Case Study

How Bench unified communications and made better client solutions

4 min read
Kayleigh Karutis
  •  Sep 6, 2017
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Ask any small business owner their favorite part of running a business, and chances are you won’t hear, “bookkeeping.”

Vancouver-based company Bench saw an opportunity in that challenge, and now, they’re the largest bookkeeping service in North America, serving a diverse clientele with a combination of customized digital products and human-powered bookkeeping services.

Coordinating communication across a diverse team of nearly 300, especially when design and engineering leaders needed feedback on new and evolving products, proved challenging. Bench turned to InVision Enterprise to coordinate their product communication team-wide, and in so doing, opened up their design process and started building better products, faster.

“InVision Enterprise is the single source of truth for everything we are working on company-wide,” said Kyle Thacker, senior product designer.

“InVision Enterprise is the single source of truth for everything we are working on company-wide.”

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Bringing service and software together to create better products

More than half of Bench’s team are 150 internal bookkeepers, providing bookkeeping services to Bench’s small business and entrepreneur clients.

Bench pairs this service with their in-house software to completely take bookkeeping off the hands of their clients. The problem? Sometimes they’d release product updates or new features without the bookkeeping part of the team knowing how those changes happened, or even how they worked.

With InVision Enterprise, we are able to involve [our bookkeeping operations] team, and ensure design wasn’t a black box anymore. They can see how it works, how it feels to use it, and most importantly, give us their feedback. The more open your process, the more empathetic and enthusiastic your team will be.

Iterating quickly to build a better mobile app

InVision is a key part of Bench’s entire design and development process, but one place it served especially useful was in the development of their new mobile app.

By using InVision, the Bench team was able to create multiple versions of the app quickly, get feedback easily, and iterate several times over to build a better experience.

“We went through a lot of iterations, and had something that we just didn’t feel was quite getting to what we wanted, so we went back to the drawing board and reenvisioned it all, inside InVision,” Thacker said.

“The ability to move quickly, from wireframe to design to mockup—it’s a huge advantage.”

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Seamless connection to their favorite tools

Today’s teams use countless tools to create digital products. InVision Enterprise’s vast integrations empowered Bench’s team of designers, developers, admins, and more to move more quickly, seamlessly, and easily throughout their entire process.

Bench’s design team uses Sketch exclusively. InVision’s close integration with Sketch, as well as its suite of Sketch plugins, Craft, brought even more speed and clarity to their process, Thacker said.

Finally, the team also uses InVision’s Slack integration to share links, gather feedback quickly, and move forward—together, all 275 of them.

Creating a meaningful client experience

Beyond providing a single source of truth for the company, InVision Enterprise has been invaluable in making faster, better connections with clients, Thacker said.

The team uses InVision to pull contextual, real client data into their prototypes, enabling clients who are part of Bench’s beta processes to quickly connect with what is being built and provide feedback.

“It’s effortless for them,” he said. “A small business owner can figure it out effortlessly—they see and understand why we build things the way we do, they can see the quality, and it elevates our company as a whole.”

Onboarding that’s easy

Thacker said his team considered other platforms, but ultimately chose InVision Enterprise in part because of how easy and quick the onboarding process was.

“The simplicity in setting up and maintaining InVision for our team was amazing. It was actually an enjoyable process—you don’t get that from other companies.”

Thacker added that his team appreciates InVision’s focus on the customer experience, because his team is equally as focused on it. Most small business owners find bookkeeping to be a hassle—at best—and because of that, Bench is hyper-focused on providing an exceptional user experience.

“Joining a bookkeeping company is not an easy move,” he said. “We take inspiration from the quality of InVision’s onboarding process, and the fact that you’re constantly evolving your product.”

“InVision puts effort into understanding designers. It’s easy to pick up such a great product when you align so deeply with the company’s values.”

Want to build better products, faster and more collaboratively? Learn about InVision Enterprise.

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