Magazine article Information Today

Saztec International, Inc

Magazine article Information Today

Saztec International, Inc

Article excerpt

Saztec International, Inc.

The latest press release out of Saztec International's corporate headquarters states "Saztec International Continues Momentum in Second Quarter." Sounds impressive, but who is Saztec International and what do they do? That's exactly what I asked Thomas L. Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, when we sat down to talk.

In very broad terms, Saztec is in the business of database and information conversion. A conversion procedure requires many steps, from the original analysis of a client's needs to quality control after the conversion is completed. According to Reed, Saztec has the capabilities to provide complete service to their clients, from the beginning to the end of a project.

A quick run-down of a conversion would go something like this: Saztec begins a project with an analysis of the client's needs and then develops specifications for the project that detail the conversion requirements for the information base. Software is then designed to customize the needs of each particular project. Saztec then moves on to the designing mode which differs from every client depending on the particular need or application for the project. This can mean using microfilm to preserve information obtained from hard copy; using data entry to key in data to computer readable form; scanning to provide the client the option of optical or image scanning; programming information to reformat existing data; clerical coding to identify specific fields of data; or editing to modify data that has already been converted. The company then formats and prints the final output and reports the results that show changes or deletions in hardcopy. The output can be printed out, provided on a magnetic media, transmitted directly to a customer's computer site or any combination of these services. The quality control step checks for errors to ensure the client has accurate information in the conversion.

Now that we've taken an overall look at what Saztec actually does, let's look at who they are and how they came about. Saztec was founded in August 1976 by Alan Fraser, a New Zealand entrepreneur. After leaving the New Zealand Army in the late sixties, Fraser went to work for IBM in New Zealand. After several years of selling mainframes and date entry he decided he would rather start his own company than work for someone else. Enter the entrepreneur. After initial success with one of his inventions, Fraser moved on to Sydney, Australia to set up a data-entry business.

When Fraser and Reed met up with each other in 1977, Saztec was doing about $1 million worth of business, servicing customers in Australia, Singapore, and the United States by brokering for data-entry shops in the Philippines and Singapore. Reed was working in California for a company called Scan-Data when Fraser walked in one day soliciting business.

Fraser and Reed went on to have several successful business dealings. In 1978, when Fraser decided to expand his presence in the U.S., he approached Reed. And the rest is history.

Since the company went public almost four years ago, over-the-counter trading of Saztec shares has reflected the highs and lows the company has experienced. After experiencing some losses, fiscal year 1989 showed a $1 million profit. …

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