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Technology rules when tightening the belt

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“We changed boardroom management. And part of it was modernising processes,” he says.

“Larger companies find it more difficult to change quickly. Entrepreneurial companies, by their very nature, have to be more fleet of foot to take advantage of an upturn or a downturn. We’re forever looking at ways of making our internal processes more efficient.”

Ferguson set up Edotech, a transactional document processing solutions unit, for Barclays Bank in the mid nineties and, in 1999, led an MBO for the venture. Five years later he sold the company to business support services group Astron for £130m. He became CEO of EDM in 2006.

Ferguson says for companies that use a lot of paper, such as those setting up new customers, implementing document management solutions is another way to ramp down costs as times get tougher.

“It’s not expensive and most companies get payback in less than six months," according to Ferguson. "We reckon the average saving is about 40 per cent a year.”

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