2021 in Review – An Important Year for Next Technik
A review of 2021 confirmed yet another exciting and eventful year for us, to say the least. Like the year before, there were major challenges to contend with along with exciting (and unexpected) opportunities to take advantage of. In spite of it all, we continued our track record of finishing the calendar much stronger than we started it.
Ongoing travel restrictions have made connecting and collaborating with our growing global team a challenge. Much of the important work we would have done in person has gone remote, making Zoom meetings both our break room and our conference room. It has taken some adaptation to make it work, but the entire team has risen to the occasion and exceeded all expectations.
That spirit of excellence in the face of obstacles and achievement, regardless of adversity, has characterized the entire year for Next Technik. 2021 has not been easy on anyone for lots of reasons. And yet our team has arrived at the start of a new year in a better position than ever before. We have much to be proud of and even more to be excited about heading into 2022. Here are some highlights that deserve special attention:
Continued Growth for the Next Technik Team
One of the big stories from 2021 has been the struggle in finding talent and handling recruiting because of pandemic-related conditions. We have encountered these obstacles firsthand. Many times, in fact, considering that we have been continuously recruiting 8-10 people at any given time throughout the year. And despite those obstacles, our team has nearly doubled in size, bringing lots of fresh faces and tons of impressive talent into the organization.
We have added staff at our fast-growing North American office based in Denver. We also set up shop in London, where we are quickly adding staff to serve customers throughout Europe. To ensure the success of those we serve and maintain an elite level of service even as our company grows, our newest team members will serve in support, technical, and functional consultant roles.
In 2022, we expect the team to expand even more into North America and Europe especially. A review of our track record for finding talented people who share our core values has proven to be stellar thus far, and we will continue to scout for candidates who can add something valuable to both our company and our customers.
New Customers and New Markets
Our customer base continued to grow and evolve over the previous four quarters. Not only are we serving more customers, but we are also serving bigger field service providers, some with more than 500 technicians. It is a testament to the strength of the software (and the team behind it) that it provides value and useful features even to the largest, most complex providers in the industry. We are also serving customers in new verticals, from medical device providers to car wash services. A review of last year proved that our software meets the needs of most field service providers no matter their size or specialty.
We have also mentioned our larger footprint outside of Australia. Not only is our team growing in North America and Europe, but we are also serving more customers across these two continents. Our 2022 plans include continued expansion in both these markets – but that will not come at the cost of existing relationships. On the contrary, our biggest efforts in North America and Europe are going to build a long-term foundation with the intent to improve service and engagement for old and new customers alike.
Our Expanding Partner Network
One of the resources we will draw on to continue our expansion will be our partner network. In review, our network grew extensively over 2021, and we anticipate even more opportunities in 2022. Working with partners within the NetSuite ecosystem allows us to connect with more companies in need of automated solutions for field service management. Moreover, the barriers to entering new markets have eased due to increased collaboration with our partner network. Together, we are able to offer additional solutions, which can facilitate highly customized solutions and solve even more customer challenges.
Central as our partner network is to our business plans, it is also a key part of our core mission: helping customers grow their business through exceptional customer engagement. Our partnership strategy seeks to link our company with complementary partners who can build on our strengths, software, and spirit of service. As we strive to remain the preferred solution for field service providers entering the digital era, our partners will add important (and evolving) pieces to that solution.
Strong Sales Forecasts
A review of all our metrics suggests that the strong sales growth our team accomplished throughout 2021 will not let up anytime soon. A robust sales pipeline filled with prospects in both new and existing markets has led us to set ambitious targets for 2022. The fact that NetSuite adoption is growing by over 25% yearly creates more reason for optimism since we remain the leading FSM solution that runs on-platform within NetSuite.
The longer-term sales forecast looks just as promising given the transformations happening in the field service industry right now. Field service providers are flourishing amid the surge of demand created by the pandemic. They are also adopting and upgrading technology at a rapid pace as the field service industry, like others, undergoes a digital revolution. Demand will remain high for solutions like ours that offer a seamless one-platform solution equally equipped to optimize service delivery and drive end-to-end profitability. At the intersection of many compelling forces sits our software – a central location that allows future customers to find us organically.
More Features for NextService
Our flagship FSM solution, NextService, underwent consistent enhancements over the past 12 months. That included additional features, improvements to the interface, and more customization options, along with new strategies to leverage FSM and ERP in parallel. We invest 30% of revenue into R&D to keep our software accessible to users, relevant to their needs, and at the forefront of the industry. This year we added some exceptionally talented new members to our product team to ensure that NextService keeps getting better.
The most exciting upgrades are yet to come, and many will debut in 2022. It is too early to reveal details just yet, but we can promise that game-changing features and functions will arrive soon, buoyed by our partnerships with other software companies. Any feature we add, or change we make, has been informed by a deep review of all customer feedback. Now as always, we deliver what our customers say they want and need. The upgrades we have planned in the coming months will be some of the most significant yet.
Further Commitment to Customers
Speaking of the deep customer feedback we use to guide the ongoing development of NextService, we are taking steps to better review the past, thereby learning even more about what our customers want in the future. We recently added the ability for our customers to provide feedback on each support ticket submitted. Our revamped mobile app will include a feature for users to provide feedback from the field about their interactions with our software and staff. Our goal is to find out what’s working for users, what isn’t, and what’s missing. By incorporating an in-app feedback feature, we hope to receive more feedback overall and capture input from those on the front lines of field service, so our product works for every user.
Customer engagement has always been at the heart of what we do. Our software helps providers engage with their customers in the field, just as our own team makes engagement and service their highest priorities. That commitment will not change in 2022 even as our company grows and evolves. Listening to our customers via feedback is part of a broader effort to ensure we are not just doing more – we are doing more of what customers want.
There is an exciting year shaping up for our team, our company, and our customers. Our primary goal for this year remains the same as always: finish stronger. Keep following our blog for insights about the future of field service and information about the latest updates to our software. Happy holidays!