WesternIM: Helping companies around the world organize their files
In 2005, Darryl Schroeder and Rick Stirling left their full-time jobs in record management to create software to help companies organize their files. From warehouses filled with filing cabinets to computer files saved across many systems and locations, they needed robust solutions to tackle this important problem. They partnered with Brian Heinz to help with business development and Troy Sawyer a software developer and created WesternIM.
“Many companies need records management so that they can more easily find their needed current and historical files,” shares Heinz. “Not only does our system help them find the files they need, it also helps them organize their systems and delete files that are unnecessary.”
Heinz continues, “In 2018, we had just finished a number of projects. We detailed 90,000 boxes of records in 118 locations across Saskatchewan and created automated tools to make the project profitable. We built the software and then used it again for taking care of the physical file management for an insurance company. We knew this would work for us internally, as well as help out other companies that wanted to use the system.”
As they tackled large-scale projects for organizations around the world, they created software that could be used by smaller companies to organize their files, with a price point to match. “We chose to price our software for under $10,000, which is unheard of in our industry,” Heinz explains.
WISPER is a tool that helps small and medium-sized businesses inventory, classify, reorganize and migrate their files. “The WISPER tool allows companies to get an inventory of all their existing documents using a safe passive process that requires no physical movement of documents or files,” he explains. “Oftentimes, people want to get rid of files but no one wants to touch them in case something important is lost. WISPER allows a company to go through the files and decide which to keep and which to destroy. Typically, there are about 40% of files that are destroyed and the rest can be moved to a secure location.”
The team also tackled another issue for the records management industry. Documentum is a common software that is used by large corporations to store tens of millions of records. The WesternIM team built Outlook Connector (WCO) to make it easy for average employees to work with Documentum without leaving their Microsoft Outlook mailbox. The solution has created happy clients, including an international shipping company who migrated 3.2 million files from multiple locations into their repository over a two month period.
“The important thing about WCO is that it enables users to have better access to information. Corporate records are filed in a more timely way and everybody is happy. The magic happens right inside someone’s inbox instead of opening another program,” says Heinz.
“It’s about improving processes so that people and technology can do things better. It’s that three-way formula that’s been very successful for us,” smiles Heinz. “Our passive approach to records management is enabling companies to better manage information at less cost than ever before.”
As WesternIM grows their user base, they plan to build their company from Saskatoon. “Saskatchewan people have a tremendous work ethic. Combined with great education opportunities and a very modern, relaxed lifestyle this province is an ideal place to have a company.”
Western Information Management
105 – 110 Research Drive