In February the world news channels began to bring news relating to the coronavirus, initially from around the world and later from Finland. We soon realized that the coronavirus was progressing into becoming a pandemic and our company also needed to launch measures to manage the risks associated with the disease. We changed to remote working at the end of February and as we had previously worked remotely the capability for us to do this therefore was already well established.
All work done directly with customers, such as sales, training, and projects, became more of a task to be done remotely during the Spring. At the same time, it was nice to notice that our customers’ capabilities for this have also developed significantly during the last 10-15 years. Together, we can thank online meeting tools, which are easier to use and technically better than before. They no longer require expensive equipment to take place, but everyone can smoothly join meetings directly from their own laptop or smartphone.
The best results ever in occupational well-being surveys
An interesting phenomenon was that even though we have worked remotely, nonetheless, or perhaps because of it, occupational well-being surveys have shown about the best results at work ever. On the other hand, during the rest of the year, there has already been a slight increase of people missing working with their colleagues in the office. Of course, we have also done development work in small groups from time to time, also meeting each other in the office, during the past year. However, work has been done in large office spaces and using safety rules to manage and avoid health risks. In addition, we also organized a joint development day with the staff in August, in which everyone had the opportunity to participate remotely or work in the big meeting hall on site in Joensuu.
This year has also seen the phenomenon that national and international trade fairs and events have become virtual ones which have been good but there is still room for improvement in their technical implementation. Personally, I do not believe that the virtual shows will completely replace the normal events and trade shows. A face-to-face meeting is always a more holistic experience, whether it’s at a trade show, at a client’s office, or at our office.
Revenue growth and customer satisfaction increased
In terms of business, the early part of the year probably looked more quiet because of the coronavirus, than we had predicted. Over the rest of the year, however, the situation has gradually returned to normal. Our net sales are expected to grow slightly compared to the previous year, and we believe that our results will also be positive at the full-year level. A happy result in 2020 was that customer satisfaction with our Hilkka and Nappula software in Finland increased, compared to the previous year. In addition, Nappula also succeeded in a nationwide survey of social information customer information systems and obtained the best average of the responses given to a survey by social care professionals in the field.
Plans for 2021 in Finland and the United Kingdom
In the coming year, we will continue to develop our software and services as before. In our development, we utilize customer feedback and development ideas that emerged in connection with this year’s customer satisfaction survey. In addition, we will also be moving towards a national social archive for both products in Finland over the next year, and we hope to be able to test retrieval and storage of data with the first customers by the end of the year. This also requires that the development of the social archive at the national level also stays on schedule and that other systems are able to connect to the available interfaces.
Our business in the UK has been overtime over the past year due to the very challenging local covid situation. With the vaccinations that have already begun there, we have received more positive messages in that direction than before. We believe that our new Real-Time CareTM software will get its first production-level users there during the first quarter of the year. There now seems to be a need for digital solutions in the UK.
This year, we have donated funds for Christmas to Hope Ry in Finland.
We wish all our customers, partners and staff a healthy, peaceful and relaxing Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021!