Improving the process

02 November 2016

Greg Allen / CEO, Winscribe

Originally a voicemail software developer, Winscribe began building networked digital dictation systems across PDA devices. In 1995, the first release of Winscribe Dictation came at a time when computer networking was very new. Twenty years on, we’re still leading innovation in our field of expertise.

Adapting our business model as we’ve grown has been instrumental to our success. Winscribe set up a local UK reseller in 2001 and expanded rapidly into the US in 2003. In this startup phase, with limited access to investment capital, we leveraged a distributor/reseller network that’s still with us today.

In our present phase of growth, we’re focusing on developing a rhythm, using a business coach and working to a defined methodology that focuses on people, strategy, execution and cash. We now actively export our software to Australia, the UK, the US, France and Switzerland, and have installations in Hong Kong, the UAE and throughout Europe. 
Diversity in our global markets has helped us thrive under a range of conditions. Our sales mix has traditionally consisted of healthcare and legal. Markets move at different paces and with different drivers. We’re seeing solid growth in Australia and the UK; and our near-term potential growth interest is in Europe and the US with Winscribe Text, our next-generation voice and document workflow solution. Healthcare is an exciting market at present with considerable room for innovation, but we continue to have success with legal, law enforcement, insurance and councils.
Challenges come from many directions...The key to overcoming these has been to believe in our business, to make the tough decisions, to ‘pivot and turn’, and to get up and keep going. 
Challenges come from many directions. We’ve occasionally got ahead of ourselves and not every idea hits payday. What we’ve learnt is that as an exporter, you need to be able to discern between ideas that are good and those that are both good and commercially viable. 
Other times we’ve been the victim of outside events such as the GFC and legislation changes. The key to overcoming these has been to believe in our business, to make the tough decisions, to ‘pivot and turn’, and to get up and keep going. 
For us, managing change is also about establishing core customers in each region, developing close relationships with these customers to ensure our products meet local needs, which is instrumental to our innovation cycle. It’s vital that we talk to them about their own challenges and how we might solve these, and to carefully assess the commercial viability of the ideas we devise.
New Zealand Trade &Enterprise has also added value in terms of networking, market research and market development. In the past, they have helped Winscribe through their extensive network connections in Australia at a government level. More recently, NZTE joint-funded a market research exercise in the US, which was extremely useful in helping us understand the benefits we could bring to the highly competitive healthcare and legal spaces there.  
It’s key as our company grows to try and retain our Kiwi identity. We regularly circulate staff across the business. It helps us foster an understanding of culture, improve working relationships between staff, to learn from each another, and innovate together.
Greg Allen is CEO of Winscribe. The company develops workflow software that leverages voice recognition, enabling those in the legal, law enforcement and health environments to make more time for the work that counts.
This story was originally published in NBR