Tops Friendly Markets


Tops Markets was using a paper-based enrollment system for its benefit eligible associates with a two-person benefits department running the process. The process was effective when the company was smaller but became increasingly cumbersome as the number of benefit eligible employees grew.

The benefits staff frequently had to enter duplicate information and also periodically had to account for associate errors in the paperwork. They would also have to hold several enrollment meetings for associates, which was particularly challenging due to the geographic dispersion of the workforce.

Helping their workforce understand the benefits that were being offered was difficult for Tops not only because of geography but also because of size. With 2,500 benefit eligible associates, having an effective means of communicating the differences between plans and their value was difficult for the department of two. There had to be a better way.



Tops selected the BENEFITFOCUS® Marketplace as an all-in-one benefits solution. Rather than using paper-based enrollment processes or a boutique software firm with limited staff and experience, Tops is able to use a single, well-established online enrollment portal to streamline benefits selection for associates as well as administration and communication features for benefits staff.

The intuitive enrollment process for associates is matched by easy administration tools for the benefits team at Tops. Rather than re-keying data multiple times into a database, Benefitfocus collects all the required data from the associate as they go through the enrollment process. This both streamlines the data collection process and prevents the common errors that occur when administrators are re-keying employee data multiple times into a database.

In addition, by using Benefitfocus solutions, Tops has access to state of the art communication tools allowing them more easily to communicate with their geographically dispersed workforce of 2,500 benefit-eligible associates. These communication features include a library of more than 350 videos that explain complex benefits topics and terms like co-insurance and deductibles so that Tops associates have easy access to the information they need to pick the plan that is right for themselves and their families.

Teresa Klawon, the benefits administrator at Tops remarked: “We can put everything online, they can see everything, compare our plans and it will just help them throughout the process.”

Administrators are able to focus on day-to-day administration and answering the pressing questions that arise from being outside the norm rather than having to constantly address issues of normal process. The saved time for them is significant and the greater ease of use for users is an additional positive feature.

“We can put everything online, they can see everything, compare our plans and it will just help them throughout the process.”
Teresa Klawon
Benefits Administrator


Automation Saves Time and Money


Tops Markets is a full service grocery store chain headquartered in western New York. The first grocery store opened its doors in 1962 at Niagara Falls. Now, the company has more than 160 stores located throughout Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont. Tops employs more than 15,000 associates of whom 2,500 are eligible for benefits. The company has a mission to be the friendly neighborhood store that has what customers want while at the same time saving them time and money.

# of Employees: 


Products & Services: 

  • Benefitfocus MarketPlace


Administrative efficiency
Increased data accuracy
Effective employee communication




Company Category: