past 25 years and now operates 84 locations in 14 countries. The company’s mission is to inspire members to work hard, have fun, find their strength, and be their best.
Highly manual legacy systems led to inefficiency, frustration, and inaccuracies
Barry’s is committed to helping people be their best—and that commitment extends to its own employees. Legacy finance and accounting systems, however, were impeding the team’s ability to focus on high-value, strategic initiatives and interfering with the company’s core value of innovation. “Everything was slow and outdated,” says Anna Steinkruger, Barry’s Controller. “Everything—expenses, transactions, actually getting into our software—had a lead time of two to three days, if not longer.” The inefficiencies created by these legacy systems did not jive with the finance team’s overarching goals. “Efficiency is top of mind,” says Steve Padis, Barry’s Senior Vice President of Strategy & Finance. As a lean team, Barry’s finance function actively seeks out opportunities to streamline processes, identify and mitigate pain points, and automate when possible to expedite processes without jeopardizing accuracy. Operating more efficiently doesn’t just improve daily life for the finance team—it translates to both improved relationships and more informed decision-making for the business team. “As finance and reporting want data faster and faster, they want month-end close faster and faster,” explains Anna. “Those three, four, five-day lags can add up to a lot.” Anna estimates that she personally spent 3-4 hours each week manually coding and managing expenses, plus an additional 2-3 hours sending reminders and tracking down outstanding expenses. Month-end close required 1-2 full days of Anna’s time, plus 2-3 days of her colleague’s. From Steve’s perspective on the strategy side of the finance team, viewing monthly P&L statements retroactively was suboptimal. “You had to wait until the end of the month to see what was going on,” he says. Barry’s legacy systems didn’t offer the opportunity for real-time visibility or interim month course-correction.The Barry’s finance team needed a solution that could reduce manual work, improve accuracy, and offer real-time insights into corporate spend.
An automated platform that simplifies expense management, saves time, and offers real-time visibility
Barry’s partnered with Ramp to automate its expense management process, enable real-time course correction, and regain a sense of innovation within the finance team. “[Deploying] Ramp aligned with our commitment to innovation and our ability to get ahead of new trends and our willingness to adapt and change,” says Steve. Innovating by embracing automation has had the added benefit of improving daily work and life for accounting team members by reducing frustrating, time-consuming manual work. “Before Ramp, when people didn’t have their expenses submitted on time, we had to manually reach out to everybody,” says Steve. “Now there’s a button in Ramp to hit that automatically reminds everybody to submit their expenses. That saves our team hours and allows them to focus on what the real priorities are for the business.” The finance team has rolled out Ramp cards across the organization and has enabled various managers to set their own card rules, enforce spending limits, and create vendor-specific virtual cards. This has empowered individuals across the company, saved time for the accounting team, and reduced instances of fraudulent credit card activity. The rules the team sets via Ramp help improve compliance—which results in improved audits, reporting, and strategic decision-making. Ramp also enables real-time visibility, which is a major bonus for Barry’s. “We need to be able to know what we’re doing, what that looks like on a month-to-month basis year-over-year,” says Anna. “Our managers don’t want to have to wait until the end of the month to know they missed their budget or met it. Being able to see how they’re doing mid-month is huge for us.”Additional Ramp features further help bolster the health of the business. “There are some new features we just keep uncovering,” says Steve. One tool that has benefited the team is Ramp’s ability to automatically flag cost-saving opportunities. “One of my team members wanted to sign up for a vendor another marketing team member already uses,” says Steve. “I got a notification from Ramp alerting me that I already had a recurring charge with this vendor.” That simple notification resulted in a cost savings of approximately $5,000.
5 days saved, manual work reduced, and improved visibility and compliance
Implementing Ramp has exemplified the finance team’s commitment to innovation. Deploying the tool has saved accountants days of work each month and employees a substantial amount of time on expense reports. “Across the company, we’re saving nearly 400 hours a month collectively just from Ramp effectively killing the need for filling out expense reports as we’d traditionally think of them. As for me, I haven’t done any of that manual work since we’ve been fully on the platform,” says Anna. “That busy work was a major distraction from getting the real work done—which is delivering timely, accurate reporting so we can continue to invest in growth and transform lives,” adds Steve. By reducing time spent on manual endeavors, the team can focus on higher-value tasks. “I can definitely foresee that in the future we’ll have multiple days back in our pocket to be able to focus on getting information out faster to the reporting team, getting business leaders their information faster, which ultimately lets them benchmark how they’re doing more quickly,” she says.Giving this kind of real-time insight has been an immediate benefit of using Ramp. Since deploying the platform, Steve has been able to create individual dashboards for each studio, which predicts topline revenue, analyzes labor spend relative to budget, and incorporates Ramp data to ascertain OpEx and fixed charges in real time. “Pulling these things together into one view has made it really easy to say, ok, we know what EBITDA needs to be from this studio for this month. If we’re off track, we need to look at OpEx, we need to look at labor, we need to figure out opportunities to grow top line,” says Steve. Ultimately, this level of granularity helps Barry’s achieve its overarching mission of transforming lives worldwide. “We are so focused on how we can bring this to more people,” says Steve. “But to do that, we need the cash to build more locations, and the focus on profitability is really to reinvest in growth for the business.”Ramp aligns with that focus on profitability. The partnership identifies cost-saving opportunities, reduces duplicate spend, gives real-time visibility into the financial health of each studio, and facilitates higher-value work from the finance team. Plus, it provides a positive experience for employees across the organization. “The feedback couldn’t be more positive,” says Steve. “Everyone loves the experience.”