Brian Sewart, president of OnCourse Information Services Inc.

Brian Sewart


OnCourse Information Services Inc.

4066 N. Port Washington Road

Industry: Business process outsourcing

Number of Employees: 100

Family: Wife (Maggie) and four boys (Jimmy, Tommy, Oliver and Danny)

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?

“In 2009, we knew the economy was going to be tough on businesses and force them to look at ways to reduce costs. We focused our efforts on emphasizing that we have a cost-saving solution that streamlines internal processes that have a short and long term impact on cost and operational efficiencies. What’s even better is our solutions help organizations control their reliance for paper, eliminating waste which can positively impact our environment.”

What’s new at your company?

“OnCourse has recently improved our accounts payable solution to include full front-end data capture from invoices. Since paper can only be in one place at one time, capturing this data on the front-end allows our clients to have instant visibility to every invoice in their system. OnCourse can now complete all the tasks from opening the invoices as they come in, scanning, sorting, critical data capture (including line item details) to complete invoice workflow and routing requirements. This process is integrated with the clients accounting system for a seamless connection between processes performed by OnCourse. This enables our clients to concentrate on their core competencies instead of low value data entry functions. It also provides them with an online solution for tracking and managing invoices that helps cut the environmental and operational implications as well as the costs paper trails create.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“In 2009, we hired two additional business development managers to help get our message out to the marketplace and continued to tweak our software platforms to make them more user-friendly and feature-rich. In 2010, we plan to upgrade our network to help increase the speed at which we process our client’s critical documents.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“OnCourse needs to continue to get our message out to more companies and show how we help them reduce their operating expenses and increase operational efficiencies – and as a side benefit, reduce the amount of waste generated by requiring multiple paper documents and filing systems. We know we can help companies process their invoices faster than they are processing them today as well as manage information internally, yet they can be a little apprehensive about changing. And as we all know, getting an organization to recognize change as a good thing is difficult. Therefore, we are looking at new ways of communicating and will be bringing on a marketing professional to develop a proper and actionable plan.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“Outsourcing the front-end processing and data capture of the accounts payable process. Companies now more than ever are looking for ways to cut costs and provide their vendors with better service. We can help them do this. And let’s not forget that our information processing solutions are environmentally-friendly – which we all know is a hot topic across all industries.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“We strive to provide our clients the best possible products and match that with exceptional service. We have lived by that mantra for over 35 years.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“I admire all the small business owners who are willing to take the chance to fill a void that is not being met in the current marketplace. It takes a lot of hard work and personal dedication to be successful. I have a number of close friends and family members, including my dad, that have substantial knowledge that I rely on for good ideas.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“Ask for advice from the people you look up to and trust. Then be confident that you know how to use that information to make an educated decision.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?

“I had to make a sales call on a client after spilling bright red juice all over my pants. Thankfully the client understood and appreciated my desire to not miss the appointment, and laughed it off with me. I continue to have a good relationship with this client.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I enjoy traveling with my wife, going to Marquette basketball games in the winter and golfing in the summer. I also enjoy coaching for my kids in whatever sport they are playing at the time, which occupies most my remaining free time.”

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