“Our sales team loves Rho. We can easily issue physical cards to them. When they get done with client dinners or check out of hotels, they simply take a picture of the receipt and either upload it through the Rho App or respond to text alerts. Plus, we can use virtual Rho Cards to segment our advertising spend across our different global regions.”
What is Echelon?
Echelon is a globally-recognized connected fitness equipment manufacturer and curator of studio-quality, immersive fitness experiences with a mission to make healthy living accessible to all. Designed on the foundation of inclusivity and accessibility for everybody, Echelon’s portfolio of smart bikes, treadmills, rowers, and fitness mirrors are enjoyed by thousands around the world. Connecting their Echelon equipment to the Echelon Fit app allows members instant access to thousands of live and on-demand workout classes led by world-class fitness instructors.
The overwhelmingly positive reception from Echelon users has carried over to the company’s commercial business, which has become its fastest-growing segment. Echelon bikes, treadmills, and rowers are a competitive advantage for local and national gyms competing for foot traffic as people return to fitness outside their homes.
Behind the company’s success is a traveling sales team pitching commercial customers, the studio group producing memorable Echelon Fit app experiences, the finance team keeping these operations running smoothly.
“Just as rest and nutrition go into effective workouts, our financial operations play an essential role in our ability to execute as a business,” said Derek Carlson, VP, Controller at Echelon. “We have a traveling sales team working with commercial customers in different countries who want to have our smart bikes, treadmills, and rowers on their gym floors. Our studio and tech teams invest resources to create positive experiences for Echelon Fit users. We recognized that the next step in Echelon’s growth journey would require a spend management system that can handle the complexity of our global business.”
Echelon’s previous finance system created friction that produced inefficiencies for the finance team.
“We had cards with one of the big banks, but no spend management system, no NetSuite integration, and no easy way for employees to submit receipts while on the road,” Carlson said.
At the end of every month, the finance team would download an Excel file and review every line item to determine where to code each transaction and gather the necessary information to close the books. That’s on top of chasing busy employees for receipts.
As a result, Echelon’s finance team spent hours every month reviewing and coding sales team receipts.
Rho’s finance automation platform helps Echelon drive efficiencies in three ways:
- Eliminate late receipts and accounting delays: Using the Rho Mobile App or using text message uploads, Echelon employees enjoy the ease of submitting receipts, so the finance team isn’t chasing them during month-end close.
- Automated accounting: The reconciliation experience has never been easier and more effective for Echelon’s controller, who saves hours not having to code individual transactions.
- Control spend: The finance team has holistic and real-time oversight and control of organizational spending – this transparency is key, as Echelon, like other companies, manages high energy prices and inflation.
In a previous role at a different company, Derek had experience with spend management software from a legacy provider, so he knew what to look for when evaluating a new automated system to support Echelon’s growth. Rho’s automation and ease of use for end-users proved to be his deciding factor.
“We evaluated several offerings and kept returning to Rho’s user interface and sophisticated mapping that would free up time for our finance support team to focus on more strategic tasks,” Carlson said. “The service we received from Rho’s team following the decision made the entire implementation process smooth.”
Following Echelon’s decision to implement Rho’s automated finance platform, their finance organization spent the first few weeks working closely with Rho’s client service team, setting up the proper rules and mapping for reconciliation. With Rho, they can ensure every vendor transaction accurately maps to the appropriate account and department codes with the correct supporting data assigned by vendor, user, and more in just a few clicks.
An added benefit: Echelon employees embraced the user-friendliness of the Rho Mobile App, making change management easy, a crucial factor when introducing new software.
“Our sales team loves Rho,” said Carlson. “We can easily issue physical cards to them. When they get done with client dinners or check out of hotels, they simply take a picture of the receipt and either upload it through the Rho App or respond to text alerts. Plus, we can use virtual Rho Cards to segment our advertising spend across our different global regions.”
Moving forward, Echelon is excited to continue exploring additional Rho capabilities, including the ability to digitize their entire expense policy with custom spending rules. “We are still a young company with an entrepreneurial spirit; knowing that option exists down the road is just one of the many reasons we went with Rho.”