When we started researching the opportunities for near-term diversification at Digital Check a year and a half ago, we certainly had no idea that the COVID-19 crisis was just around the corner, or that other related supply-chain and business behaviors would take such a dramatic turn. One of the tenets of our hypotheses for growth and diversification included the expansion of our strong reseller and banking channel sales models to include new markets like retail business, and the development of both direct selling and new business partnerships as sales channels. Audacious and somewhat off-putting objectives in 2020, the year of COVID, where in-person contact was so marginalized. Nonetheless, we forged ahead and continued to refine a multitude of ideas.
We charted the course to navigating into complementary or similar businesses, rather than launching a revolutionary new quest. We’d been studying for some time the notion that our end users and buyers who dealt with check transactions found a similar “nuisance” and cost challenge in managing cash payments and deposits as well. Solving for check and cash with imaging and automation technology became the charge.
As is often the case in strategic planning, we spent a fair amount of time on the ideas for products and services that we could offer, but even more time on whether a “build or buy” choice was better for our company. In that analysis, we spoke to our Customer Advisory Board, as well as many customers and partners in our existing network. Most saw the expansion into the cash management space as a natural extension of our knowledge and expertise.
In polling partners, including those we hold dear in the manufacturing space, we found ourselves continuously referencing a partner of 17 years for Digital Check, who not only knew our existing business (as a reseller and more) but who also had a budding software business in the cash automation space that seemed poised to flourish with the right leadership and investments. The cultures were complimentary, and when the COVID-19 dust began to settle this past February, it was a good time for an acquisition, and for the combination of forces between Benchmark Technology Group and Digital Check.
Both companies have software innovation labs and talent. Both have had storied histories in serving financial institutions. These synergies were clear. The old “one plus one equals three” objective went into motion, with BTG and DCC’s core businesses in banking hardware and related services helping to keep the lights on while the software division grows.
Now we’re back to charting new waters – bringing check and cash automation solutions into retail markets and going beyond the experience in serving FIs. We’ve had the fortunate experience of winning one of the largest entertainment and amusement franchises as a client, and the cash solutions we delivered (with some refinement, of course) continue to evolve to be problem-solvers in amusement and entertainment, in hospitality and services, and in specialty retail businesses.
Around 100 days after acquiring BTG, we’ve launched a new organization, Avivatech, that will continue to sell check and cash automation services to financial institutions and to select retail markets. Wherever the friction and costs of taking cash is a problem, Avivatech’s automation and enterprise dashboard solutions take the nuisance out of dealing with both cash and checks.
We’re still in the early stages of expanding into retail, but those markets are proving to be a natural fit. Over the coming months, we’re excited about introducing our cash management solutions to the Treasury groups of our bank customers as well. The ability to offer worthwhile solutions for their commercial customers (who, by the way, they have been using Digital Check scanner technology for their RDC solutions since 2004), and to expand their value to include better managing cash for those customers, is a perfect synergy for Avivatech and Digital Check.
We’re on the road again, with both a full schedule of Fall events and conferences, and time to give in-person demos and consultations – so stop by and see us or request a demonstration from our experts. We look forward to sharing and growing with you!