Happier Employees, Lower Costs: Port of Anacortes Streamlines HR and Payroll with PayNorthwest’s Cloud-Based Workforce Management Suite

Horizon Building Image Port of Anacortes in Washington State is responsible for the operation and economic development of a major deep-water port, three marine terminals, the Cap Sante Marina, and the Anacortes Airport. In partnership with public agencies and private businesses, the Port develops and manages facilities and services that stimulate private job creation and commerce, while protecting the quality of life, needs, and desires of area residents.


Port of Anacortes was looking to streamline and simplify its HR and payroll process. They felt they were wasting a lot of time and money processing payroll and timesheets and wanted to save by giving all 60 employees a user-friendly time-tracking solution.

“Our previous vendor was a large national company with so many different divisions for each function that if there was a glitch with a timesheet for payroll, I had to speak to up to three people on the phone at any one time to get my issue fixed, if ever,” explains Lindsey Herrick, Human Resources Manager for Port of Anacortes. “After five years of poor customer service, high pricing, too many account managers, and a lot of unjustified excuses as to why the software couldn’t do this or that, we decided it was high time to find a new solution that worked for us.”

The decision was made to evaluate other vendors. At the top of Port of Anacortes’ selection criteria featured customer service excellence, closely followed by user-friendly, intuitive software that could meet the company’s unique needs for flexible time tracking for their staff. “We seriously looked at other national vendors, but we didn’t want to fall into the same trap again, so we decided to search for providers that would meet our specific needs in one single solution, with one single point of contact.”


Port of Anacortes’ IT department started searching online for a new HR and payroll solution vendor and evaluating choices. They found PayNorthwest and saw that the company not only offered a cloud-based solution, but was also local which was an added bonus. “The implementation of the full suite of PayNorthwest services, including HR, payroll, and time & attendance was pretty fast and straightforward,” continues Herrick. “As a team, we discussed the best customization options for us and went live only two months later on January 1, 2014. As the only person responsible for HR and payroll for the company, I’ve never looked back since.”

solution-image An additional benefit of working with PayNorthwest and its cloud-based platform is that it gives Port of Anacortes the ability to grow at its own pace. “We can get so much more mileage out of this solution, such as automating manual employee reviews or tracking training and certificates,” added Herrick. “I know I can call one contact at any time and I get a response within 24 hours. Unlike large national vendors, PayNorthwest does not ask its customers to fit into their box, but rather the other way round.”


Port of Anacortes saw the first positive results of the PayNorthwest solution implementation immediately, including:

  • Significant cost-savings compared to the former national big-box vendor (70% per year)
  • Sharp increase in staff productivity
  • Virtually no more distress calls from employees regarding timesheets
  • Noticeable decrease in staff training time

“As a special-purpose municipality and public enterprise, it is important for us to be good stewards of public resources and PayNorthwest has helped us become a better enterprise overall,” concludes Herrick. “We are much happier and more productive, spending less time on administration and more time on our community, from staff training to fixing marina docks. I would recommend PayNorthwest to other enterprises, whether public or private, looking for a secure, reliable, cost-effective workforce management solution combined with excellent customer service.”