Software hard work: Entrepreneurs bring products to market
Service offers help to better manage documents and business
Phil Castle, The Business Times
Ricky Houtris likes to ask rhetorical questions that start “Wouldn’t it be great if …”
Wouldn’t it be great if a business could easily access all of its documents on computer rather than searching through filing cabinets? Wouldn’t it be great if information in those documents could be combined to quickly provide data about everything from revenues and expenses to fleet maintenance and work schedules? And wouldn’t it be great if documents were stored on the Internet, safe from theft or fire?
The answers are yes, of course, and point out what Houtris touts as the benefits of document management software the Grand Junction entrepreneur has developed over the past six years.
DocSavy remains in the testing stage for now. In fact, Houtris is looking for businesses interested in using DocSavy for free in exchange for providing feedback on the service and training materials.
But Houtris hopes to bring DocSavy to market by the second quarter of next year with online sales of what he believes to be a service that will offer businesses of all sorts and sizes a way to better manage their documents and, as a result, their operations.
DocSavy is the latest venture for Houtris, who also serves as principal owner along with Phil Herrera of 2H Mechanical,
a mechanical contracting company based in Grand Junction.
Over the course of a varied career, Houtris also has worked as a director of engineering in Spain and chief engineer for the world’s largest out-soured engineering company, which serves the automotive industry and other industries.
Earlier in his life, Houtris worked in his native England as an automotive mechanic and for a time with his father’s plumbing business.
Working with computer software programmers, Houtris began developing DocSavy in 2007 to come up with a way to better manage documents.
DocSavy can accommodate documents and files of all formats and types, including e-mails, Houtris says. “If you can store it on a computer, you can store it in DocSavy.”
DocSavy categories documents by types that are grouped into classes. Document classes with values include information on buyers, sellers and the budget task to which a value pertain.
Documents with values are divided among four basic categories: offers, orders, payment applications and payments. These categories each have three states: an initial state, a desirable outcome and undesirable outcome. The four categories and three states create 12 statuses that can be used in creating document types.
With 12 statuses for documents involving company purchases and 12 more for documents involving sales, up to 24 different math columns can be displayed for all folders in a log for a given folder at any given status.
Using navigation tools similar to those found in Windows Explorer as well as various filters, it’s possible to produce various list of documents as well as the total values in those documents. Each individual document can be opened with a double click. If DocSavy were used to list unpaid supplier invoices, for example, the information then could be used to issue payments or reconcile financial statements.
Another feature of DocSavy can be used to store and track information about assets — vehicles or equipment, for example. That makes it easier to properly maintain fleets or locate a special tool when it’s needed.
The same type of function can be used to store and track information about customers and their assets — when equipment is installed, when maintenance should be conducted and what warranties remain in effect. That information can be used to schedule work.
DocSavy can be used to manage everything from assets and customer relationships to purchases and sales, Houtris says. And with the ability to monitor operations through a variety of documents, DocSavy makes it easier to see the big picture, he adds. “You’re looking at real numbers. It gives you just a level of continuous feedback.”
While other software is available to help manage separate business functions, DocSavy brings everything together. “Can you do it this easily? I don’t think you can.”
Because documents are stored online and off-site, there’s no threat of loss if a computer is stolen or, worse still, a fire breaks out in a business.
Houtris has used DocSavy at 2H Mechanical since November and says he’s been pleased with the results. Mountain Air Mechanical, a mechanical contracting company in Rifle, has been using DocSavy since January.
Two more companies have joined in a pilot project to test DocSavy and the materials that train them to use the service. Houtris considers training critical. “It’s all about the training. The training is what’s going to make the product a viable product.”
While Houtris says he’s busy for now with the two companies, he hopes to involve other small to medium-sized businesses in the program.
Because DocSavy can be easily customized, the service can be useful to any business that buys and sells things, Houtris says — in other words, nearly every business.
Houtris hopes to be able to start selling DocSavy online by the second quarter of 2014. He expects to keep the initial price as low as possible to promote fast growth in the base of users.
He’s looking for customers who also like to ask questions that start with “Wouldn’t it be great if …”
For more information about DocSavy, including the pilot program testing the service, send an e-mail to Katie Bock at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.docsavy.com.