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Tangible Benefits from Bits and Bytes

by | Mar 30, 2011

I’ve been working with high technology companies that develop and market software (predominantly) for the past twenty years. I have often thought that I’d like to work for a firm that makes something more tangible, that people immediately grasp the concept of…we make hammers! But then I started working here at Snowbound, and I know two things; our applications help people and their businesses every day, and for the first time in quite a while (other than when I’m consulting on my own) I’m enjoying my job.

When I had my phone interview with Simon Wieczner, the president here at Snowbound, we established a good rapport pretty quickly. After chatting about experience and ourselves a bit, I asked him what the company did in more detail. He explained to me about the document and image viewers and converters the company develops; both off-the-shelf applications as well as toolkits for customers to create their own solutions for integration into their systems. From a product perspective, that is what we do – but in the real world we help people do their jobs better, so that they in turn can help others…

For example, for healthcare providers, our viewer enables doctors, nurses and administrative staff the ability to quickly and securely access patient medical records via any PC Web browser. A colleague wrote a blog for this site about taking his girlfriend to the emergency room of the same hospital several times, and having to fill out the same paperwork each time! Very unnecessary! Having this information at the fingertips of administrative and medical personnel saves time while enhancing patient care. Not to mention how having  health data such as chronic disorders, allergy disclosures and other historical medical records information could save treatment time and potentially lives.

In another scenario, an insurance client has implemented our viewer to streamline the processing of insurance claims to provide better customer service – and get checks to their customers more quickly – very advantageous to auto, home and business owners. Viewing technology expedites claim processing in a number of ways including an easy to use built-in toolset including automated annotation and redaction features enabling users to highlight areas where action needs to be taken, and protect sensitive information respectively.

In the financial services industry, electronic document viewers enable faster and easier processing for a number of form types in a variety of industries. Instead of searching through paper forms, Web-based viewers enable loan professionals to locate, view and expedite mortgages and other loan documents online, providing more accurate and streamlined processing for enhanced productivity, cost savings and customer service.

We can even help companies with online portals for customer access to check the status of orders and shipments. Manitoulin Transport, a large Canadian freight and transportation firm, implemented a Web portal using Snowbound’s viewing technology to provide their customers with real-time access to shipping order status. Documents incorporated into the system include bills of lading, proofs of delivery and invoices – all to provide customers with high-speed access to the information they want and need.

I’m not trying to sound like an advertisement for my company, just being appreciative of being in a business that has measureable results for speeding up processes that actually help professionals do their jobs more easily – while at the same time directly assisting their customers, or in the case of the healthcare industry, helping their patients. And while it’s not quite as obviously tangible as manufacturing hammers, the resulting benefits make me feel proud.