Helping Northwest Computing scale with Plane’s Unified Payroll

Northwest Computing expanded their hiring range while keeping everything in one platform using Plane.


Based in Portland, OR

Team members

US and Canada





Northwest Computing Associates is a product development and software consulting agency based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 2022, they help other companies, especially startups and mid-size clients, launch new products. With a dozen team members scattered in the US and Canada, Northwest Computing is “passionate about launching really great experiences for our clients,” says their founder and managing partner Zach Langbert.Zach decided to choose Plane right from the start as he was setting up Northwest Computing’s payroll and HR processes. He joined Plane’s Unified Payroll beta program so that he could run both US payroll and international payroll for employees and contractors from one platform. Says Zach, “One of the things I was really focused on in the first few months of setting up our business was operationalizing the business processes so they wouldn’t get in our way later. We were looking for something easy to use that would serve our needs now and our needs in the future.”While researching information on H-1B sponsorships, Zach came across Plane; he realized that using Plane would open up many options for his company when it came to hiring. He liked that Plane enables companies to hire and pay both employees and contractors in the US and globally. He says, “I wasn’t aware that hiring international contractors was available to us. It was a pretty exciting prospect. Being able to hire contractors anywhere, especially for our type of business, can give us a pretty big competitive advantage.” Since Northwest Computing also had team members in the US, it made sense for them to use Unified Payroll. Zach states, “Being able to do everything in one platform was pretty appealing. I wanted the ability to contract and hire anywhere, and being able to have US payroll in the same place made a lot of sense. I didn’t want to have a payroll and HR directory in two places. That just sounded like a headache that I didn’t want to have.”Zach has found Unified Payroll to meet Northwest Computing’s needs very well. He says, “It’s given us what we need in a way that has made me feel good about it.” He was particularly impressed by Plane’s support team: “Having Plane’s team as a partner early on, when I didn’t know how payroll and HR would work, was super helpful for me. The platform’s been good, and then the support we got was really the icing on the cake to make sure that we had everything we needed and knew what we were doing. Especially in the early months, that was incredibly helpful.”The ability to quickly onboard someone has been one of the features of Plane that Zach likes best. He states, “It’s great to feel like I can talk to someone and on the same day, onboard them into Plane and know that it’s going to work – even if they’re in Canada. That capability has been pretty empowering.” Describing the process of onboarding a contractor, Zach says, “It takes 10 minutes. I fill out a form, and [our new contractor] submits their information. We sign an agreement, and it’s pretty much done. To be able to do all of that in less than 30 minutes is great.”The platform is also user-friendly for Zach and his team: “The right information is easily accessible and easily surfaced in the right places.” He appreciates having “easy access” to reports and being able to track time off for his team in Plane. He says, “It’s a good set of tools especially for an early company [like ours] where there’s not a lot of stuff you don’t need and there’s really the things that you do need.”Overall, Zach says he would recommend Plane and Unified Payroll for other companies: “I would definitely recommend Plane’s Unified Payroll, particularly for small companies like Northwest Computing who are looking for something easy to use and who want this capability of going outside the US as well.”

Ready to dive in?Talk to our team today.

Schedule a demoWatch a quick tour video