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Vision to Value: Digital technology house turns paper into gold

In this digital age, paper has become inefficient, hard to track, and expensive to store. This is why many large organisations choose EDM to turn their paper trails into ones and zeroes. “Once you have the computer data, you can really start to apply intelligent processes to it.,” explains Sam Ferguson, chief executive of the firm.

“Taking paper out of offices alone reduces cost by 15pc. When you apply intelligent processes this significantly cuts back office costs, potentially saving our customers as much as 40pc.

The business started out as a small scanning bureau, but has evolved into a global technology leader, digitising a wide spectrum of data from Britain’s exam papers – it scans millions every year enabling online marking and instant access – to insurance claims in the US.

The business was backed by LDC in 2010, and it has since executed a buy and build strategy which has helped EDM go from £23m to £70m in turnover. “We now have more than 1,000 staff in the UK and around 500 in the US,” says Ferguson.  

LDC has supported the firm through a few “fits and starts”, he reveals. “One of our traditional print businesses in the US started to decline.  We introduced new services into that market which has helped grow our operating profit from £2m to £20m.”

The business is headquartered in London but operates production facilities in Stockport, Wolverhampton and Scotland. In the US, its HQ is in New York with outposts all over the country.

“We’re focusing hard on building our presence in the American market, which is 10 times bigger than ours,” says Ferguson. “Some of the US contracts we have in the pipeline are worth £10m. America is going to be huge for us.”

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