Establishing an HR solution at company launch that encompasses payroll and access to a variety of benefits.
With support from TriNet technology and experts in payroll and benefits administration, Dagne Dover can stay focused on their mission to make lives easier through empathy and design.
For a trio of women in New York, designer handbags in the market weren’t cutting it as they frequently became black holes that swallowed and crushed their belongings. As a result, the women combined their passions for responsible fashion and co-founded Dagne Dover in 2013. The moniker, Dagne, is a Nordic word for “new dawn,” representing their vision to reinvent the handbag industry with their lineup of highly functional, effortlessly styled carryalls and accessories with dedicated pockets for everyday items. To complement the sleek design and strategic compartments, Dagne Dover bags are produced in ethical factories and many are made from non-toxic, recyclable products that are meant to withstand the test of time. “We’re doing a huge eco-friendly push as a brand because we want to take responsibility for the world that we live in and we think brands have that responsibility,” emphasized CEO and co-founder, Deepa Gandhi. Dagne Dover launched as an e-commerce brand but always had intentions to be sold via multiple channels. They have since expanded to be carried in a popular, luxury department store chain as well their first Dagne Dover retail store in New York City.
When the cofounders set out to pay their first employees, they had a decision to make. Like most start-up entrepreneurs, their expertise was not in compliant payroll and benefits administration, so they quickly recognized the value of outsourcing these HR functions. With a professional employer organization (PEO) that bundles HR services like payroll processing, HR expertise, access to benefits, 401(k) plan administration, risk management services and many more, they could stay focused on the crucial business function of thoughtfully designing products. “We needed a solution that would make providing access to benefits easy for us. Through some recommendations and evaluation of a couple of different companies, we came to TriNet and haven't looked back since,” acknowledged Deepa.
For companies like Dagne Dover who are committed to staying lean, intuitive, self-service technology plays a crucial role. “Since we started working with TriNet in 2014, I haven't had to worry if payroll processed properly, about our payroll taxes nor benefits. It’s a one stop shop; I love having one place to go,” said Deepa. The single TriNet technology platform takes the bulk of payroll administration off Deepa’s plate. The platform handles payroll tax calculations, payroll tax filings, electronic W-2 preparation and delivery and the ability to enroll in benefits, extending into a positive payroll experience for their leadership and employees alike. Like many businesses in the age of COVID-19, Dagne Dover secured a PPP loan but they didn’t lose sleep over the required documentation and forgiveness process. Through Workforce Analytics, TriNet’s reporting tool within the platform, Deepa could access pre-built PPP-specific report templates developed by TriNet experts.
TriNet understands that not everything can be handled in a technology platform, so Deepa can also work directly with HR experts to help her navigate employment-related complexities spanning termination processes, company policy templates and immigration needs. “Having an expert answer those questions gives me peace of mind as a business owner,” acknowledges Deepa.
“Culture at Dagne is extremely important. I love to describe it as a people first culture—the people who work at the company matter, our customers matter. The team is small which allows us to have a very strong community feel to it which extends to all of our partners, investors and customers. It's all about the humans that are part of our ecosystem and building a conscious, empathetic culture,” emphasized Deepa.
Dagne’s culture thrives because they foster an environment where employees feel valued, which is in part demonstrated through a comprehensive benefit offering. “Ensuring that our team doesn't just have benefits, but good benefits is important,” said Deepa. “That was another differentiating factor and the reason we work with TriNet—I'm able to provide access to cost-effective, high quality health, dental, and vision benefits to our employees.” Dagne Dover can tout that their offering includes access to a range of benefits with TriNet that go beyond medical plans, including flexible spending accounts, critical accident and illness policies, telemedicine, vision, disability, life insurance and 401(k), among many more designed to meet their employees’ needs.
By adopting the TriNet 401(k) plan, Deepa’s team isn’t bogged down with the vast amount of plan requirements such as contribution and data submission, compliance testing, Form 5500 filing and investment monitoring. That’s because TriNet helps alleviate these administrative, compliance and fiduciary responsibilities. Since the plan fees are paid out of participant accounts, there’s no out-of-pocket cost to their company. Plus, plan fees are lower than the industry average which makes it easier for their employees to save for retirement. *
In alignment with their empathetic culture, Deepa and the Dagne Dover team consider TriNet far more than just a vendor—it’s a long-term relationship and extension of their team. “TriNet continues to scale and offer new options, so we'd love to continue working together,” said Deepa. “I do not have any desire to build out a full in-house HR team that manages all the different parts. I'd rather be able to keep that team focused on culture and employee development, and then they can leverage TriNet to manage the administrative logistics of people operations. We’ll keep using TriNet because it works; I worry less about employment-related compliance and legal issues.”
As Dagne Dover continues to design exceedingly functional bags and put itself on the fashion map, TriNet stays committed to providing them with an experience that marries robust technology with HR expertise to support their growth and commitment to being an eco-friendly brand.
*Reprinted under license from Pension Data Source, Inc. Publishers of the 401(k) Averages Book. The 401(k) Averages Book provides 401(k) Plan average cost information compiled from a variety of sources. The data is used to compare costs of similar sized retirement plans typically in a single employer plan design. TriNet offers a multiple employer plan that clients have the option of offering. Clients that adopt a multiple employer plan will be varying in size. Asset size & participant count will have an impact on total cost. TriNet assesses 401(k) Plan fees through a combination of asset based percentages and flat dollar amounts.