Our DirectSuggest Story


The story of DirectSuggest begins in the Silicon Valley during the ’80s and ’90s. Two of the founders of RM4Tech, the only family-owned family-run software company behind DirectSuggest, met while working at Scitor. Here they worked in various roles in development, management, and finance. Scitor had a well-known company culture that was studied and embraced throughout the Silicon Valley (read more here). Employees were given a voice, encouraged to make suggestions to assist in moving Scitor’s mission forward, and rewarded in a multitude of ways for their input. Ryan and Rhonda not only noticed how this led to innovation but also increased employee engagement and retention, strengthening their culture.

Fast forward about twenty years. Ryan and Rhonda’s older son Riley was back home for a few weeks visiting from college during the summer, the family was spending time enjoying one of their favorite television shows of the prior decade, Undercover Boss. This show had a large amount of sentimental value because they watched it as a family, so it was close to their hearts. While watching an episode, a lightbulb went off in Riley’s head.

He realized that while all these organizations participating in Undercover Boss episodes were drastically different, there was one thing they shared. Their employees on the frontlines in all different roles had vital knowledge and incredible ideas that those making decisions in the organization were largely unaware of. The organization then missed out on resolving issues and transforming their organizations in powerful ways.

At this point, Riley decided it was his mission to enable organizations to give their employees a voice so they can use their experience and knowledge to not only positively impact their organization, but the world as well. As Slack had changed communication, he hoped to transform employee suggestions and the concept of the suggestion box.

After taking some time to consider the concept he brought the family together to discuss forming RM4Tech. Ryan, Rhonda, and Reid loved the idea. Ryan and Rhonda also began sharing stories of their time with Scitor and the personal experience they had with a culture that embraced listening to their employees’ suggestions. Here the journey of began to develop DirectSuggest, and RM4Tech was born.

As development began and they were on their way to launching DirectSuggest in January of 2018, extensive research regarding the topic and concept was completed. During this time, the understanding of how much of a necessity a solution like DirectSuggest is for any organization became even more apparent. This belief was based on several prominent success stories from iconic organizations throughout the world.

Toyota has utilized an employee suggestion box for close to a century; fielding and implementing millions of suggestions to continue to improve. In one, they fielded over 700,000 employee suggestions, on average about ten per employee, implementing over 99% of the suggestions. The savings/ROI accrued annually is unbelievable, reaching somewhere around $70,000,000 or more.

The initial idea for Amazon Prime was made by an employee left in their employee suggestion box. The software developer Charlie Ward came up with the idea. Then, Jeff Bezos and the rest of the decision-makers at Amazon brought Amazon Prime’s service to life. This entirely transformed Amazon from a company that sold books to a company that provides anything someone could ever need within a couple of days.

Starbucks went from a small-scale niche coffee establishment to the largest consumer coffee provider in the world. This did not happen overnight and was not only due to the founder Howard Schultz’s vision. Howard and the rest of the executive team at Starbucks knew from the beginning that listening to their employees is essential. This mentality instilled in their company culture propelled their employees to use their voice to transform Starbucks. Successful employee suggestions include low-fat/fat-free milk in Frappuccinos, bottled Frappuccinos, and the viral Unicorn Frappuccino, among countless other suggestions.

Frito-Lay is the premier snack company. Their most popular snack for decades is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. These were an employee creation. A janitor and his wife would add spices to regular Cheetos to create their version of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. After gaining awareness surrounding how much their friends and family also enjoyed the snack, the janitor found it his obligation to share the idea with the company. They loved the concept and brought the product to life.

As they got close to launching DirectSuggest, they noticed something else alarming. As pricing, usability, and quality went, no suggestion box software fit the needs of all organizations, regardless of size or industry. This motivated them to do the right thing and make sure they kept the initial mentality instilled at Scitor; the customer comes first. At this point, they realized they must work not only to provide a quality solution that transforms organizations worldwide, but to ensure they offered it in a way that everyone could receive that quality.

They made it their goal to increase innovation and engagement by enabling 1,000,000+ employees in organizations worldwide to be heard. They wanted to provide a price point where there is no hesitation for any organization to find incredible value using their solution.

They also found a lack of transparency and security. Information regarding pricing or seeing the platform in action was not offered by anyone else. Other companies tried to pressure those interested in scheduling a call with a salesman rather than focusing on providing value. To get a demo, customers had to interact with a salesperson. They publish pricing and information to ensure the customer is entirely aware of all aspects of DirectSuggest. A live demo and demo video were also created to allow those interested to get a real hands-on taste of DirectSuggest.

When assessing other products’ technology, they not only noticed it was rudimentary in comparison but also lacked security. RM4Tech went beyond industry standards and developed a Progressive-Web App that is technologically ahead of the curve, easier to access, and much safer.

They also dedicate themselves to providing quality service and assistance at every step of the way, known for going beyond the standard level of support.

With all of this, DirectSuggest has become the platform it is today. RM4Tech is focused on making an impact in any organization, no matter the size or industry, by easily empowering employees and giving them a voice, increasing innovation and employee engagement. They have the privilege of enabling thousands of employees to make a difference daily at Comcast, Nokia, and TD Bank, as well as hundreds of other organizations of all sizes in all industries.

You can see a quick five-minute walkthrough video here, try the live demo yourself here, compare suggestion box apps here, or check out the incredible ROI/Savings your city can receive using DirectSuggest here.

It is RM4Tech’s mission to bring organizations closer to their employees, enabling employees to improve their organizations and society. They would love for you to join the ride.