Passion for the craft is abundant at DataBank and our October Industry Innovator is a great example of that. Kathy Berger, Director of Business Development, is a passionate changemaker with years of experience accelerating digital journies across nearly every industry.
See what she thinks will challenge the industry over the next year, how it has changed, and an exciting new project she has coming down the pike.
What led you down your career path?
Right out of college I sold computers (terminals and PC’s please don’t laugh) kicking off a lifelong interest in technology and automation. I have been self-employed most of my working career, founding a micrographics records management company with my brother Butch in 1989. He and I built it from 0 to a multi-million dollar company expanding into document scanning and document storage. We laugh about that time as we were both young and fearless, there were many bumps in the road. We sold our company to Lason in 1999.
From there I co-founded HuePhoria, a glassware Import, and manufacturing company, sold in 2012. The next step was start-up consulting with Capital Blue Cross exploring telehealth business opportunities (hindsight: that was ahead of the curve). When our oldest daughter started college in 2014, I took a position at DataBank. Opportunity paired with lifestyle and talking to everyone about everything created a very fun career journey. I am a fanatic about white-glove customer service experiences and continuous personal development.
How you would explain your job to someone who knows nothing about it?
I humanize data and document management solutions. We take paper and labor-intensive processes and streamline with technology.
What is something you thought you knew about the industry and later realized you were wrong?
I thought a lot had changed since my departure from the data and document automation Industry In 1999. I quickly realized In 2014 when starting at DataBank I could give the same “paperless” presentation today that I gave 20 years ago. That was a big surprise.
Tell us about a recent project that you are proud of.
Learning to drive a big tractor to help clear some land my hubby and I just bought. The biggie at DataBank is the pending launch of ScanDirect for our partners at KYOCERA. In my new role as Director for KDA Sales Development, we are constantly looking for ways to engage the 400 dealers and 11 subsidiaries in offering our services (OnBase, PS, and BPA) to their customers. ScanDirect (the brainchild of Randall Smith) is a very simple, per box digitization program. Easy to understand, a great lead into other ECM conversations.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
Fear of change. I would continue to simplify the approach to identifying and implementing automation solutions. I see customers freeze when faced with changing their status quo or get nervous about losing their job to automation. We work hard to communicate that our solutions allow people to be more productive IN their current job. Transforming that prospective customer into a champion of change is a fun challenge.
What are three things that you think will shape the industry in the next 6-12 months?
I think we will continue to be challenged with…
- Providing hard numbers to justify large projects
- Large BPA projects becoming accelerated due to the need to get out of expensive, urban space and go paperless.
- Robotics and automation, customers are much more savvy about digital solutions than even a few months ago.
What are the most common challenges you are helping to solve in the industry?
Fitting project goals with the project budget. Going down the rabbit hole of understanding a current, inefficient process and coming back out of the hole with a mutually satisfactory solution. Making informed decisions with “apples to apples” comparisons. Helping the customer understand that our project assumptions will likely change as we get into the actual project without scaring them into doing nothing.
In your opinion, what makes DataBank different than other players in the space?
The teamwork, deep bench of industry vertical solution experts, responsiveness, subject matter expertise, and maintaining a sense of humor. Our agnostic approach to solutions is very appealing to customers. My fav line “I can’t demonstrate anything until I understand what you need”.
What are three things you want your prospective clients to know – not about DataBank – more broadly about the industry?
1. The advantages of a digital environment
2. The fundamentals of how to get started with digital transformation
3. Continuous Improvement – understanding It is an ongoing step by step process for automation
Describe your career in five words and provide helpful advice to others
Rewarding, challenging, dynamic, varied, fun. At the end of the day….It is just business so keep your sense of humor. Be nice, be kind, be patient, and sincerely caring. Be respectful of your time and the time of others. Communicate constantly whether good or bad (bad does not get better with time) return every email and call promptly and you will be exceptional.