With the end of 2021 inching closer this quote seems more and more fitting “You can get excited about the future. The past won’t mind.”  Due to the pandemic, businesses all over the world had to embrace new workplace models and digital transformations that began in 2020.  Based on those we have broken down the big takeaways we have learned and uncovered with our clients this year. 

The Hybrid Model Is Here To Stay 

Remote work’s usefulness, simplicity, and convenience were highlighted throughout the pandemic and 2021. Even after restrictions were eased several organizations continued to use remote workers. We joined companies like Twitter and Ford who continued to embrace the remote work environment. A Gartner, Inc. CFO survey unveiled that 74% of companies plan to shift permanently to remote work after the pandemic ends. 

The benefits of embracing a hybrid workplace we have observed this year: 

  • Increased Hiring and Higher Retention:  With remote access to the office, candidates for employment are no longer limited by the job pool in their area. With more relaxed parameters about location, businesses can now expand their pool of candidates. 
  • Cost Savings: Reduce spending on office space, equipment, and travel. In a survey done by Global Workplace Analytics, it was noted IBM was able to cut real estate costs by $50 million. 
  • Resilience: Flexible work environments offer resilience to future disruptions 

Learn more about Hybrid workspaces and how to set them up for success in our article Re-Imagining Work: How to Create a Hybrid Workplace 

Be Adaptable 

If the last two years have given us any insight, growth rewards the adaptable. Organizations need to continue to embrace change to be ready for future development. Digital transformations that were solidified in the last two years will continue to evolve. 

The needs of the workplace will shift further into the cloud with the remote work environment taking a stronger foothold. Many businesses will need to continue to optimize workspaces via the cloud. An example is DaaS (Desktop as a Service), such as Microsoft Virtual Desktop, which simplifies access, supports heavy workloads, and offers top-level security. 

Companies will also need to choose the right business software that is scalable and cloud-based. We focus on financial systems (e.g., Spire, Acumatica, or Epicor) that can digitize processes, streamline data (from customer information to warehouse inventory to financial records), and be accessed onsite and remotely. 

Maintain close relationships with your customers. 

How you communicate and nurture the business relationship with clients and prospects is ever more important now that it is harder to meet with them face to face. When your company has a full view of the lifecycle of clients and prospects it allows your entire company to have better touch points with the client or prospect. 

An effective way to empower your clients is to provide them access to information pertinent to them such as support cases, project details, and financial statements.  By having an integrated portal with your Sales and CRM, clients can view inventory and place orders themselves—speeding up the ordering process and freeing your sales team to focus on other activities. 

With an integrated CRM system and communication tools, you can have a 360-degree view of all activities related to a contact. Tools like Microsoft Teams which is integrated with many ERP and CRM solutions can empower your team to go the extra mile making a virtual coffee with that contact that much easier. 

Do more business online 

By the beginning of 2021, eCommerce sales hit $4.891 billion (higher than predicted), and in 2024, experts say we’ll have jumped to around $6.388 billion per year. 

The pandemic has brought an abundance of change regarding how and where consumers purchase goods. Companies that took their business online in 2021 not only were able to serve their existing customers but opened up the potential for new customers who may not have been reachable in the past. 

Are you ready for Mobile Commerce? Mobile commerce is taking the lead of all shopping channels available on the market today. Mobile commerce is forecasted to grow the biggest retail sales (12.2%) in 2021, beating traditional e-commerce and in-store shopping. 

With the options for e-commerce platforms growing, it can be hard to determine what is the best for your needs.  We can help you determine what e-commerce tool is suited for your needs that can be integrated with your ERP system. For more information about this, you can speak to a consultant. 

In closing 

The biggest takeaway from 2021 is being ready to embrace what’s coming. The areas we have covered, implementing the hybrid work model, being open to change, improving communication, and using e-commerce when applicable are all parts of the foundation needed to succeed and grow further in 2022.