Early this year, we all thought that this state would be a temporary situation, but as time passed, we realized that we are running a marathon. Our lives will not return to the pre-2020 status any time soon. Therefore, we have learned to hang on and deal with ambiguity and the unexpected. We are accepting a new normal.
Back in February, I was traveling to attend the TSS Management Development Program within our organization in Finland, and my colleagues and I were already planning to meet again in June. Well, guess what? We had to adapt and change our plans and look for new ways to connect.
I think that the current status forces us to change our perspective of what is normal, yet, I personally see this as an excellent opportunity to improve the environment and our organization. When it comes to the organization, there are two sides to the equation; one side relates to our people and the other to our customers. Today I will elaborate on the latter.
Within Yonder, we have practiced Agility and Lean in software development for quite some years. Being well versed in those methodologies has enabled us to apply agility to a whole new level and area. As COVID-19 radically changed the way we lived and worked in a matter of days, we could take what we have learned in agile software development and apply it to our business principles. Quickly using Agile and adjusting to the next level of remote working, we acted as one team while dealing with the ambiguity of this crisis, and we focused on customer retention which got us closer to our customers. We all understood that together we could overcome it.
What was the key to dealing and contributing to the creation of this new reality for our customers? Well, being genuinely interested in what they are facing, what their challenges are, and how we can help them. It is vital to listen to the voice of your customers as they are such a valuable source of inspiration. It will help you better understand their needs, their context, and be there for them. Putting your customers first, helping them navigate the new normal is mission-critical if you are looking for a long-term relationship. Therefore, start to listen better, be willing to understand, and act fast.
Being eager to learn how this is affecting software companies and their vision of the future has determined us to extend our learning experience. We are keen to get in contact with VMS companies from different operational groups within CSI and outside of the group.
We have encountered a broad spectrum of situations and challenges that our customers or other VMS companies are facing. The travel industry, for example, was impacted significantly by this and had to act extremely fast to adapt. Major changes are also planned for the future as the hit was much more massive. However, in their case, the transportation of goods in, for example, the shipping division, helps in keeping the business going.
The education Vertical is highly dependent on how and if schools will start again and how big the impact will be for primary, secondary as well as higher education. The market is shrinking for many of the VMS companies. So everyone, companies and their customers, is focusing more on what they are paying for and what they are using from that package. Therefore, getting value for money is much more crucial than before.
Companies perform risk assessments for each vertical level in which they are active. This provides scenarios and corresponding actions for each situation enabling companies to act quickly.
For the current year, people are running on all cylinders so they can cope with the new reality, meet their targets, and prepare for maintaining a healthy business for the next years.
Where do innovation and new initiatives stand in this context? And how do we adapt together with our customers to keep it going? We have talked with different business leaders and found out that their scope changed. Now they develop more tools in the existing modules improving efficiency, providing their clients with more self-service tools (hospitality vertical), and developing new small modules that can help to adapt to new market requests. To support these initiatives, we hosted remote Hackathons for each customer idea that needed to be tested and developed PoCs used in building a successful business case. What we’ve all agreed upon and have understood is that there is more innovation ahead of us than behind us, and it is time to act small and nimble, no matter the context.
This learning experience has been great for us. And we now continue by connecting with software companies within CSI sharing our best practices on how to navigate through these complicated times that we are facing.
If you are willing to share and learn together, just drop me a message, and we can explore the topic further. Just send me an email.
Alina Iacob, Director of Delivery