Automating and Simplifying the Way Organizations Fill Out Forms With Rick Burgess of Forms Logic
Rick Burgess is the Founder and CEO of Forms Logic, a cloud-based system for companies looking to integrate single data entry across multiple forms. He is a veteran of the trading floor and an established entrepreneur who has started several companies, including Connect Lending. Rick works closely with clients to understand their needs and apply the right technology to solve them. In addition to running the operations, he conducts outbound sales calls, interacts with staff, and manages six offices remotely.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
Rick Burgess talks about Forms Logic and how they take care of their clients
The ideal customers for Forms Logic
Why Rick got into the wealth management industry
Forms Logic’s customer success stories
How helping customers has transformed Rick’s perspective
Using AI to improve customer experience
Rick’s advice for business leaders on how to win more customers
In this episode…
Filling out multiple forms can be a tedious and monotonous process. Where can you get developed systems that automate and simplify the way you fill out forms?
According to Rick Burgess, many people are good at managing money but poor at managing their paperwork. After recognizing the challenges inherent in managing paperwork that requires inputting the same data among multiple forms, he founded Forms Logic. People can now learn simpler and better ways to handle their paperwork.
In this episode of The Customer Wins, Richard Walker sits down with Rick Burgess, Founder and CEO of Forms Logic, to discuss how organizations can manage their paperwork better. Rick talks about Forms Logic and how it serves people, the business processes they specialize in, their customer success stories, and how they use AI.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Sponsor for this episode...
This is brought to you by Quik!
At Quik!, we provide forms automation and management solutions for companies seeking to maximize their potential productivity.
Our vision is to become the leading forms automation company by making paperwork the easiest part of every transaction.
Meanwhile, our mission is to help the top firms in the financial industry raise their bottom line by streamlining the customer experience with automated, convenient solutions.
Go to www.quickforms.com to learn more, or contact us with questions at email@example.com.
Welcome to The Customer Wins podcast where business leaders discuss their secrets and techniques for helping their customers succeed and in turn grow their business.
Richard Walker 0:16
Hi, I'm Rich Walker, the host of The Customer Wins where I talk to business leaders about how they help their customers win and how their focus on customer experience leads to growth. Today I'm speaking with Rick Burgess CEO of Forms Logic, and today's episode is brought to you by Quik! the leader in enterprise forms automation, when the last step to earning your clients business requires filling out paperwork, don't ruin your relationship with a bad experience. Instead, get Quik Forms make filling out forms a great experience and the easiest part of your transaction, visit quikforms.com to get started. Now Rick Burgess is the CEO and founder of Forms Logic and has been leading in innovating in the financial services space for over 20 years, starting as a futures trader to rising as the National Sales Manager for Results One Financial to starting several companies, including Connect Lending and Forms Logic, Rick has always been passionate about making things easier and better and Financial Services. Today Forms Logic brings company into a fully digital world with forms based workflows that eliminate the need to even look at the forms thoroughly hands on, Rick works closely with his clients to understand their needs and apply the right Forms Logic technology to solve their problems. As I like to say, as a partner Forms Logic brings the logic to our forms. Rick, welcome to The Customer Wins.
Rick Burgess 1:31
Pleasure to be here.
Richard Walker 1:33
Now, if you haven't heard this podcast before I talk with business leaders about what they're doing to help their customers win how they built and deliver a great customer experience. And the challenge is to grow in their own company. Rick, let's understand your business a little bit better. How do you help people?
Rick Burgess 1:48
Well, I mean, the elevator pitch is always I fill out forms better than anyone on Earth, and then the elevator shots in very awkward silence for the next nine floors. So, the best way to describe it is if you want to fill out one PDF, that's not us, right? You want to have complex data that talks to different people that goes all kinds of different places. That's what we do better than most people.
Richard Walker 2:12
Yeah. And I know when we started working together, what you showed me with your business and your product was just mind blowing. Honestly, you were years ahead of everybody else from what I saw. I don't necessarily want to compare you to TurboTax. But you were eliminating the need to look at the forms, right?
Rick Burgess 2:29
Copyright TurboTax, by the way, yeah. So when we, again, we've talked about this outside of this podcast before is really we're a data company more than anything else, forms and workflows just happens to be a byproduct of the data. And that translates to other places other than financial service. And, there's a lot of legacy problems with forms.
Richard Walker 2:54
Yeah, and I always said that the reason people create forms is because it's cheap, it's almost free, right? Anybody in your company, you can create a form and handed out to a customer. Even worse, when you think about it that way, you're saying to the customer, you do the work for us, you handwrite all this stuff? Who is your primary customer base, Rick?
