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Posted: 6/24/2013
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Romulo Melo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gym Increases Staff Efficiency by 10 Hours a Week by Moving Paperwork to Cloud

Romulo Melo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wanted to double its customer base without adding staff. By acquiring a Surface Pro tablet PC running Windows 8 Pro and downloading the DocuSign Ink app from the Windows Store, it has eliminated 10 hours of administrative work each week and US$100 of paper-related expenses each month—both growth enablers. Customers love the convenience of the electronic tools, and the owners have anytime, anywhere access to digital documents.

Business Needs
Romulo and Amanda Melo launched Romulo Melo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Romulo Melo BJJ) in October 2012 with a well-situated gym space in central San Francisco, California; a laptop; and their four hardworking hands. Romulo does all the teaching, and Amanda manages the business. The gym teaches traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to people of all ages for fitness, competition, and self-defense.

* With Windows 8 Pro and DocuSign, we’ve been able to eliminate about 10 hours of administrative work each week and do more without adding staff. This is critical to our profitability. *

Amanda Melo
Romulo Melo
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The Melos wanted to double their customer base within a year without hiring staff. They knew that the only way to do that was to use technology to multiply their effectiveness. They had the latest software running on their laptop—the Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft Office 2010 for word processing and spreadsheets, and a gym management application called Mind and Body. The company also used SkyDrive cloud storage to store photos. But as the business grew, so did the paperwork, and the Melos knew that they had to “up their technology game.”

“There is a mountain of paperwork involved in running a gym,” says Co-owner Amanda Melo. Each new student received a packet that included a liability waiver, gym rules, policy acknowledgement forms, refund policy, photo waiver, class schedules, and more. Also, every summer the academy takes a group of students to Brazil to train, which requires many documents—schedules, cancellation policies, emergency contact forms, etc. Amanda had to scan and copy all the documents, and Romulo had to lug them around with him while traveling. Of course, they also had to maintain all the standard business paperwork involved in running a business: tax documents, insurance policies, and lease agreements. “I spent at least five hours a week juggling paperwork,” Amanda says. “Our business is relationship-based, and time spent copying and searching for paperwork is time not spent with students or on marketing.”

Scanning, copying, and storing paper also cost money. Losing paperwork presented a liability. And making customers deal with paperwork caused annoyance. “There was no way we could meet our growth objectives without finding a smarter way to manage all this paper,” Amanda says.

In March 2013, Romulo Melo BJJ decided to abandon paper and move to digital and cloud-based documents. It acquired a Surface Pro tablet PC running the Windows 8 Pro operating system and also upgraded its laptop to Windows 8 Pro. It also downloaded the DocuSign Ink cloud-based electronic signature app from the Windows Store to electronically capture customer signatures. DocuSign is a global leader in eSignature transaction management, with more than 37 million users in 188 countries.

Today, when new students enroll at Romulo Melo BJJ, the academy sends them an email message with a link to DocuSign, where they review and sign all necessary documents. The academy also uses DocuSign to distribute and sign the summer camp documents and can track and access them from SkyDrive while in Brazil. “Between DocuSign and SkyDrive, we have nearly all our business assets in the cloud,” says Amanda.

In addition to using SkyDrive and the DocuSign Ink app to tame its “paper tiger,” the Melos use their Surface Pro with Windows 8 Pro to work more efficiently throughout the day. Students check themselves in using the Surface Pro, a task that Amanda used to do manually. The Melos upgraded to Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 and use Microsoft Word 2013 to create all forms and marketing materials and Microsoft Excel 2013 for financial planning. Amanda saves documents directly to SkyDrive from Office and can also open Adobe Acrobat documents in Word. “Windows 8 Pro is extremely intuitive and easy to use,” says Amanda.

The Melos use Skype on Surface Pro to keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues in Brazil. They use the Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client to maintain and coordinate Amanda’s, Romulo’s, and the company’s calendars. At the end of the workday, Amanda tosses the Surface Pro in her purse so she can access documents from home.

With its tablet and cloud solution, Romulo Melo BJJ has been able to multiply its efficiency by streamlining processes and reducing administrative work. This lets the Melos meet their business growth goals without adding staff. They have round-the-clock access to needed documents and have shaved roughly US$100 off monthly expenses, another growth enabler. Customers also enjoy an unprecedented level of convenience with the digital tools.

“With Windows 8 Pro and DocuSign, we’ve been able to eliminate about 10 hours of administrative work each week and do more without adding staff. This is critical to our profitability,” Amanda says. The 10-hour weekly time savings comes from more efficient paperwork management and self-check-in for guests. The $100 a month savings comes from printer ink, paper, scanning, copying, faxing, storage, and gas costs. “As a small business, every penny counts,” says Amanda. “I scour our expenses to see where I can save $15, so a $100 monthly savings is just awesome.”

With DocuSign, Windows 8 Pro, and Surface Pro, the Melos have anytime, anywhere access to business documents—at the gym, on the road, at home, or on vacation. They can sign, send, and store documents from any Internet-connected device.

Customers love the convenience. “Because we’re in San Francisco, many of our customers work in high tech, and they are impressed that we’re using the latest technology,” Amanda says. “Most of our new business comes from word-of-mouth recommendations, so customer satisfaction is very important to us. Windows 8 Pro, DocuSign Ink, and the Surface Pro are like having an extra pair of hands in our business.”

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Solution Overview

Organization Size: 2 employees

Organization Profile

Romulo Melo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a San Francisco gym that teaches traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for fitness, competition, and self-defense.


  • Surface Pro

Third Party Software
  • DocuSign Ink

Software and Services
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2013

Vertical Industries
Other Services

United States