A successful business starts when an entrepreneur identifies a problem they believe they can solve. But belief is not enough – there must also be solid execution. Pathways Digital was created to simplify and streamline the entire contract management process, but the co-founders first needed a reliable technology partner who could help build their ambitious platform. Enter: DB Results.
The challenge: Simplifying contract management for SMEs
Founded by a team of financial services and tech-savvy professionals, Pathways Digital is about making contract and obligation management more accessible, more transparent, more certain and, most importantly, more efficient. The company primarily focuses on SMEs, a segment that makes up approximately 97% of their target market. Within this broad scope, they have concentrated their efforts on serving the property and real estate sector, the service delivery industry and technology resource providers.
“Pathways Digital was born out of frustration,” says Kevin Love, CTO and co-founder. “We were personally dealing with things like missing obligations in contracts and a lack of clarity about when obligations were due, which we recognise are constant challenges for businesses of all types. Missing these obligations costs time, money or both.”
The businesses that Pathways Digital serves are often in their burgeoning stages. That means they generally lack structured systems. With a robust technology platform in hand, Love and his team would be able to alleviate the burden of contract management for them. But as a growing startup themselves, they didn’t have the technical expertise to build such a platform on their own, and they also needed to hit tight deadlines for a prototype to attract – and convert – potential customers.
Why DB Results was the ideal partner
There are some must-haves that DB Results takes to every project: first, quality outcomes. But they must also be paired with speed and predictability. For the former, it’s about being quick without compromising on security or quality. For the latter, it’s about rolling out a build and delivery that unfolds with a level of predictability that the customer can be assured is on the right track. Both strategies are crucial for startups like Pathways Digital, who need to go to market quickly and have confidence that their platform will be fit-for-purpose immediately.
Drawing on their prior positive experience working with DB Results, Love and his co-founder Andrew Tiernan brought DB Results on board to help with designing their contract and obligation management portal from beginning to end. DB Results leverages various platforms, including OutSystems, to deliver application development services, and their digital delivery solutions are built for responsive web applications, spanning desktop, tablet and mobile platforms, as well as native apps for tablets and mobile devices.
At its core, though, Love says it’s the “predictability factor” that really got things over the line in choosing DB Results for this project.
From concept to reality in less than 12 weeks
Transforming Pathways Digital’s dream into a well-rounded contract and obligation management platform relied on a combination of collaboration, innovation and a relentless focus on delivering a solution that would empower their customers. That meant designing the platform from the ground up and ensuring every element would work to address the unique challenges facing SMEs.
Designing the prototype
The project started with the design of a prototype, which allowed both teams to visualise the solution and understand the challenges that needed to be addressed. DB Results leveraged its key learnings from previous projects and delivered critical insights into workflow and case management, simplifying the complex nature of contract management. They also offered expertise in user experience (UX) design, which was instrumental in creating a platform that resonated with customers.
“DB Results was a really natural choice for us,” Love says. “They brought their experience from a number of other customers and thought leadership around workflow and case management. Their experience in UX was critical to the quality of the outcome we achieved.”
Rapid proof of concept
Once the prototype was in place, it was quickly put to the test with an initial customer. This early validation was key to securing funding and support for further development. The prototype demonstrated that there was a genuine problem to solve, and that SMEs would benefit greatly from a simplified contract and obligation-management solution.
“We used that prototype to canvas and validate the problem with other customers. It formed the foundation of our first round of fundraising, which got us the initial funding to build the MVP [minimum viable product].”
Blueprinting and MVP development
With the funding secured, Pathways Digital and DB Results entered the blueprinting phase, fleshing out the details of the platform's functionality and features. The blueprint served as the roadmap for the MVP development, which was completed in just 12 weeks.
“We did a blueprinting phase and then really got cracking and delivered something within about a 12-week period. We launched in early February 2023 with five customers.”
After the platform was shown to be fully functional, Pathways Digital hit the launch button and made it available to a growing roster of early adopters. The focus has now shifted to onboarding customers and ensuring a seamless transition to the new system.
Early success and validation
While it’s still early days for Pathways Digital, their partnership with DB Results has already yielded amazing results. The platform is seeing repeat users and the company has earned feedback that their solution is effectively addressing common contract obligation management challenges for SMEs. They have even been able to provide an offering for charitable organisations. Pathways Digital has secured memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with several enterprise customers, reflecting strong interest for the product and exciting growth potential for the future.
Pathways Digital’s successful platform launch would never have been possible without the expertise and support of DB Results:
- Low-code development: The partnership made use of low-code development tools like OutSystems, which is what drove the rapid creation of the MVP while allowing both parties to maintain their focus on quality and security.
- Simplicity and user experience: From day one, DB Results was committed to delivering superior UX and platform simplicity. This resulted in a solution that truly resonates with SMEs and allows users to easily navigate and explore its features.
- Efficiency through workflow: Using their extensive experience in workflow and case management, DB Results helped Pathways Digital streamline the complex contract management process. The platform’s backbone is a well-structured workflow that guides users through the necessary steps and reduces the chances of errors and missed obligations.
- Adaptability and agile approach: Taking an agile approach to the project allowed for greater flexibility and adaptability. This was crucial as Pathways Digital evolved from a startup into a fully fledged platform over the course of a few short months.
“We’ve had to pivot more than a few times,” Love says. “But we’re at a point now where we’ve got a solid platform and have some MoUs signed with enterprise customers that will take us forward into an exciting future.”
As Pathways Digital continues to expand its customer base, and as DB Results forges ahead as a leader in delivering innovative solutions, both companies are looking forward to a future full of success thanks to simplified technology solutions.
Whether you’re in the earliest startup phase or an established enterprise, DB Results can design and deploy the solutions you need to thrive in a hyper-competitive marketplace. Find out more about what we do or get in touch today to learn more.