Rick Burgess 3:15
So we've got government, and we came on some government and some lending work. And then we got yanked in kicking and screaming, mind you to financial services, because of a bad relationship my partner made this great story. But I went upstairs to change after a conference. And by the time I got down, he had promised a broker dealer have a set of forms, I was like, Don't do it. Runaway, runaway. Six months later, we had from a tire forms company all the way to the Jetsons, if you will, and I've never looked back since.
Richard Walker 3:50
Yeah. And I know you work with wealth management today. I mean, if we fast forward to, so is it RIA is it broker dealers, is it product companies
Rick Burgess 4:01
Yes, in the financial service space. Let's just say that right? We actually do two insurance companies, three or four small custodians, a lot of alts, because they're good at managing money bad at managing their paperwork, broker dealers RIA's third party asset managers. I mean, for us, the data is the data, the same numbers gonna go on and the same stuff. And what people are missing is the ability to have a good customer experience by not having to type your name three times. Right, and do it in different places. That's the key.
Richard Walker 4:40
Yeah. Now, you're not just filling out forms, though. I mean, you're helping with what are all the different types of business processes that you assist with?
Rick Burgess 4:49
So this is an interesting thing. It's this concept of gold standard of data, where does the data set reside and get talked to right so it doesn't matter where it starts at, it's where it's held after the fact. So a great example is I think we integrate with like six or seven CRMs. So you start there, you pull it down from there, then you'll work on it with us, we'll fill that contract, fill that paperwork out for you through our process. At the end of that process, we're probably sending it to a custodian of product. And back to the client, not just the client, but actually the adviser, the BD, we're updating their CRM, we're updating their other CRM, we're updating their business process plays. So it's the ability to take that data once and put it into a usable format to put it in nine 10 different places all at the same time. Right? That's what we do.
Richard Walker 5:48
So, being a technologist, like yourself, and we get this, this is our language, that everybody else understands the magic of what this means, for years and years, there's all this fragmentation of technology, like, it's all about integrations, how do we get this to work with this and that to that, and what you just said is you just become the center point of data to share across all these other systems.
Rick Burgess 6:11
So what you and I experience on a daily basis, let me give it to somebody in a different way, when one of our clients back in the day is a car dealership, and you don't think about it very much. But the guy takes your ID, and he scans it before the test drive, that creates a client record. When he comes back, and he starts writing stuff down, they've already pulled your DMV record, they've already pulled your credit, they've already pulled all this stuff. By the time you sit down to talk about what car, your contracts are already done, everything's already done. And then the guy that ran the car dealership, because I don't want it that way. I want him to sit in that seat for a long time and feel uncomfortable. And I said great, go play cards, they don't need to know that it's all done. Right? And then what really blew everyone's mind was I said, okay, do you realize that the guy that test drove your car is now going to be your agent to talk about the financing. Because all the paperwork is already done, already pulled in all the partner paperwork they had, but then that once the guy bought the car or brought the car, we updated their service record CRM, and their drip CRM for oil changes and all that other stuff. That's the last leg that everyone forgets about, is once they become a client, how do you retain them as a client? How do you service them? Take financial service, it's the same thing.
Richard Walker 7:30
So is that mean that I think about this from an advisor perspective, because I wasn't advisor, you work really hard to earn the trust and respect of a client. What are you doing during that period of time? Maybe early on, you're asked for client discovery information, tell me about your assets, et cetera? Where does that go? Well, it probably goes into my planning system. So I can create a plan and tell you what you should be doing. But it takes months before they say let's fill out the paperwork and do the transaction and then pass that I still want to keep in contact with them. So how are you fitting into that kind of flow and circle for advisors?
Rick Burgess 8:02
Sure. So an easy one to think of. And this is something that will blow most people's minds. But you and I know this for a fact, I can take a form that has all the same data as a Charles Schwab a TD a purging a fidelity, any of those things, you could create it make it pretty make it yours make it look good. I can map first name from that form over to Schwab or TD or Persian, no problem. So you're creating this customer experience that is super intriguing and super personalized, but in the background, they're just filling out forms for something that's going to happen later. Right. Another interesting thing, and you said that TurboTax view, when you fill out a form, you're not going to collect any data that's not relevant on a form from a custodian or per someone like that. When we flick the button, we flipped into a different view, that view almost looks like TurboTax, ask a question that drives the next question. All right, I could ask how many kids you got? That has nothing to do with any answer on any form anywhere you and I would ever deal with, but it will and your financial planning software, it will somewhere else it will. So you can actually play it. And that has nothing to do with the transaction, but everything to do with servicing and secondary transactions.
