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40 Years of DocTech - A Look Back at Our Journey

Laura Bulmer Author: Laura Bulmer   |    On: Friday May 24, 2024

As DocTech celebrates 40 years in business, we wanted to look back over this time and share with you how it all started, where our relationship with DocuWare began and how things have changed since 1984.

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DocTech founder Les Wilson was made redundant along with all his colleagues from a technology company. With a background in IT and sales, he decided to set up DocTech.  The business started out as an office supplies company in Bury, Greater Manchester and saw some real success. 

In these early years, DocTech provided anything that an office based business would want to purchase, but quickly started to specialise in print, IT equipment and software.
DocTech became the sole UK distributor of scanner and printer parts for a very well-known printer company.
After a family holiday in Florida, Les’ business partner John Hessian, had a chance meeting and came back as the sole distributor for a document management software package known as File Magic, owned by Westbrook Technologies. 
The management team were aware that office supplies was a dwindling industry as the popularity of computers and then laptops increased.  After attending a variety of conferences and events, they came up with the idea of offering document scanning to organisations that needed to gain back office space and convert paper records onto floppy disks.
This service was offered to a wide variety of businesses for many years, subsequently moving on to scanning to CDs and then to USB.
DocTech attended a CeBit conference in Germany looking for new software solutions.  A chance meeting with the founders of DocuWare was the start of a fantastic business partnership between DocuWare and DocTech.  
DocuWare had been around a few years at this point but didn’t have any presence in the UK.  This was about to change as DocTech became the sole distributor of DocuWare in the UK and Ireland – effectively becoming DocuWare UK and Ireland.  It was decided that DocTech would sell direct and develop a partner channel.
We carried out our very first DocuWare installation with a National Nature Reserve.  The project involved digitising old documents and creating a working digital document management provision for documents such as membership forms.
We installed our document management software for a large UK heat treatment specialist who remain our longest standing client to date.
As with most document management projects at that time, (which were still very rare), the focus was trying to reduce the physical storage space required to house their paper documents.  
During the nineties, we built a reputation in the document management space as being specialists in providing software solutions to digitise documents whilst automating business processes.
Ruban Rajasooriyar joined the firm as a graduate and started assisting on numerous large scale scanning projects, mostly for public sector clients.
He quickly became involved in the technical projects offered by DocTech, many of which involved DocuWare installations and support.
Ruban has been involved in every implementation, and provided support to our DocuWare clients since 2001.  He continues to do so but has now built a team around him.   We have a variety clients of who have worked with Ruban for over 20 years. 
Ruban met the team at Kodak Alaris at a document management conference where both companies learnt about what the other does, and spoke about how they could successfully work together. 
Kodak Alaris is a leading provider of information capture solutions, award-winning scanners and software.  All document management projects start with high-quality, scanned documents and with this in mind, a partnership was formed. 
Eight years later, Ruban became Managing Director.  DocTech continued to offer DocuWare alongside other solutions to enhance business processes.  Ruban simultaneously focused on growing the DocTech team as well as being hands on with the clients.
As cloud software was gaining more popularity, we implemented our first DocuWare cloud installation in 2016.  It was for a large hospitality chain who still use the system today.  DocuWare cloud provided this client with a simple and hassle free way to store and manage their information, whilst having secure access from anywhere in the world.
Also in 2016, we relocated a fourth time from our existence to Bury which is still our head office today.  The move was driven by the need for better facilities and access to accommodate our growing team.
The COVID pandemic hit and our staff had to work from home which was up and running over night.  We also helped the majority of our clients to get their teams working remotely.  It was at this time many of our clients realised how vital their document management system was, enabling them to switch to home working with ease.  
Once the crisis eased, hybrid working became the norm for us and the flexibility is something the team enjoy.  Working from home when needed had always been offered, but it is now much more structured and pre-planned.
This year we are celebrating 40 years in business and the world of document management is a very different place.  We no longer need to educate clients and prospects on what digital document management is as most already know.
Our longest standing client from back in 1998 is still using our software today for handling multiple document-based processes such as delivery notes, purchase invoices, customer service records and contracts.
Throughout our 40 years, we have offered a variety of solutions to our clients both directly and through our partner base, giving us the ability to meet a range of requirements.  We became known as DocuWare specialists very early in the world of digital document management. 
DocTech continue to have clients all over the UK and Ireland and across all industries and departments.  
Ruban, DocTech's Managing Director said:

“We don’t just simply replace paper-based systems anymore, we are now heavily involved in the full business process automation. This is due to the continual evolving software capabilities coupled with our clients increasing expectation levels for driving efficiency and lowering costs.”

We have a very structured way of engaging and guiding organisations through the implementation process and we continually work on improvements.  We find that our experience leads to us working on complex document management and automation projects, which include technical intricacies such as high-level data capture and integrations with other systems.
We believe our high level of client retention is a key demonstration of our success.  Offering great solutions delivered by a knowledgeable and approachable team ensures our clients are happy and engaged with us.  This is testament to the leadership team as well as the quality and experience of our staff, many of which have been with us for a number of years.
We provide a range of different solutions and continue to enjoy a great relationship with the DocuWare team.  The solution remains a key product for us and providing DocuWare is a huge part of our success.
We are proud of the way DocTech has adapted to market changes, increased competition and continual complex requirements.  We have a great team in place and a huge variety of clients which ensures our staff are continually challenged. 

Thank you to all our staff, clients, suppliers and partners for their input, time, effort and knowledge over the last 40 years.  DocTech couldn't be where it is today without you.

Contact us now for more information 0161 647 7040