Many will start their 2020 year-end reflection with a comment on how challenging the year has been. This is true on many fronts and we all hope that 2021 is a better year for the world.
At Stoneridge Software, we have been fortunate in many ways this year and I want to provide my great appreciation for our team and you, our clients on how we all persevered through it all. One thing we saw from all clients was the need to find ways to use technology to enable working from home and remote interaction with your end customers. We appreciate the opportunity to serve your needs this year and help accelerate digital transformation in your organization.
Looking back on Stoneridge Software this year, I’d summarize our strongest achievements with three particular highlights.
1. Digital Everything
Like all businesses, we saw a significant focus on making the digital experience great while everyone worked remotely from March through the end of the year.
2020 saw our company move to a 100% work-from-home model with all our interactions taking place on Microsoft Teams, including our virtual beer and pizza events and our quarterly company meetings. We typically would bring new team members to one of our offices for week 1 of their time at Stoneridge but that’s moved to a remote model as well. Despite this change, our team member engagement has been stronger than ever and we have continued to attract the top talent to Stoneridge to better serve you.
We love getting together in person with our clients for our bi-annual Stoneridge Connect events, but this year we moved our events in April and October to a virtual platform and we found we were able to reach even more clients. Not everyone wanted to or was able to, hop a flight to Minneapolis or Fargo so now we can reach clients wherever you are with a slightly more distributed schedule that made it easier to attend the most valuable sessions for you. In addition, we held over 60 free educational webinars, now have over 230 videos on YouTube, and started a bi-weekly event called Confab to introduce you to new technologies, which ran 24 times this year.
We don’t often talk about how we run our business internally but this year we upgraded to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, implemented a new HR system, and significantly enhanced our use of Teams and Customer Engagement. All of these efforts led to productivity gains and higher satisfaction levels within our team and more efficient ways of managing operations to deliver better customer service.
2. Company Maturity
We’re still a pretty young company but this year has given us the chance to see how we can have a broader impact, not only on clients but on the market as a whole.
New mission and target
We introduced our new mission “To help clients win through intentional leadership, thoughtful teaching, and eye-opening possibilities” as a way to more clearly articulate to our clients and team members what impact we’re making as a business.
In February, we announced the acquisition of Advanced Business Systems (ABS) and that team has really helped us propel our growth in the Dynamics 365 Business Central space both broadening and deepening our knowledge with more expert consultants to serve you.
We realize that we are fortunate as a business and we wanted to do even more this year to spread our good fortune. The funds normally set aside for our annual company dinner were donated to Feeding America, a nationwide hunger-relief organization. We continued our “pay-it-forward” campaign for our team members to give to the charity of their choosing and that impacted 70 different organizations this year. In addition, we provided scholarships to the Emerging Digital Academy and support for the Aspirations for Women in Computing program.
Certainly, this year taught us to open our eyes more to the inequities that can exist within the country and the advantages of including a variety of perspectives. We wanted to take steps to support causes and organizations that bring a more diverse workforce into the tech community. We sponsored a Diversity in Tech challenge as part of our October Stoneridge Connect event which raised $6,230 for uCodeGirl and the National Council for Women in Information Technology. We also joined as an inaugural member of the Black Tech Talent organization and support their initiatives.
3. Helping Clients Win
That’s what we’re here to do – help you win. There are many examples of how we’ve partnered to accomplish this, but I wanted to showcase a handful of unique wins our clients were able to achieve this year.
Inventory Power App
We are about to launch a custom Power App for a client that provides mobile access to purchase requisitions, inventory counts, on-hand inventory, and transfer orders. The availability of the app allows our client to move from a monthly to a daily reconciliation of inventory which will save significant shrinkage over time.
At our Stoneridge Connect event our client, playground equipment manufacturer LSI, shared how we helped them create a dealer portal that allows dealers the ability to customize playgrounds for their clients during the ordering process. Enabling their dealers through the portal leading to increased efficiency and quality each by more than 30% and it gave them a platform to continue to grow their business by building out new revenue sources on this platform.
We implemented several different solutions for agri-businesses this year providing integrated agronomy dispatching and blending, eSignatures for grower contracts and streamlining legacy solutions, and moving them to the cloud.
As we look to transition to a 2021 that holds the promise of life getting back to “normal”, I hope you all stay safe and I wish you the best of fortune in the year to come.
Check out the CEO Reflections message in video format!