Richard Walker 9:14
And if you're right, I hadn't thought about that. And I often tell people, if you can eliminate the need to look at the form you should you what we can't, we can't eliminate is the need to collect the data. And the challenge you and I both talked about. In fact, the reason we met is because we can't eliminate the need for the third party who designed the form to get their form, right. Fidelity wants their form purging wants their form, and it's a day they want their data, but they still want their form. And so that's why we're in business.
Rick Burgess 9:44
But so that's you ask, you told me, connect lending, right? So we actually built what we did, because we had too many people filling out forms. So I had 3000 lenders and it was a loan matching system and it was very, and I had advisors as my clients, right, so we had more people working for us that were filling out forms. I don't know if you know this, but a bank really wants their forms filled out, they don't want my forms, just like you just started doesn't want my forms, they want their forms. So we didn't know about you. And this was 20 years ago, you were probably just getting started, then we were filling out forms by hand, three people wanted to match, three forms are filled out by hand. Finally, my partner Fred came up and said, I know this is him, this is the headcount. And though fixed overhead was out of him, so he built this little piece of software to map first name, because it's the same net, most of the things we do rich, is 85% of the same stuff is on every form. It's the last little bit that's customized to a form, it's the same contact information, it's the same identifying information and all that. So all we did was we kind of built this process to map forms, you know worm technology, right? Read or write once read many, we created map technology, write once map many. So it was, it was kind of like this, it was a business decision we made. And then once we sold Connect Lending, it was like, Well, this is a company, what we have to keep doing something with this. And one of our, like I said, our broker dealer client, we were at a convention and Dodd Frank, there's more forms, more regulation, everyone's groaning and burner hits, because we could fix that I go, don't even think about it, you have no idea what you're talking about. And now, and I think today, we manage almost 450,000 forms across every client set.
Richard Walker 11:40
And that's incredible. So we've talked about why you wanted to do this. What has changed along the way? I mean, you start with a car dealership, and now let's financial services.
Rick Burgess 11:53
We started with a lender, and then we said, oh, wait, this is easy. A form is a form a form to me and you, right, it's easy. The stuff that you do with it afterwards. So we made mistakes by taking clients that we shouldn't have, because it was forms. But what you learn is you learnt a lot of great lessons on a car dealership as a self-built process in the background. It's not like a financial service firm, where, oh, you got three choices for your CRM. So we had to become very good at normalizing data and transitioning data through things. So we did a healthcare company for a doctor's office, right? Why do you have to fill out that form every time you show up? So we basically built this doctor's office a quick app on the form, not Quik. And then when you got there, you put the last for your social end, and the iPad brought up your thing and said, click here to accept this. And the 30 seconds you were checked in? It was that fast. And so we proved we can do it. But then the second part of that was the doctor's office is like, this is fantastic. How do I get it in, in my hospitals record keeping system, they wouldn't let us in the front door because they're like, who are you? That's why we do these, we scan them and someone types them in, when we've played with all kinds of ways to get data from a handwritten into the system, you and I talked about this, OCR doesn't work, you know, ChatGPT I love the technology, I love all that, but doesn't work quite yet. So at the end of the day, even if you scan something, you're gonna look at every single line item. Because if you get it wrong, it's the same thing is typing it over.
Richard Walker 13:37
Right? Right. So let's talk about your entrepreneurial journey because I've seen this so many times and myself included, you kind of follow this shiny object, oh, cars, healthcare broker dealer came to me, government's talking to me, how do you choose and why did you choose wealth management?
Rick Burgess 13:57
Wealth Management was the easiest because we met each other and if you don't remember this, because I was looking for an RBC form, and I couldn't find most current up to date RBC forms. So I went current RBC form, Quik showed up, and I went to click the button, and they said, call us if you want this form. What do you mean, I got to call you to get the form. And that's sort of when we talked and became a partner client of yours. And that was because the broker dealer kind of showed us the fact that it's RBC only is one company, but it touches hundreds and hundreds of clients, right? So this idea of coming out of a wholesaler, right? If you can do the work once and not have to do it a second time. Why wouldn't you do that? So we mapped all the forms and then we started adding our technology, past what you helped us with, and that's what made it like, why would we ever move? Why would we ever leave financial service because until we own all of it and we're never going to own all of it. Because the fun part about financial services, someone's always smarter than the company they're working with. And they get to leave and create an RIA or new BD, which is brand new forms, brand new safe. So it'll never end. But at the end of the day, to us a forms a forms a form if I ingest it one time, just once we have it.
Richard Walker 15:25
In the same way it it's interesting because financial services is this deep pool of different companies, and all their different forms and all their processes. And something you said earlier, is that realistically, all these companies are the same. They all think they're different. And I respect that they have different.
