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An Entrepreneur’s Challenge

Our Story

Introduction: The Power of Challenges in Innovation

Many products are developed because of the challenges faced by the entrepreneur or inventor. For instance, the renowned story of how 3M’s Art Fry created his Post-it Notes shows that problems and pain points are great sources of inspiration for innovation.

From Serial Entrepreneur to Innovative Problem Solver

The same goes for our founder, Teng Yeow. As a serial entrepreneur with multiple businesses, Teng Yeow knows a thing or two about creating solutions that resolve challenges faced by entrepreneurs.

Many years ago, when Teng Yeow began his entrepreneurial journey as a business owner with a two-man team, he found himself having to juggle multiple roles: he was the salesperson trying to secure clients, the delivery man fulfilling client’s orders, the finance manager ensuring timely billing to customers and prompt payments to suppliers and employees.

This was frustrating to him because driving revenue and profit for his business should be his priority. Instead, he found himself busy filing accounting documents such as receipts and invoices. Yet, he had no choice, as managing and ensuring a positive cash flow was critical to his business’s success and sustainability.

When the time came for Teng Yeow to consolidate and prepare the financial statements at the end of the financial year, it took him months to figure out where he kept the various documents as he didn’t have a proper filing system.

Birth of ASSIST: Simplifying Small Business Management

That’s when Teng Yeow thought there should be a better, fuss-free small business management software system to help entrepreneurs like him organise documents easily. To this end, the idea of ASSIST was born. And with that seed of the idea, he nurtured it into a full-fledged system that could digitally capture and store financial documents as and when they are received.

ASSIST, a Digital Archival System, automatically organises documents according to different categories, such as Receipts, Invoices, Accounts Payables and Account Receivables, to facilitate quick document and data retrieval.

Simplicity in Action: Capturing and Storing with Ease

The concept is a simple one—users take a mobile phone camera to capture a photo of the document to be filed and immediately send it for digital storage. And here’s what unique about ASSIST; instead of using a mobile app—which we already have too many on our devices—users only need an email app to submit the images. Since most devices already have an email app and most users are already familiar with it, it is the easiest way to send the image without forcing users to download and learn another app.

By using machine learning, the system would learn how people work instead of having people adapt to the system. From the submitted images, the system would recognise critical data fields in the documents that are useful for supporting business operations.

Eventually, users will be able to interact with the system by “speaking” naturally to it. For example, queries on which bills need to be paid or the total expenditure for the month can be made by simply asking the system through email or WhatsApp, and it will “reply” accordingly.

Embracing Challenges: Paving the Way for Entrepreneurial Success

The entrepreneurial path is not for the faint-hearted, and those who take it must be willing to embrace challenges. For Teng Yeow, he was able to turn some of these challenges faced by entrepreneurs into an innovative solution that can help other small businesses increase business efficiency and employee productivity and find success in the entrepreneurial landscape.

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