Drop us a line! hello@devup.ca
Give us a call! (647) 490-5055

A Case Study of Outlier Solutions

Who is Outlier Solutions?

Outlier Solutions Inc. was founded in 2013 by Amber Scott, a fellow ninja in the financial compliance industry. Outlier specializes in working with businesses in certain industries, such as jewelers, to assist them in remaining compliant with government mandates regarding Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Funding. It’s a difficult process for many people to fully understand, and Outlier fills a niche in helping business owners focus on running their business while still meeting the required guidelines.

Amber has always believed that compliance should be manageable for small businesses. Seeing how much trouble colleagues and clients had with preparing the required papers, she dreamed up a system where a lot of the legal mumbo-jumbo was put aside and business owners, with a little guidance, could easily maintain compliance while not pulling their hair out. She worked closely with Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA) and Jewellers Vigilance Canada (JVC).

And so, Outlier Solutions was born.

Enter DevUp

Amber came to DevUp’s Rob Williams with a lofty goal in mind. She wanted a website that would allow business owners to purchase a compliance document that would be customized specifically for their business, based on their answers from a series of questions. “What is this wizardry!?”, she envisioned her clients asking. So we called it the Document Wizard.

How Does It Work?

There are several components to the Outlier website:

  • The website, serving as a marketing tool, a support portal and a blog platform for Outlier ninjas to post about updates in the compliance field
  • The online store, which allows business owners to purchase access to the various compliance resources available
  • The document wizard, which allows their clients to customize their documents

An Outlier administrator maintains each product, which consists of a complicated Microsoft Word document that reads like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book and a list of questions and possible responses specific to that document. Questions include simple ones like “What is the name of your compliance officer?” and “What date was your business registered?” to complex ones like “Check off all of the following types of products that you deal with, and select the various controls that you have in place from this list to prevent money laundering.”

When the client enters the Document Wizard, each question is presented to the user one at a time. As the user proceeds from question to question, their responses are compiled and stored in the Outlier system.

This Is Where The Magic Happens

When the user has completed the wizard and is ready to download their document, that’s when things kick into high gear.

Based on a complex series of proprietary calculations based on the clients’ answers, several operations happen:

  • Various risk scores are calculated on a low/medium/high scale
  • Tables are created and filled based on a number of factors, then inserted into the document
  • Various parts of the document are included or removed, dependent on the needs of the business owner
  • The document is customized with the business’ name, compliance officer contact and other client-specific information

Once the document has completed its customization, it is then sent to the user to download as a Microsoft Word document, so that further editing can happen if necessary.

Outlier then works with the client to ensure that the documentation is complete and the client is covered in case of an audit, and helps the client to submit everything to the reporting entity.

What Technologies Did DevUp Use?

As with most of the sites that DevUp creates, the CMS is WordPress. On top of that, a custom plugin was developed for Outlier that handles their online store and customized product setup.

The online store was custom-written for Outlier, as we needed not only to have customized wizard questions per product, but also to allow for integration with industry associations in order to offer discounted product pricing. Payments are accepted via Stripe, our incredible partner in managing online credit card transactions.

The Word document integration was achieved using the powerful phpdocx library.

What Nice Things Does Outlier Say About DevUp?

“Nick and Rob are personable, solutions-oriented and easy to work with. They’re also incredible teachers for entrepreneurs. My knowledge of the IT management side of my business has increased 1000x since we started working together, and I’m still learning every day.”

If you have a need that DevUp can help you with, please don’t hesitate to reach out and discuss it with us.