HR Case Study

How Affinivax Simplified & Automated HR With Namely

  • Industry
  • Location
    Cambridge, MA
  • Size
    130+ employees

About Affinivax

Affinivax is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with a next-generation vaccine technology platform for vaccines and immunotherapies called the Multiple Antigen Presentation System (MAPS™). Affinivax believes that MAPS™ is a significant step forward in vaccine technology, creating novel preventive and therapeutic vaccines targeting resistant infectious and other immune-mediated diseases.

  • Affinivax is headquartered in Cambridge, MA and has employees located in NJ and NH.
  • This year, Affinivax received an award from CARB-X, a global non-profit organization, to develop a MAPS™ vaccine targeting Staphylococcus aureus bacterial infections. The award will substantially fund all development activities for the MAPS™ vaccine program and commits funding up to $22 million with the successful achievement of future manufacturing, preclinical, and clinical development milestones.
  • Affinivax prides itself on having a collaborative and passionate workforce. Affinivax’s employees work together with a common vision of improving global health and making a difference.
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Meet the Team

Jona Xhama, HR Manager

“I am an HR professional with over 9 years of experience. I’ve held HR positions with the health care and biotech industries and have a mixture of experience in recruiting, project management, process improvement, and technology implementation. I’m a passionate professional with an MBA from the University of Massachusetts - Boston and SHRM-SCP certification.”

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Sarah Stafford, Senior HR Generalist

“I graduated from the University of Delaware and am currently in my final semester of the MBA program at Bentley University. Prior to Affinivax, I spent 5 and a half years with another Boston-based start-up company. Then in April of 2021, I joined Affinivax as the Senior HR Generalist.”

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Affinivax’s Challenges

“We needed a streamlined solution that would be easy for both our HR team and employees to use.”

Before implementing Namely, Affinivax didn’t have an HR system in place.

“At the time, we were only using Excel spreadsheets,” Jona explained, “Which meant most of our days were bogged down by time consuming, manual processes. Even making simple changes, like updating an employee’s address, would take 30 minutes. As we started to grow quickly, we realized that we needed a more efficient, modern solution.”

Affinivax's Wishlist:

+ A Single Source of Truth

Not having a centralized HR solution made it difficult for Affinivax to keep track of employee data and run reports.

“We didn’t have a single source of truth,” Jona stated. “This made reporting very challenging because we had to sift through a lot of different spreadsheets just to find simple information. We needed an all-in-one HR system that would enable us to have a standardized way of keeping track of data. Storing all of it in one location would not only make reporting a lot easier for our HR team, but also for our Finance and Accounting teams who constantly ask us for information.”

+ A User-Friendly Interface

When looking at solutions, Affinivax searched for an intuitive HRIS that employees would actually want to use.

“Since we didn’t have an HR platform before, it was really important for us to find one that employees would adopt easily,” Jona expressed. “We needed a system that had a user-friendly and clean interface so that our entire company could transition to it smoothly.”

+ Customizable Performance Reviews

When it came to performance reviews, Affinivax wanted to be able to build them from the ground up.

“We looked at a few HR systems that didn’t have customizable performance review templates,” Jona mentioned. “We needed an HRIS that would let us customize the whole process.”

+ An Integrated Compliance Solution

In addition to streamlining all things HR, Affinivax wanted a solution that would also help the company stay compliant.

“Like all HR professionals, compliance is a top priority for us,” Jona noted. “We needed an integrated solution that would help us stay compliant with federal and state regulations.”

The Implementation

The Smooth Transition to Namely

“I truly can’t say enough good things about our implementation,” Jona expressed. “Namely’s Implementation Team was organized from the start and made it such a stellar experience.

Since we didn’t have an HR system beforehand, our data was all over the place and needed a lot of cleanup. This made us a bit nervous at first because we weren’t sure how it was all going to flow over to Namely. Thankfully, our Implementation Consultant did an amazing job helping us transfer our data over and guided us every step of the way. Throughout the entire process, Namely’s Implementation Team was always willing to hop on calls and answer our questions. We couldn’t have had a better experience.”

See how you can check all the boxes with Namely. Request a call today.

The Solution

The ROI of Using Namely

From its automated onboarding process to its intuitive reporting capabilities, Namely has modernized HR at Affinivax.

“From its service team to the Help Community, Namely’s customer support is extremely reliable.”

Exceptional Customer Support

“I think what impresses me the most about Namely is the customer support we’ve received,” Sarah explained. “Namely has a really extensive Help Community that consists of articles and step by step guides on literally everything you can do within the system. If there’s something that I haven’t done before or have a question about, I can easily find what I’m looking for in the Help Community 9 out of 10 times.

If for whatever reason I can’t find the help I need, I can also submit a support ticket in the Help Community. Everyone on Namely’s service team is super responsive, and I typically hear back from them either later that day or within 24 hours.”

“Since implementation, we honestly haven’t even needed much support because the system is so intuitive,” Jona elaborated. “And as Sarah mentioned, when we do need assistance, there are a ton of resources within the Help Community that will help us get the information we need. In my opinion, customer service is key, and Namely’s team has provided us with great support since day one.”


“Overall, Namely saves me about 10 hours per week.”


“When looking for a new HR solution, find one that is tailored to your company size and enables you to have control over your data and processes,” Jona advised. “There are some larger systems out there that weren’t as customizable as we wanted. After looking at 5 other solutions, we knew Namely was the best fit for our company.”

“Also look at your current processes and find an HR solution that will automate them,” Sarah added. “The right HRIS will make them easier and more seamless for you and your team. As an HR admin, I couldn’t imagine not having Namely.”

Namely helped Affinivax simplify and modernize HR. Ready to see how it can streamline HR at your company? Take a platform tour today.