Standard Forms Inc. (formerly Forms & Peripherals) merger and acquisition

Background & Challenge:

When we first met Forms & Peripherals, they were a $6 million company that used a mixture of manual processes and outsourced service bureau work to manage critical accounting and business functions. Tom D'Agostino, President, had two visions:

  1. First, to create a computerized "Electronic Form Management System" for the paper industry. Such a system would allow Forms & Peripherals' clients (large Wall Street brokerage houses, banks, and major hospitals) to:
    • store their printed forms in Forms & Peripherals' warehouse;
    • control the release of inventory through remote computer access;
    • retrieve accurate cost accounting broken down by departmental usage.
  2. Next, to acquire the company's competitors through merger & acquisition, and use the resulting expanded sales force to sell Forms & Peripherals' "Electronic Form Management System."

Due to technological limitations in 1987, Tom's vision presented a number of obstacles. Hardware limitations at the time made it difficult to manage and securely segment separate inventory data for each client. In addition, the need to integrate the varied computer systems (which accompanied each acquisition) compounded the technical complexity of the new "Electronic Form Management System."

Solution:

  1. SMC Data designed and developed the "Electronic Form Management System" -- a breakthrough in the industry. When this pioneering software was announced at the National Paper Trade Show, it immediately received favorable reviews, and as a result, Form & Peripherals had a full year's advantage over the industry's largest competitors, who were busy developing software based on the same concept.
  2. Through the use of secure usernames and passwords for clients, SMC Data resolved the issue of segmenting client inventory
  3. Based on the success and recognition of the "Electronic Form Management System," SFI acquired its largest competitor, Standard Forms Inc (SFI), which was three times its size. Over the course of one year, SMC Data integrated SFI's computer system with Form & Peripheral's computer software.
  4. The growing demand for the "Electronic Form Management System" from a nationwide client-base required the power of three microprocessors communicating in real time. The main AS/400 host computer was located in Norfolk VA, and two others were S/36 machines in New York City. SMC Data's achievement of this task was even more striking due to the technology limitations in the early nineties. The achievement was recognized widely by the computer industry and in 1992 the computer trade magazine "3X/400 Information Management" published an article praising SMC Data's work.

Results:

Over the next 7 years, whenever Forms & Peripherals (now SFI) acquired another company, SMC Data planned and implemented all technology integration for the merger. The end result: Forms & Peripherals, which started as a $6 million company, grew to become SFI, a $45 million industry powerhouse.

Read Thomas D'Agostino's letter to IBM thanking them for recommending SMC Data.





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