How Studs consolidated expense management, travel, and bill pay into Ramp’s single efficient platform

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“Ramp Travel gives me the ability to set the controls I need, and employees the freedom and flexibility to book travel easily."
Andrew Clarke, VP Finance, Studs
The problem
A complex, fragmented expense management process

Studs’ legacy expense management system involved four distinct platforms, none of which integrated with the other. “We were using one platform for credit cards, another for employee reimbursements, a third for accounts payable, plus managing travel.” says VP of Finance Andrew Clarke. Managing those disparate systems was time-consuming and inefficient, and a lack of one central system didn’t encourage employee compliance with overarching financial systems, nor was it easy for the finance team to oversee. 

“Reimbursements were all over the place,” says Andrew. “Some people used corporate cards, some people used personal cards and submitted expense reports and got reimbursed within about a week.” Travel was a free-for-all, with no central system for employees to book transportation and lodgings. 

Andrew and his team needed a solution that could help streamline these various processes and incorporate accounting efficiencies that would regain wasted time and position the company for its planned expansions.

The solution
A single, centralized, automated expense management platform

Studs partnered with Ramp to consolidate its various expense management systems into Ramp’s single centralized, automated platform. “With Ramp, we were able to consolidate four platforms into one,” says Andrew. 

The company has begun implementing Ramp in select groups, starting with the biggest spenders: Studs’ apprentice program, which spends a lot on T&E, and its supply chain, which has significant shipping spend. “We moved those two first, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive,” says Andrew. 

With Ramp’s flexible platform, Studs’ accountants can manage new and existing corporate cards with ease. “The ability to add a temporary or permanent credit card increase or decrease within seconds is so helpful,” says Andrew. Prior to implementing Ramp, the team would have had to choose between sharing credit cards with higher limits or requesting employees use their personal cards for corporate purchases. “Using Ramp makes it easier for our employees, and it makes it easier for us,” says Andrew. “And the fact that you can do it with the click of a button instantly is really helpful.”

Integrating various elements of expense management into Ramp has made it easier for the Studs team to see everything. Because everything from initial transaction to reimbursement is completed within Ramp, searching for transactions has become much easier. The company takes advantage of Ramp’s automated features, like automated coding for recurring invoices. “That takes 95% of expense reimbursement work out of business owners’ hands,” says Andrew. “They get it right once, then it’s right forever.” That, in turn, reduces the amount of time the accounting team needs to spend following up regarding various expenditures. “Those efficiencies really come with those correct inputs,” says Andrew. “Getting it right the first time saves the accounting team time.”

The result
More efficient accounting yields significant time-savings and supports scale

Since implementing Ramp, Studs’ accounting team has realized significant time savings. “The process is so much more streamlined and straightforward,” says Andrew. “Working within one system means accountants don’t need to go from expense reimbursements to credit cards to AP to something else. It’s all just there.”

Integrating the company’s travel platform within Ramp has simplified processes for employees and finance team members alike. “It’s a platform that finds the cheapest alternative and finds the best flights for time and place automatically,” says Andrew. “You don’t need to do any invoice attachment, because it’s already done.” Not only does that improve the experience of booking corporate travel for Studs employees, it also gives the finance team peace of mind from a compliance perspective. “Automating the actual policy is really helpful,” Andrew says.

Ramp’s ability to showcase the low fares is just one example of the cost-saving opportunities the platform provides. “Ramp makes it easy to see where we can save on our expenses,” says Andrew. Ramp’s price insights highlight spend inefficiencies and make recommendations to optimize payment structures and utilize discount codes. “I think that’s incredible every time I see it,” says Andrew. Ramp’s ability to automatically identify cost-savings is just another example of the time-savings the platform offers.

The result of that time savings is more than just reduced frustration for Studs’ accountants—it’s also enabled the team to close its books more quickly each month. “We can get our numbers to the business to analyze what’s happening more quickly,” says Andrew. “We can actually see what’s happening and get visibility on business spend faster.” As a result, he notes, Studs has been able to keep its accounting team intentionally lean. “With Ramp, we can get things done quicker, and we can get things done with fewer people,” he says. 

Ultimately, that’s critical for a business like Studs, that is poised for scale. “Growing studios is our path forward,” says Andrew. “The only way for us to grow the business is to utilize systems like this that help us find efficiencies. We can’t hire five new people every time we open five stores. We need to try to optimize headcount in the back office and grow the retail fleet as quickly as we can. Consolidating everything into one platform really makes that much easier.”

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About the company

Studs offers a fresh take on the ear piercing experience. The company’s studios provide safe, expert ear piercing services and a wide assortment of high-quality earrings. With plans to expand to 32 studios by the end of the year, Studs is a fast-growing company with 165 employees in studios and 50 FTEs in its corporate office.

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