100 days in, how has our view on the world changed?
A message from our CEO and Founder, Roger Teagle
The entire world has faced restrictions amid the global pandemic, with restrictions impacting both our North American and UK offices. We’ve reached the 100 days of lockdown in the UK, and I think we’ve seen one of the biggest, most rapid changes to businesses in living memory. Throughout this we’ve kept in close contact with our customers, ensuring we support them through the unprecedented circumstances. In turn, we have had to adapt how we work with them.
Across our customer base we have had everything from companies completely shut down to companies working flat out to keep up with demand. The companies at either end of the spectrum haven’t been able to engage with us during this period, but those in slowdown and partial running have been keen to utilise the time for improvement projects before they return to full production.
Our UK office was shut on the first day of lockdown. The process was straightforward, with the help of our internal infrastructure resources. However, many of our customers needed help quickly and our infrastructure team set out to deploy large numbers of people remotely. This process was completed quickly and without issue. Whilst there were concerns about customer expenditure, many customers continued their projects and we commenced a new full IFS Applications implementation on May 1st, so our teams have remained busy. To be able to deliver our consultancy effectively we have used various video calling platforms to support our customers with ease.
The repercussions of the pandemic have enabled us to venture into different methods of delivering our services. The whole industry believed that you needed to be ‘face to face’, now a video call is the norm and people have found it more efficient.
We believe that these changes are here to stay. Our customers can benefit from:
- Reduced risk of spreading Covid-19, or the next virus.
- Reduced expenses for the customer
- Reduced the stress on the consultant as removing the 2,3,4 hours of travelling helps them be more focused, and enables more family time.
- Lowered environmental impact. We have ‘not traveled’ approximately 30,000 miles in the last few months.
Employee welfare has also been high on our agenda. We understand that everyone is balancing the new normal differently. Some of our employees have families, whilst some live alone. Recognising the pressures on our teams means we can communicate with them in the most effective way possible. We’ve carried out company wide video meetings, cross-departmental catch-ups and all keep in touch via our company WhatsApp group.
Time has also enabled us to continue to invest in our business and employees. We have focused on attaining additional IFS certifications and recently gained Gold Partner status from IFS, a milestone for our business and testament to all the hard work put in by our teams. We also created a new website with new branding better reflecting our business today.
So, what does the future look like after lockdown?
We believe that remote consultancy is here to stay and that this will enable a better and a more cost-effective service to our customers. In terms of systems for our customers, integrated solutions are very key to the future. Our customers are seeing the use of IFS Applications as business critical and there are various areas where we are seeing a lot of interest:
- Upgrading to IFS Applications 10.
The flexibility that IFS provides in its newest version allows easier integration and with extended functionality allows more processes to be held within the IFS environment rather than 3rd party solutions. With the use of lobbies to drive the work processes allows ‘self managing’ processes to be developed, with simple KPIs available to all.
- Paperless manufacturing.
Mobile devices removing the paperwork from processes is very important. Reducing the need for employees to move around and delivering all they need to do their jobs electronically reduces costs, but also improves the biosecurity arrangements in plants.
- Approval loops in IFS Applications
These cover many areas of the system and again reduce the need for employees to walk around the facility with paper for approval etc. They can be set up to be completely electronic with a hierarchy of approval limits.
With the workforce more distanced, be that, remotely working, or restriction of movement between departments, there is a demand to make processes more effective. We are confident that IFS can support new ways of working. We continue to strive to be your IFS partner of choice and we will work with you to develop processes effectively.
Written by, Roger Teagle, CEO and Founder.
My career has been heavily focused on delivering ERP solutions and adding value to customer’s businesses. As we’ve developed we have been able to extend our reach to become a global business.