1. Tell us about your role at Ease?
I am the co-founder and CEO.
2. Can you tell us about your journey in this industry?
This is all I have ever done. My first real job out of college was as a sales representative for an insurance company, calling on insurance brokers that worked with small businesses. Today, Ease’s primary customer is an insurance broker that works with small businesses. Along the way, I saw the need and opportunity for a simple technology solution hat any broker could use.
3. What inspired you to start Ease?
I love this industry and have enjoyed all 30+ years I’ve been involved. I see the benefits that professionals in this industry bring to their customers. I see the benefits this industry has brought to those of us that have made careers from it.
To survive, our industry needs to transform from an outdated method of doing business to a modern way of doing business. I want to have impact on that transition.
4. What experiences as an employee helped you in building Ease?
I worked with small business enrolling their benefit plans. I spent countless hours handing out, chasing down and proofing multiple forms that asked lots of the same questions. Sometimes an employee would have to fill out 6-10 forms with largely the same information. It was painful and time consuming.
5. You were one of the first companies to bring technology into this industry, what are some of the problems you faced in doing this?
Our customers, insurance brokers, are not always as technology forward as other industries. A significant portion of this group is also a small business themselves, meaning any new service they buy comes directly out of their own pocket. We had to sell both the need and the fact we are the ‘best in class’ solution they should adopt.
6. How has technology benefitted HR industry?
Significantly reduces the amount of time spent on administrative tasks so HR can focus on strategy and employee needs and greatly improves compliance. Online technology also provides the best way for delivering messages and content the way the majority of people prefer to receive it.
7. Congratulations for being named as the 13th fastest growing HR Company on Inc. 5000’s 2018 list of Fasted Growing Private Companies in America. What are the things that are playing as the catalyst in the growth of your firm?
A few things have come together:
Timing. There is no question that paper is out and online is in. The majority of small business have not yet converted from paper to digital, but they are doing it now and quickly.
Market fit. Most small business prefer to buy their benefits through a local broker. Ease was designed for brokers that service small businesses. Most platforms attempt to go straight to the small business.
Best in Class. You’d be hard pressed to find someone familiar with our industry and market place that wouldn’t place Ease in the ‘best in class’ group of solutions. We have a great product.
8. Your partnership with AllState benefits is a huge step towards benefitting many employers, especially medium and small size organizations, what further developments can we expect from this partnership?
This a major step toward simplifying how small businesses, nation-wide, can bring a well known and trusted product to their employees. This will be possible for even the 75% of businesses in America with less than 10 employees.
10. Can you tell us about your team and how they support you?
A company is only as good as the team. Every person and every department makes important contributions to our success and we wouldn’t be here without any of them. I have the easy job of telling people about the company while me team has the hard job of building a great company. We have real people that talk to our customers. All day, every day. Connecting with our customers at that level as how we get to know them and learn how to best meet their needs.
11. What will leave its mark in 2019 in the HRtech Industry?
This is the year Millennials hit the ‘flip side’ of 35 and Generation Z enters the workforce. From this point forward, for the majority, technology is the norm, not the exception.
12. What developments can we expect from Ease in the near future?
Increased connectivity across the ecosystem. In practical terms, connecting carriers to our platform to provide a seamless, paperless, end to end solution that requires little, if any, human intervention.
13. Have any trends in your industry surprised you?
Yes. The rapid pivot by major carriers to re-tool their own benefit administration platforms to adopt contemporary methods (i.e. API) as standard protocol to exchange enrollment and eligibility data.
14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
I spend 200+ nights a year on the road – my apps reflect that