Simplifying work and reducing clutter through data digitization and organization
Michael Crincoli is president of The Neat Company. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Neat is dedicated to helping its customers become more organized so they can gain control over their documents, work more efficiently, and save time. The company’s scanners and software enable users to digitize key information from receipts, business cards, and other heterogeneous, paper-based forms of data. Neat integrates with various popular accounting and business software applications such as Microsoft Outlook, H&R Block, Quickbooks, and MailChimp.
EDWIN WARFIELD: Looking ahead, what are your objectives for the future of Neat?
MICHAEL CRINCOLI: For the remainder of 2017, we’re doing a lot of work on our product and our platform. Over the years, because we were a hardware manufacturer and we had a desktop application that was installed, we had thin clients; we have native mobile applications for the different platforms that are out there and a web application—it’s become a little fragmented dealing with all those different technologies and making it a little lethargic to bring applications out, because we have so many user interfaces to work with. The focus for 2017 is to consolidate that and simplify the application and focus on the web and mobile environments. In the meantime, we’re working on a new front end of the application, which should be released in beta early in 2018.
I talked a lot about the tasks that our end-users are solving, whether it be running expenses or publishing invoices into accounting systems; most of the application today is very much a folder-centric organization perspective—while that’s still important because it still grounds small businesses on where their data is and in the folders they are in, at the end of the day they’re accomplishing tasks. Part of the orientation change for the application is to invert that and make it more task-centric. Picture a dashboard, and you have invoices that were acquired over the last day or so, having a dashboard or location that puts that front and center—like, “these five new invoices are new—you need to take to action.” Making the tasks that people accomplish being the priority in the application, not necessarily the folder structure that we are giving them today. [The goal for] 2017 is to complete that journey, launch the new application into 2018.
We’ve also focused a lot on the customer segmentation and understanding our customer base, so bringing more features to solve more problems within that focus—we call it bookkeeping automation. The things that a small business needs to do every day to prepare themselves or manage their business, or prepare it for entry into the accounting systems, looking at ways that we can leverage our technology to continue to add value in automation and time savings in those equations. What that means from a product standpoint is expanding our feature set to add more capabilities from that perspective and then also looking at the different verticals and how they’re using the product to help position the market from that perspective.
We’re spending a lot more time talking vertically to the market, understanding the issues that they’re having, their pain points and how our product is being used today to solve them, and how we can make it better tomorrow to solve those.
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