Highlights of inFORM Decisions' year-end report include the following:
- Third year of increased revenues in document automation
- Exceeded revenue and profitability goals for 2008
- Announced significant product improvements
- Converted to greener internal operations
- Implemented Web page providing go-green guidance
- Forged alliance with Arbor Day Foundation
- OEM relationship with Toshiba America
inFORM Decisions, a provider of document and banking automation solutions, reported exceeding its revenue and profitability goals for 2008 in a market defined by demands for rapid return on investment for IT expenditures. Document and banking automation solutions can eliminate paperwork throughout the enterprise, significantly decreasing costs in report, document, and check-writing operations, all the while improving security and compliance, according to the company.
inFORM Decisions experienced a third straight year of both revenue and profitability growth in 2008 with both product groups being well-received and adopted by users of the IBM System i/Power Systems platforms. Product improvements and a new product bulletin delivered additional capabilities in the company's iDocs and iChecks product groups. Additionally, IFD converted its internal operations to go green and launched its IFD Green Page as a resource for other organizations planning to go green. An alliance with Arbor Day Foundation was formed to support reforestation in the U.S. and strengthen relationships with inFORM's clients. Finally, the company renewed a previous OEM relationship with Toshiba America that is expected to lead to significant business for both companies.
inFORM Decisions was founded in 1994 to provide powerful solutions addressing the growing need to efficiently manage paper workloads in all aspects of the enterprise. inFORM is dedicated to helping its clients to distribute electronically all custom forms, reports, and checks; automate funds transmissions with security, as well as, generally email; fax; bar code, laser print and MICR generate documents.
Relevance to the Economy
"inFORM's iDocs document automation and iChecks banking automation solutions are producing payback periods of two to six months," reports Dan Forster, inFORM Decisions president. "Once the paperwork is decreased and the initial investment is paid for, these savings drop straight to the bottom line in a world where profitability is critical to survival in today's highly threatened economy. These rapid payback periods are a very healthy sign for our industry and highlight an area where iSeries shops can make a significant contribution to their companies' profitability."
Product Improvements in 2008
iDocs engine improvements--Improved logic in the intelligent iDocs engine (document processor) now handles multi-dimensional tests for page-by-page document routing flexibility.
A preprocessor SCS engine has been developed that sorts, bursts, routes and re-combines spool files on a page-by-basis in an SCS format for simple report distribution applications or to add an even higher level of document distribution when integrated with iDocs.
iView iSeries native Web based document archive and retrieval-Expanded iView's state-of-the-art virtual folder technology to support PHP subroutines and provide extreme flexibility for organizing and browsing iSeries document folders in an intelligible way through a Web portal.
iView related document search enhancement-provides cross/multi archive search capability for document retrieval. A defined piece of data can automatically pull all documents related to that piece of data. Example: a drop ship order might have an ORDER# that can retrieve the related invoice, PO, shipping document, etc.
New iView interface-customizable menu so that customers can integrate iView into their company inter/intranet Web sites with their logo, colors, and unique branding.
iView Scanning Import Function- nterface for any scanner plus software to bring scanned-in documents under inFORM's world of document management.
"Snap-on" integration to inFORM's iDocs suite of products.
iMap--inFORM Decision's unique GUI mapping utility to map spool data to locations on the form saw a number of significant improvements, including text wrapping, dragging fields, multi-select fields and more.
Orlando Ferrer, inFORM Decisions vice president of operations, managed the company's effort to become more environmentally sensitive in 2008. "We looked at all aspects of the business and successfully converted from a carbon-pumping organization with no awareness of its effect on the environment to one that has minimum negative impact on the world around us including a much smaller carbon footprint." The results of what the company learned in this effort are described in its IFD Green Page (www.informdecisions.com/trees).
"Clients benefit in two ways," notes Ferrer, "first, there's the obvious fact that our document and banking automation solutions drastically reduce production and handling costs for paper documents and checks. Second, we are working hard to provide our clients with printer supplies that have minimal impact on the planet, including the use of biodegradable printer supplies through our Supplies Division at http://www.informdecisions.com/content_html/printer-supplies.html."
Arbor Day Foundation Alliance
In the fourth quarter, IFD formed an alliance with Arbor Day Foundation (http://www.arborday.org/), a leading conservation organization that protects and restores both old growth and new forest resources. inFORM now participates in the foundation's Gift of Trees Program to provide trees for reforestation whenever a customer makes a purchase.
"It's amazing how much in alignment the goals of our iDocs suite are with the goals of the Arbor Day Foundation," remarked Ferrer. "It was a perfect choice for our client recognition program and early results indicate they appreciate being part of the battle to save our forests."
Revenue and profits at the company have increased steadily during the past three years. Due to the company's efforts to go green, operating savings resulted from changes in servers and PCs that lowered power costs. A switch to telecommuting dropped travel and commute costs. These and other benefits from going green generated improved gross margins, lower operating costs, and less pressure on cash flow. This made more funds available for research and stepped-up product enhancements.
Overall, profits exceeded expectation by eight percent. Margins improved mostly because operating costs fell by fifteen percent. No reductions in staff occurred. "The lower operating costs grew strictly out of improved business operations stemming mostly from the company's go-green initiative," said Forster. "We could not afford to lose any of our highly-trained specialists who work in product development and who are deep into document automation technology.
"Financially, we anticipate a strong year ahead for software products designed to reduce or eliminate paperwork while delivering a rapid ROI," said Forster. "The promise of reduced operating costs will drive even greater investments in going paperless in 2009."
Mike Donckels, national sales manager for IFD, said, "2008 without question was our best in recent years. Despite negative daily economic news, we are finding our clients and partners are still actively identifying document automation needs."
Toshiba OEM Agreement
The company also renewed a longstanding OEM relationship with Toshiba America that will have both companies bringing Toshiba's powerful multi-function digital (copy/print/scan/fax) type devices into the IBM midrange server market thereby simplifying connectivity.
inFORM Decisions Products
inFORM Decisions Products are broken into two primary product families:
Document Automation Solutions
This integrated suite of solutions to go paperless includes iDocs, iForms, iMail, iFax, and iView. As a bundle, this is called the iDocs suite which features IFD's SmartRouting, or the ability to route documents on a page-by-page basis via email, fax, printer or archive.
Banking Automation Solutions
These products showcase iChecks laser MICR security check printing, support improved security, paperless funds transmission, compliance and decreased costs associated with payment processes.
For more information about how the company views the document automation market, how to reduce operating costs with document and banking automation, or how to reduce your organization's carbon footprint, contact Dan Forster.