Document scanning, imaging and conversion company The DRS Group recently expanded its footprint into Puerto Rico, with the acquisition of Pro Image Corporation, for an undisclosed amount.
The New York-based company’s local market debut is the first step in a planned Caribbean expansion that will take it to the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Panama starting next year, The DRS Group President Clifford Newman, told News is my Business.
Furthermore, with its acquisition, The DRS Group comes into the market with built-in knowledge of the island’s public and private sector markets that Pro Image already has under its belt.
“The Caribbean expansion strategy for The DRS Group is based on the spoke and wheel plan. The wheel being a strong presence in Puerto Rico with spokes spreading out to places like the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Panama first and then into other Central and South American countries,” said Newman.
The implementation of new and stricter federal and state requirements for protecting customer and patient personal information, such as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Privacy and Security Rules (HIPAA), are increasing pressure on businesses, which are required to satisfy these regulations and protect the personal information of customers and patients.
““Puerto Rico as commonwealth has to comply with legislation regarding protection of personal information and The DRS Group is ready to provide insights, training and services to help the public and private sectors protect the integrity of data, expedite functions and have fast access to all their records,” said José Rivera, founder of Pro Image Corporation and vice president of The DRS Group Puerto Rico.
Furthermore, proper file management can result in savings of tens of thousands of dollars annually for the average business and governmental office with such document management requirements.
Citing industry standards, The DRS Group said each time that a clerk has to access records by hand, which could or could not be properly filed, the cost per file retrieval is equivalent to $20 per file when taking into account the employee’s salary and marginal benefits as well as the potential work flow interruption.
Caribbean ripe for opportunities
For the past 15 years, Pro Image has been providing file management technology for the healthcare, government and enterprise sectors, which it will continue to serve as The DRS Group. Within about a year, Newman said, the company expects to expand into the Dominican Republic, going into Haiti and Panama soon after.
“Our first target would be the Dominican Republic. The main reasons are the shared culture and proximity to Puerto Rico plus the favorable business climate there,” Newman said. “The DRS Group already has banking and industrial clients there. We also have the potential to work for the government on scanning projects.”
The DRS Group also sees potential in Haiti, especially in the wake of recent natural disasters that have left the country in need of technologies to manage files and vital documents.
“That makes [Haiti] a prime candidate to have government and industrial records scanned for safety and accessibility,” Newman noted. “Haiti also shares the island with the Dominican Republic and The DRS Group can provide services at reasonable costs benefiting as well the local market by creating additional skilled jobs.”
Meanwhile, Panama is also a lucrative proposition for the company, said Newman, because it is where “South and Central America come together… and has an excellent climate for business and with all the banks located there.”
The DRS Group branches operate as independent companies at each location.