The Business Opportunity Between Electronic Data Capture And DM

On the surface, there’s not much reason why a company like ours is represented on a Document Management discussion platform like thedmcollaborators. So what’s going on here?

We develop what’s called mobile data capture products, or Electronic Data Capture (EDC). We have a complicated and interesting background in the construction sector helping engineers and other field force staff get data into their business systems literally in the field.

As a result, we became really good at working out the best way for our customers to enter complex data in the right format for the many compliance and project management disciplines they have to adhere to. We’ve got to the point where a team member can use their iPad or smartphone and enter the information they need to about a job on the fly, which obviously saves on data entry and form filling at home base.

What happens to that data? It goes back into our back office software, where we route it into the specialist business apps customers in the industries we’ve historically catered to want to use. However, recently we entered into a partnership with a very different sort of back office software company – a DM one.

Why? Well, look at the parallels. DM is all about digitising and properly capturing business information and getting off the paper trail, which is the kind of work we’ve been doing, when you think about it. The only difference is that we’ve been approaching the issue from different directions – the DM practitioners in the back office automating procedures in finance and HR, while we are in the field helping people stop recording important data on pieces of scrap paper while they’re assembling or fixing things.

True synergy – and more ‘buy’ reasons for your technology

Does that mean we want to replace you? Not at all, though there are some DM companies who are talking about extending their offerings into our area, via mobile. However, I see synergy between the two of us.

I anticipate projects coming along where we combine forces and offer ways for organisations to radically redesign their workflow right through the business process, from head office to the operative or sales person on site, getting data entered, routed and worked on seamlessly.

Just think about that. How great would it be for a business to know it can lay its hand on a document whenever it likes, while being sure the audit trail of information is joined up from front to back of the business, every time?

That’s why I see real opportunity between Electronic Data Capture and Document Management. We both love data – and hate filing cabinets!


Nick Taylor is Sales Manager with the company behind Formation Software, which markets mobile forms software designed for any business, within any industry

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