In a Vertical-Obsessed Climate, HMB Focuses on Business Problems


A conversation with HMB Capture Division President John Paider and Sales and Marketing Director Alan Minton

Fast Facts
Locations: Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, HMB also has a presence in Louisville, Kentucky
Services: Over 20 years of experience providing IT consulting, project management, enterprise content management, and systems integration sales and services 
Hardware Partners: Canon, Kodak, Fujitsu, Panasonic and Xerox
Software Partners: ImageSilo, Kofax, OpenText, Panini, Visioneer, Topaz Systems Inc.

“We don’t focus on verticals,” said Alan Minton, HMB sales and marketing director. “Instead, we look at a company’s business problems.” 

The longer I talked with the folks at HMB, the more convinced I became that vertical-based selling strategies don’t capture a client’s specific needs. After all, just because different organizations share a vertical market, doesn’t mean they share the same problems. In making this same realization, HMB forged a sales model that focuses on identifying and fixing specific business problems more so than on vertical markets.   

Despite their differences, businesses across the board share a common desire to improve operational efficiency. “We have a product portfolio that satisfies the universal interest of reducing operational costs while boosting efficiency in various areas of the document capture and enterprise content management space,” said Minton.     

Among the many hardware and software solutions offered up by the Columbus, Ohio-based business technology firm are platforms from industry leaders in the ECM market. “We don’t sell products we don’t believe to be the best in the industry,” said HMB Capture Division President John Paider. 

Minton and Paider attributed part of HMB’s success to its partnerships, adding, “We have tight partner alliances and great relationships with OpenText and Kofax.” The company is a platinum partner with OpenText, and a diamond partner with Kofax.
Aside from their ventures in software solutions, the company also offers managed services, as well as hardware from partners Fujitsu, Panasonic, Kodak, Canon, and Xerox. 

HMB fixes its ears on its customers’ issues, seeking to understand their business goals and IT objectives, define their expectations, and assess their current IT environment. Once they have zeroed in on an organization’s pain points, they comb through their product portfolio, recommending the appropriate solution to solve their client’s problem. 

Minton and Paider gave an example of the strategy in practice, explaining how a government agency was having problems with document capture and process management. “Their primary problem was that too much of the capture process was manual, which led to high labor costs and opportunity for error,” said Minton. Ultimately, HMB concluded that its client could benefit from Kofax Transformation Modules (KTM), a capture and process management platform that automates document classification, page separation, data extraction, and validation capabilities, as well as provide businesses with capabilities to manage custom workflows. Not only did KTM lower the agency’s cost of operation, but it allowed the agency to operate at a higher level of efficiency.         

Continuing on the theme of government customers, the executives recalled a bid where, “HMB needed to meet certain objectives – specifically, to reduce the client’s dependency on telephone lines while keeping the system on-premises.” 

The company’s solution was to deploy RightFax Connect, which facilitates the integration of cloud-based delivery with RightFax server. “Their request required a solution flexible enough to fit into their ‘Goldilocks-zone’. Fortunately, RightFax Connect was a perfect fit, and they were able to maintain the software on their servers and within their firewalls in order to manage their specific security and regulatory compliance requests,” said Paider. HMB was able to reduce the agency’s fax costs associated with fax machines, telephony infrastructure, and related maintenance and support.        
Making software-only sales isn’t the only goal for HMB. “Obviously, the capture process starts with the scanner. From there, based on a client’s scan volume and additional capture capability needs, we sprinkle in software and connectors to address those needs,” said Minton. 
The folks at HMB also showed me that making sales isn’t the monolithic component to success I thought it was. “Sales is only half of it,” said Paider, adding, “the other half is about getting your customers up and running fast and ensuring a quick ROI”. Paider says HMB can deliver this because “we hire good engineers and make sure our sales people don’t overpromise anything to put our engineers in a position to fail.” In the end, Paider says that his customers are satisfied and, sooner or later, word spreads about HMB’s ability to help businesses thrive.       

If we can learn anything from history, then the future looks bright for HMB. “Over the past seven years, HMB has shown steady growth,” said Paider. “Two years ago, we branched out into the managed services space, which has sped up our revenue to the tune of 125 percent growth over the last 12 months,” added Minton. 

The steady pace is good for HMB and they are careful not to overextend themselves. “We haven’t oversold our products – especially in the managed services fields – so we can deliver on our promises,” said Paider.