We recently sat down and caught up with RINGO CEO Keith Banks to pick his brain about the future of the RINGO Vendor Management System (VMS) platform, and the staffing industry, overall.
Q: What are some new developments the RINGO team is working toward implementing in 2019?
- Improve User Experience
“I’m proud to say we are approaching the 20-year milestone with RINGO, and the technological advances that have actualized in that time frame have been astounding. We’re now in deep discussions on some very thorough upgrades to the platform, with the end goal of improved user experience for our staffing partners, their contingent associates, and our partners' clients in mind. That means we are examining the entire workflow process from their perspectives; we’re listening to their feedback and making it a better experience for everyone. We’re addressing solutions before there is ever a need to create one.”
- Follow Market Trends
“With a nod to Wayne Gretzky, we aim to ‘skate to where the puck is going, not where it is.' In the VMS space, and staffing in general, being proactive instead of reactive is a game-changer.”
- Using Gamification & Big Staffing Data (BSD) for Optimized Analysis
“Everyone is looking for analytics for different ways to get through to the outcomes quicker. So, what we want to put up there are more ways that data can be analyzed and parsed by our users. We're drilling down to the information that matters most to them."
Q: Where do you see the company expanding or focusing its efforts in the next few years?
- Getting Better in Our Lane
"RINGO was created to offer our staffing partners an edge, a way to push them up the value chain, by offering them better opportunities to become trusted advisers to their clients. Operating as their own MSP [Managed Service Provider] allows them to compete at a different level of intensity. It’s still all about the overall user experience."
- New Features
"We’re considering implementing a background screening system so the resume, background screen and skills criteria are all in one package."
- Simplify Access to Key Metrics
"We want to improve the visibility of key metrics so RINGO users can easily see the real value of workflow improvements, reduced time-to-fill, and the ability to onboard candidates through our technology X% faster, without having to touch multiple systems. These metrics make a difference to our staffing partners' clients."
Q: You recently welcomed a new addition, Shani Underwood, to the leadership team. How do you see Ms. Underwood’s role in the company’s growth?
- A Complete 360-Degree Level of Experience as a Subject Matter Expert
"She’s been on the other side—inside the belly of the beast, so to speak. She’s been an MSP, the actual delegator of the work, the jobs, the manager of the relationship with staffing vendors to client. She’s been on the pure-play staffing side for national organizations going door-to-door and account-to-account, either entering MSP engagements or trying to sell around them. She has street credibility as a trusted advisor to staffing companies and clients... She's been in the game. She gets it. She knows it. She's seen it from both sides. She knows what matters.
"From RINGO's perspective, Shani is in an advisement role. She's there to make it work and improve the relationship between the staffing company and the client. This experience offers our users a subject matter expert to assist with strategy, market penetration, and overall advisor services, with a simple call or email. This positions RINGO as a true asset going beyond the technology."
Q: RINGO has had incredible success within the healthcare staffing sector. What are some other industries best suited to benefit from RINGO’s VMS technology?
"All industries that require temporary and consulting talent to get work done, which is essentially every one, considering the growth of the gig economy. Overall, we’re industry agnostic. It’s really about the need and improved workflow processes via speed, data capture and metrics. Our legacy in healthcare was born from the industry’s need to organize and adhere to compliance issues. That being said, we are focused on improving the relationship between staffing organizations and end users, regardless of their business space.
"At the end of the day, whether it's healthcare, banking, insurance, financial services or manufacturing, it’s all about delivery. Organizations need talent, so it’s about making sure that onboarding is smooth, and that talent is screened properly and deployed efficiently. We got into healthcare originally because that was where we had some subject matter expertise of our own. Our healthcare clients seemed to have the most need for a full, well-rounded workflow solution for onboarding, credentialing, and making sure everybody steps foot onto the premises with the proper credentials. Many operated under the auspices of the Joint Commission, and were being held to rigorous standards—we gave them a platform to make it easier…better…smarter. And really, it’s the same thing with manufacturing, banking, etc."
Q: How does the RINGO platform help staffing firms to take their businesses to the next step by becoming MSPs?
“As the staffing community evolved and became more sophisticated, it became apparent that in order to compete effectively, there was a need to offer clients the ability to provide MSP services, to be a Managed Service Provider. Not everyone had the financial or technological resources to do this, though—more than 90% of all staffing companies nationally have less than $1,000,000 in total revenue. This typically does not allow them to invest in technology to protect their existing business while increasing their market share.
"By elevating their game and getting ahead of their competitors, these firms can improve their relationships with their clients with a vendor management platform. It’s about differentiating. It’s about controlling 51% of the spend. It’s about offering more value. So, an owner has the option to build, buy, or head in another direction. What we’re trying to do for these staffing companies is give them an opportunity to just bolt on, and become an instant MSP.
"It allows them to move up the value chain, to enhance their market share, and to compete with the regional or national staffing companies—the big guns—without having to make that overall investment of technology spend. We open opportunities—we do not build walls.
"Traditionally, when VMSes were still regarded as the evil empire, it would cut into their margin. If you can take off your staffing owner hat and put it aside, you’ll see that the upside is far greater than the downside. So, if you have to give up a couple of points on your billing in order to gain a bigger piece of your market share, so be it. Or equally important, since you’ve worked so hard to gain those clients—to earn those clients' trust—you want to protect them. Why? Because eventually, someone is going to try to wedge their way in. This gives smaller staffing companies an opportunity to keep their relationships direct and to protect their market share. The return on that investment can be 10x or greater."
Keith Banks's Executive Summary
"We strive to enhance the relationship between the vendor—or let’s use “staffing company”—and the clients who use them to procure talent. Relationships are built on trust, so clients can vet their staffing partners through the value they create. Whether that be based on financial, workflow enhancement, or time-to-fill metrics… Performance and trust are where the rubber meets the road.
"What we’re really trying to accomplish is to open up the minds of the staffing companies out there as to how they can really improve and increase their opportunities. No one likes the concept of 'I worked hard for that dollar, and you’re going to take a percentage of that dollar for no reason.' So, we’re trying to turn the mindset toward using RINGO as a resource, to say: 'Why not be bigger, move your value levers way up, before someone else does.' Because it will happen. I just read that in the next three years, 100% of enterprise staffing companies ($100 million and more in revenue) will be on VMS platforms. So all of these smaller companies… where are they going to go?
"We’re trying to be the technology enthusiast for small staffing companies. We’re a friend, not foe. I like to think of it as being the Robin Hood of VMS.”