"Plannly's benefits for the future of work keep pace with employees' life changes leading to healthier, happier and more engaged employees" - Assosiated Press wrote about Plannly,
Today we want to tell you more about this American startup specializing in employee health & wellbeing benefits and one of the outstanding Sommo cases.
Earl and Alisha Harris founded Plannly as employees and business leaders wrapped their heads around the COVID-19 pandemic. They sought to develop a new, modern approach to benefits management for organizations of all sizes that are customized to the individual and puts the power of selection in their hands.
In February 2022, we started with the idea of creating a new employee software that flexes with an employee's life changes and recommends the best-personalized benefits to promote healthier, happier, and more engaged employees.
At the beginning, the goal of Plannly was to create an MVP version with minimum features & go live. Today we are working on additional functionality that makes the app more competitive. The goal for Sommo was to design and develop a platform that allows companies to give additional health & well-being benefits to their employees.
Looking ahead, we developed the MVP in four months (as planned) and the next milestone has been in progress since November 2022.
December 13, 2022, Plann.ly announced a $1.2M angel round of funding after concluding a highly successful Build In Tulsa Techstars Accelerator Program.
We continue our collaboration today in May 2023, and want to share some details on developing this employee management app to inspire other creators, founders, and developers.
We started our discovery for Plannly by organizing all founders’ ideas and notes.
Plannly mapped out to provide the workforce access to a wellness marketplace and dynamic employee assessments to help them choose their wellness benefits.
The core values of the employee software were personalized onboarding, wellness assessment, and flexible benefits solutions with the ability to choose between allotment (reimbursement) or allowance features (digital wallet).
Interviews, brainstorms & competitor research were the main methods we used for discovery. Interviews helped us clarify customers' requirements, brainstorm - analyze everything we had & propose the best solution that could match customers' requirements.
Competitor research showed that Plannly was similar to some American competitors. The main competitive advantages we defined were the variety of fin-tech operations inside the app, like the ability to:
- create virtual & physical cards;
- make manual claims;
- get reimbursements via virtual or physical card;
- use virtual & physical cards for live transactions;
- view real-time limit updates.
We divided the Plannly users into two groups:
1. App users:
- company Owner;
- company Admin;
- company Finance manager;
- company employees.
2. Back office users:
- Super admin;
- Wellness coordinator;
- Customer success.
The Plannly app was supposed to encourage companies to ensure the health and well-being of their employees, including the ability to:
- Choose a profitable program;
- Select its frequency (one-time, monthly, quarterly, annually);
- Set a budget per employee.
So the Plannly employee management app needed the company admin tool, employee dashboard, and Plannly super admin.
Within the discovery, the wireframes have been communicated with the stakeholders in several iterations & approved in several weeks. Then we started the software requirements development based on the approved wireframes.
Plannly had a ready logo & landing page, so they wanted to follow the design guidelines they had used before.
The UX/UI design for Plannly took us three weeks. We started with a style guide - a design and development tool that brings cohesion to a digital product's user interface and contains all design elements and interactions (buttons, typography, color, navigation menus, etc.).
Then we designed user interfaces for all user stories and flows according to software requirements - log-in/sign-up, onboarding, programs, airways, dashboards, marketplaces, and reports.
As a result, we received about 100 screenshots for the desktop and mobile versions of the employee management app.
To develop the Plannly application, we used Bubble.io as the app was supposed to have multiple fin-tech operations, which the no-code platform was able to cover.
We have already used Bubble.io to develop many applications successfully:
You can read more about why you should choose Bubble.io to create an application in the article.
The Sommo team also integrated third-party services for the Plannly app:
One signal - for mobile push notifications,
Stripe - for easy and safe fintech operations,
SendGrid - for delivering transactional and marketing emails,
Crisp - chat for customer support,
Amplitude - for advanced analytics.
The unique service from Sommo was converting the Bubble app to iOS & Android app. We developed a special Bubble plugin Natively, to create mobile apps in minutes and enable plenty of native features to increase user engagement and experience. Check out Plannly mobile apps on Apple Store or Google Play Market.
In June 2022 we released the first version of Plannly with all features and components needed for MPV: account setting, company/user management, onboarding, survey, allotment program, bank account, transactions/marketplace.
The Plannly employee management app consists of these key elements:
- Personalized Benefits - personalized solutions that cover all well-being dimensions;
- Lifestyle Spending Accounts - a fixed amount of money to purchase a range of wellbeing-related expenses such as gym memberships, wellness classes, or meditation apps;
- An expansive marketplace of providers - access to hundreds of in-person and online benefits via the intelligent marketplace of pre-vetted vendors.
- Automatic calculation for claims reimbursements.
The employee management app allows customers to choose personalized wellness options designed for their team members' unique needs. Throughout the program's existence, employee surveys are conducted, and these results are processed and displayed in a specially designed dashboard to catch life changes and recommend benefits.
Admins start with expanded onboarding consisting of 10 steps.
Admins can manage benefit programs and users; conduct surveys; connect bank accounts and marketplaces; edit settings, wellness policy and subscriptions; monitor dashboards and claims and more.
Users can view their balances and marketplaces (with special discounts), claim benefits, take surveys, manage account settings, use Plannly virtual card, or get a physical card with flexible spending control.
In this way, Plannly offers a solution that adjusts to employee life changes and recommends personalized benefits that cover all dimensions of health, such as intellectual, social, emotional, physical, mental, occupational, spiritual, or financial. Moreover, Admins can create custom programs if the company has specific requirements.
As a result, Plannly’s employee management app helps employers increase participation, reduce spending, track utilization and return unused funds to optimize budgets.
Sommo fully shares Plannly's slogan - "We believe a better way exists". The no-code approach allowed the team to release in concise terms - 3,5 months - and improve their app after getting $1.2M of funding.
In June 2023, we kept developing a new version of Plannly implementing outstanding and unique features, for instance - dynamic spending controls (with custom combinations of rules), a "Use It or Lose It" program, Super Admin panel (to manage all companies and users). The current goal is also the app maintenance & additional fintech features development.
We highly recommend you try Plannly for your teams - even the first results of implementing Plannly's employee management app show that personalized benefits achieve a participation rate of over 50% (double the industry average) and personalized benefits reduce an organization's health and wellness spending by nearly 30%.
Contact the Sommo team to discuss your ideas and use our experience to launch your app faster with a no-code approach.