Rick Burgess 15:43
We call them snowflakes..
Richard Walker 15:47
Yeah, they have their secret sauce, they have their unique value proposition, they have their way of selling their product. But I don't think the business process of processing forms or opening accounts is the competitive advantage for anybody other than if you could do it faster and cheaper. You can have higher profitability, you can retain your advisors more. But in essence, I mean, I think you're right that data is data. And so you honed in on financial services, having this very distinct need that was highly repetitive across companies, right? And look, I know this because I've been working with you. Often what I hear is you go talk to a customer, and you basically shutting the system they want in their own name with their own forms on the first demo.
Rick Burgess 16:30
Yep, it's already built, you want to pay for it or not? That sort of things.
Richard Walker 16:37
I bet people are a little bit confused by that.
Rick Burgess 16:40
Yes. Because, put it this way. So my partner Fred came from a long history, right. And the one thing he built was boxes, he built code boxes. And the best way to think about it is the Lincoln Log, if you create your Lincoln Log building, right, and you say, oh, I want a new addition to my Lincoln Log building, okay, use the same Lincoln Logs, you don't have to rebuild the log thing. So account processing, or account this or account management is a box. And that's all it is. And you might tell me, you're a snowflake and you have something new or different or cool, really all that means is you want to paint it red instead of white. That's it. And you want me to remove things. So today, right now, we talked to very big companies, and I go to a big company, they go, we are so different and special, I go great. And by the time I'm done with the first demo, I'm taking 75% of what we built out of the platform, because they just don't need. It's the little RIA. It's the little BD that has this cool, unique thing that I'm like, I want that I want to code it and our model is simple. I code everything for free. Any new upgrade, I code it for free on my dime, as long as I get to own the code and push it out into my community. So everybody, so like you said, The Customer Wins, in my model, my customers telling me what I'm missing. And they tell me what upgrades need to happen. I don't live in an ivory tower. I live in the trenches, right? So when a client smacks me and goes, you did it wrong. I didn't do it wrong. You didn't give me any requirements. I did the best I could with what you told me you wanted. And then they painted green and they change it. But what they've really done is they've defined a new box for me that I can slide in plug in. Hey, Mr. Mrs. Client, the development that they told you is going to be two years or a year. And I got it done in 12 days.
Richard Walker 18:32
Well, kudos to you, man. I think that's really, really hard to accomplish as software and tech. I mean, I know all companies are trying to think modularly. But to do what you described is actually very, very hard to do. Let me ask you a different type of question. What is one of your favorite customer success stories? How did you help them? How did you transform them? What was their outcome?
Rick Burgess 18:57
Okay, I'm not gonna name names, okay. But it was a broker dealer. And my partner has a philosophy. Buyers don't know what they want until they see what they don't want, which means give them something. And I hate the term minimum viable product, but it's applicable here, right? So if you say minimum, why didn't you put more time and they get a lease maximum is somewhat maximum, right? So anyways, we created this system, and we gave it to the broker dealer and I had 17 pages in a word document of what was wrong, what I did, right what I did wrong. And I took this back to my partner, I said, we got work to do. And one by one by one, like knocked up every single thing. It took us two years basically, to get everything right. Those upgrades that were 10 years ago, almost eight years ago, are the core of what our company is today. And that BD that doesn't even exist anymore. It was bought into the role of tape that somebody was bought because the tech stack they had, which was us. So that client is still using me, but they're inside of somebody else now. But it was really interesting that, you know, if you just listen to your client, they'll tell you what you did wrong. The differences, can you fix it, and help everybody else? If it's super unique, super different, and no one else is going to use it, you got to pay for that. But this BD was giving us the blocking and tackling of a box has four sides, and they're all equal. Why is it look weird? So we fixed it. So that was my favorite client, because they were honest with us, they said, hey, we'll let you fix it, but just fix it. And after two years of really, really painful look in the face, don't call my baby ugly. We came out with this gangly teenager that was running on it's like, okay, this is company, we got to pay attention to this. We've been onboarding ever since.
Richard Walker 21:03
No, I love that it is hard to listen to customers. And it's also hard to find customers willing to go through the pain, the growth pains of an early stage company. I mean, we all have those experiences when we do our startups. And we get to this point of maturity. And first, I'm super grateful for those early adopters, because there is a lot of pain and growth that you go through. But again, I also totally agree with you, if you can truly listen to that customer and hear not only what their pain is, but what they want their outcome to be. And here's the hard part, I think in the tech world, and Rick, tell me if this happens to customers will come to me and say, this is technically what I want. And I'll have to say, Stop. Tell me what the problem is. And let me tell you technically how to solve it. Because that's my skill. Do you get into those types of problems?