How Gorgias saved a full month on annual planning after a “surprisingly easy” Pigment implementation

Daniel Shaffer
Strategic Finance Lead
Daniel Shaffer
Daniel Shaffer
Strategic Finance Lead
Number of employees
Used by
Finance team
San Francisco, California, USA
Use cases
  • P&L reporting
  • OPEX planning
  • Headcount planning
Implementation time
Integrations with
Netsuite, BigQuery

At a glance

  • Spreadsheets were creating serious blockers to scalability
  • Wanted a solution that would empower their department leads to own their budgets
  • Implemented Pigment in a “surprisingly easy” co-build
  • Saw a full month of time savings during their 2023 budget planning
  • Execs at Gorgias love Pigment
  • Finance and department leads are collaborating seamlessly in Pigment
  • Gorgias have opted for further partnership through our Premium Success Packages
  • “I love how much more productive each day is because of Pigment.” Daniel Shaffer, Strategic Finance Lead at Gorgias
“I just don’t know what solutions are comparable to Pigment. If you want autonomy and you want to empower your department leads, you should be planning in Pigment. You can literally satisfy any use case. It’s not just an FP&A tool. It’s a strategic finance tool.”

Daniel Shaffer, Strategic Finance Lead at Gorgias

A software-first business being dragged down by spreadsheets

Gorgias has been revolutionizing the support function for eCommerce businesses for years, but with their financial planning stuck in spreadsheets, they realized that their FP&A tech stack wasn’t going to scale the way they needed it to. 

As a large multi-entity company, the dataset and vendor stack meant that spreadsheets were too time consuming to consolidate, validate and collaborate in. Countless SUMIF functions had to be run just to generate basic financial statements from multiple inputs, creating a huge margin of error.

“There’s no reason for companies to live in spreadsheets anymore. The possibilities of an error are large, and they become a blocker to making strategic decisions quickly.”

Daniel Shaffer, Strategic Finance Lead at Gorgias

This complexity meant there wasn’t enough transparency on performance against the budget except at monthly closing, meaning the department leads weren’t able to make informed decisions outside those times. Finance also needed a better way to investigate variances, both favorable and unfavorable, without going into the transaction database and filter ad nauseam to try to figure out what was impacting a single number.

“In prior experience, finance would set milestones for each data upload, where it wasn’t dynamic. You couldn’t see the impact of any decisions you’d made until one of these milestones, and that’s assuming people had filled out their templates correctly.”

Daniel Shaffer, Strategic Finance Lead at Gorgias

In search of a solution to empower the whole team

In line with the value they offer as a software provider, Gorgias are always looking for innovative software solutions that will help increase the productivity of their existing headcount before they add to the headcount. So when they started looking for the right software, they had two main priorities.

The first was to empower their department leads more. They knew that those outside finance were unlikely to understand the ins and outs of a P&L and other finance outputs, and they wanted a way to generate insights and present the P&L data in a digestible and relevant way.

The second was to move away from spreadsheets at any cost so the finance team could offer more strategic input rather than spending valuable time correcting preventable errors and corralling different versions of each spreadsheet.

“You really disenfranchise yourself as a finance team if you’re solely living in spreadsheets. Generating strategic insights takes longer and more maintenance is required to keep up with the business.”

Daniel Shaffer, Strategic Finance Lead at Gorgias

Integration with Netsuite was also important, ideally making it so that no one outside finance would need to access Netsuite but would still get all the relevant data it contains.

Despite having direct experience with other solutions being explored, Pigment was the clear winner in terms of scalability, flexibility and connectivity. A particularly important factor in the decision was Pigment’s multidimensionality, allowing Gorgias to slice and dice their data by multiple dimensions at once, which was key for them as a multi-entity business.

A “surprisingly easy” implementation that created huge time savings

Once implementation began, it wasn’t long before the team felt incredibly confident building within Pigment. Our co-build approach meant that the models could be designed and initiated together, and then the team could reference the formula drill down and dependency diagrams to replicate the logic throughout the model.

“It was surprisingly easy to build our financial statements in Pigment… and we connected BigQuery in ten minutes.”

Daniel Shaffer, Strategic Finance Lead at Gorgias

The full annual plan for 2023 was built in Pigment, and the department leads quickly became acquainted with the tool to review their plans. By creating a more dynamic process of iteration and collaboration, Gorgias was able to shave a full month off their annual planning process this year.

To enable the department leads and executives, finance provided hands-on training inside the tool and created videos to remind users of the processes and functionality. Within a couple of weeks, the department leads were doing their budgeting in Pigment.

Gorgias’s executive team is happy with the implementation, too:

“Our executive team loves the tool because it’s succinct… and our CEO loves it. He likes the way everything is presented, and it’s easy to use from an executive standpoint.”

Daniel Shaffer, Strategic Finance Lead at Gorgias

Confidence for 2024

As the team starts work on monthly closings for 2023 and the variance analysis they used to attempt in spreadsheets, the finance team is already seeing huge time savings. And it’s not just on those repeating processes, either; getting insights for business partners is so much easier than it was in spreadsheets, delivered quickly with minimal effort.

“I can create a table for any department lead that is so much more intuitive for them to look at their data, and being able to do it in a matter of minutes as opposed to hours of re-doing SUMIFs is really helpful.”

Daniel Shaffer, Strategic Finance Lead at Gorgias

Those department leads and executives can then leave commentary directly within Pigment, meaning less back-and-forth in other channels, and a lower chance of version control issues. And as expected, no one outside finance needs to log into Netsuite now, meaning there’s a single platform for budget insights and planning.

Annual planning for 2024 won’t kick off until H2, but the team is already confident that it will be able to be driven entirely by the department leads directly within Pigment, with finance oversight.

“I could essentially tell the department leads to go into Pigment and start planning for 2024, and they could do it. We’re still missing the data that would support that, but we could adapt it easily later on.”

Daniel Shaffer, Strategic Finance Lead at Gorgias

An ongoing partnership

With the mandate to push Pigment as far as it can go, Gorgias is now turning their attention to Revenue Planning. This means that each department and each org needs its own mini-model to push up into the revenue plan.

To help conceptualize this, and to get as much groundwork done on new use cases as quickly as possible, Gorgias have partnered with Pigment on a Premium Success Package, providing further partnership with their Solution Architect to map out these models. The team then feels autonomous enough to go build those mini-models in Pigment. 

It’s important to them to have Pigment as not just a platform but a partner, helping to scale their models and maximize return on investment as more and more use cases are brought into the model.

As Gorgias continues to grow their use of Pigment and bring new business partners into the platform, the Community and Academy are important resources that they have already seen value from.

“I use the Community daily. I have it open right now. It’s usually my first stop to learn how I can do certain things or use Pigment more.”

Daniel Shaffer, Strategic Finance Lead at Gorgias

Shaffer also expressed gratitude to the Support team, surprised at how quickly tickets are addressed and resolved. The Support team is crucial to Gorgias’s ability to work autonomously and troubleshoot as they build.

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