U.K. firm establishes a stateside presence.
Some might question the wisdom of launching a tech company in the United States right now, but for London-based Spring Technology Professionals, the recent market downturn has been an opportunity to help companies that desperately need to reduce the costs of managing IT contractors. We spoke with Connie Whisner, vice president of Spring’s U.S. sales and operations, about its recent opening of U.S. headquarters in Chicago and Baltimore.
Could you tell us about Spring Group’s recent launch in the United States?
Spring Group PLC, the parent company of Spring Technology Professionals, was founded in 1990 in the U.K. It specialized primarily in IT staffing, IT training, and Web-enabled workforce management tools for large and small companies.
In January 2002, Spring Group launched U.S. operations in Chicago and secondary offices in Baltimore for Spring Group’s IT staffing company, Spring Technology Professionals.
Chicago is not widely recognized as a U.S. tech center. What made Spring choose the city for its headquarters?
A recent University of Minnesota study found that Chicago is home to more technology workers than anywhere in America. While this might take some by surprise, the fact is that these workers are often not seen as technology workers, but are classified as working for manufacturers, service firms, and industrial companies. These are exactly the types of companies that can benefit from our IT staffing solutions. Chicago also has a very strong pro-business climate, and its central location makes working with national clients easier.
What specific services will Spring offer local businesses?
Spring has developed a set of online tools that combine the experience of our staffing industry veterans with extensive screening tools. Our Internet-based system gives clients and contractors greater visibility in the recruiting process–clients can use the system to easily manage contractors, examine timesheets, and approve hours for temporary IT spending, and candidates can see the status of an application or use the service for online timekeeping.
Spring has also created Hy-phen, a global customizable online workforce management solution. It saves employers money by giving them greater control over their temporary costs. It also gives managers a real-time analytical tool to increase compliance with national contract pricing and improved staffing control.
Some may say that launching a technology staffing company right now is a risky endeavor. How has Spring handled opening U.S. operations during such a volatile time?
Spring Technology Professionals sees an opportunity created in the challenging economy. As recession turns to recovery, companies will look for better ways to reduce the costs of managing contractors who work on mission-critical IT projects, and they will efficiently augment staff as recovery takes hold. Based on our experience and our understanding of the needs of our clients, we know we have developed a better alternative for temporary IT staffing. This is a great opportunity for us to establish our position in the marketplace.
Spring has also changed its business model over the last year in response to market conditions. Because we have adapted, we’ll be better prepared when the recession ends. We’re ahead of the curve and ahead of the competition.
What can we expect from Spring in 2002?
We’ve already seen a positive reaction to the announcement of our opening in the U.S., and we will continue to focus on building the United States operation and establishing our presence in both IT staffing and workforce management solutions. We will continue to refine our tools so that when economic recovery takes place, Spring will be well positioned to help our clients manage their growing IT requirements.
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