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Major Packaging Company Builds a Brighter Future for Payroll & HR

July 14, 2023

Learn how Seattle-Tacoma Box Company is leveraging Paylocity to speed up their HR processes and modernize their employee experience.
Case Study

Family-owned and operated since 1889, Seattle-Tacoma Box Company specializes in the design and manufacture of corrugated, plastic, and wooden packaging for the agricultural, industrial, and seafood markets. Headquartered in Kent, Washington, Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. operates three subsidiaries, along with manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution centers across five states.

As Rachel Williams, the company’s Director of HR/Payroll, puts it: “We have a little bit of everything everywhere: production teams, truck drivers, machine operators, and maintenance workers, plus administrators. It’s a pretty diverse and distributed mix of employees.”

For decades, Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. managed all things human resources (HR) in-house, from its corporate offices in Washington. To process employee pay, the company relied on two bespoke systems—but neither was explicitly geared for payroll, nor supported employee self-service. Meanwhile, onboarding, time collection, benefits management, and other HR activities were managed with a disjointed mix of manual processes.

“Our old approach created a lot of uncertainty and complexity,” admits Rachel. “Information was scattered across systems, spreadsheets, and paper. If an employee wanted to request time off, update their address, or make any kind of change, they would call, email, or sometimes just slip a note under my door. It was almost impossible to maintain oversight and control of HR operations.”

Limited legacy systems and manual processes were holding back Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. from managing its workforce effectively. Embracing a dedicated HR and payroll platform with Paylocity was an important first step in a new direction.

“Paylocity is well-designed, easy to use, and had all the functionality that we were looking for, especially employee self-service. That was important to us as we wanted this to be a tool that everyone could use, not just HR.”

Rachel Williams, Director of HR/Payroll

 

The Challenge

Moving into the Modern Age

Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. has been through many evolutions in its 130-year history, but the company’s payroll and HR processes were still stuck in the past.

Old Habits Die Hard
When Rachel joined Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. in 2020, she found herself at the head of an HR and payroll function that, in many ways, had not kept up with the times. As the company grew, new processes and systems were added on an ad-hoc basis, resulting in an inconsistent and inefficient HR landscape.

“This was a centuries-old company, with very established ways of doing things, but some of those old habits were no longer working for the business or its people,” notes Rachel. “As a newcomer to the company, and an experienced HR practitioner, I was able to explain how a purpose-built platform could help remove friction and errors from the process, saving time and getting everyone on the same page.”

Solving the Compliance Challenge
Adopting a fresh approach to HR would also allow Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. to step up its data governance and compliance game.

Rachel explains: “There was no real paper trail with many processes, and no consistency in the way that information was captured and managed. People wanted to do things the right way, but had no way of proving that the proper procedures were being followed. My goal was to make sure that we were doing things by the book and had a way of proving our compliance.”

“I’ve been in the HR world for a long time, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different technology providers. What stands out to me with Paylocity is the support. The team has been incredibly attentive and helpful from the get-go. We have a true partnership, and that’s something you don’t necessarily find with every provider.”

Rachel Williams, Director of HR/Payroll

 

The Solution

Embracing an All-in-One HR & Payroll Platform

Paylocity has brought newfound consistency and control to HR operations, making manual work a thing of the past.

Paylocity Simplifies Payroll
Rachel made the call to introduce Paylocity—a move that has harmonized HR operations and replaced time-consuming manual work with automated processes.
“I hadn’t used Paylocity before, but I had always heard good things about it. When I got the opportunity to check out the platform, I was sold on it from day one,” says Rachel.

With Paylocity’s Payroll module, Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. has an efficient way to calculate wages, subtract deductions, and ensure paycheck accuracy. And using Employee Self-Service enables employees to make changes to their bank account number or home address, and to view their pay stubs and tax forms.

Enabling Easier Onboarding
The company uses Paylocity’s Onboarding module to guide new starters, and keep HR and managers updated on their progress. Rachel says: “I could not be more in love with Onboarding. As an HR practitioner, it’s just dreamy. We’ve gone from working with paper, email, and spreadsheets to a single system that takes all the details and pushes new hires straight through onto our payroll and helps us stay compliant.”

The company uses the module to customize onboarding for different roles. For instance, truck drivers must provide extra details such as vehicle record and driving license—and Paylocity makes the process straightforward. “We capture all the information at once, so we don’t have to go back and forth with new hires, improving their onboarding experience,” Rachel notes.

Supporting Seamless Communication
Paylocity’s Community has become the communication hub at Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. “Not all employees have email – but all have Paylocity. When we need to communicate, we do it through Community. We’re having a company BBQ at a plant soon. If I email out the message, maybe a dozen people would get it of the 100 employees there. I made the announcement in Community today and it’s already got 67 views. The ability to connect with employees has been game changing.”

 

The Results

Fit for the Future

Paylocity helps Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. save time, reduce errors, and focus on what matters most – its people

Saving Time and Effort
The move to Paylocity has unlocked huge time savings and productivity gains. For example, streamlined onboarding means teams are saving eight to ten hours a week. Rachel adds: “Payroll used to be a four- to six-day process. But with Paylocity, we can complete payroll for all four companies in six hours. It’s made life so much easier and freed up days for us to focus on other things.”

The efficiency gains have enabled Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. to accommodate a growing workforce with ease. Rachel comments: “Since 2020, we’ve onboarded close to 25 new full-time employees, and we’ve added five new positions in the last six months. When we worked with paper application packs, it took at least an hour to set up a new employee. With Paylocity, it takes less than 10 minutes.”

A Better Benefits Experience
Paylocity’s Benefits Administration helps the company manage benefits enrollments and automatically notifies HR about eligibility errors. Rachel notes: “Before, I would send enrollment packets to managers, and they would chase people to complete and return forms. Now, we manage everything in Paylocity, and employees can track it all themselves. The system sends reminders about cutoff dates, so it’s much easier to ensure that people enroll on time.”

Meaningful Metrics on Employees and Operations
Seattle-Tacoma Box Co. can now dig deeper into workforce trends thanks to Paylocity’s Insights & Recommendations module. The HR team and company leaders use dashboards and analytics tools to track staffing, overtime, and employee turnover—helping them make better decisions, faster.

“When I showed the dashboards to our COO and President, his eyes were the biggest saucers,” recalls Rachel. “He’s worked here for 67 years, and this was the first time he was able to see all of our hiring trends, payroll activity, labor expenses, and so on. It’s given us a way to track and understand trends that we knew were happening but had no concrete visibility into before.”

“Paylocity has helped us take HR from a black box that no-one really understood, to a reality where people are confidently navigating through the platform to stay on top of their pay, benefits, and contact details. Having everything at your fingertips has definitely been a game changer.”

Rachel Williams, Director of HR/Payroll

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