I. Moving Forward with A New Mantra
In the past, my leadership mantra focused on the three Ps – People, Productivity, and Profits. Invest in your [People] to make them [Productive] so that it will yield [Profits]. Leading into 2020, this philosophy had served me well. A lot has already been said about 2020, but in short, there was nothing ordinary about it. The events that have unfolded over the past 9 months provided all of us an opportunity to reflect inward and to challenge the status quo and that reflection has even led to changes in my own leadership mantra.
[PEOPLE] Investing in people is still important. However, what has become increasing more important is a primary focus on the wellness aspect of our people, whether it be our families or our employees. Without wellness, nothing else matters. I have always believed in concepts like “Happy Employees lead to Happy Customers“ and “Employees First, Customers Second”, and these beliefs were put to test in 2020. At Effectus, we focused on our people first and ensured our colleagues and co-workers felt certainty and awareness through our communications. The cascading impact of employee wellness was exhibited in how they acted in their personal lives and with their friends and family.
[PRIVILEGE] If you are in a position of Privilege, use that to the benefit of people around you. Privilege comes in many ways with the most obvious being wealth. However, my version of privilege is in addition to wealth. Privilege of race, Privilege of being physically able, Privilege of being in a certain job role, etc. This year we collaborated with the Equity Institute at Domus, an experience that was eye-opening to how calloused and desensitized we can be to things in our daily lives until seeing them from the lens of those who lack the same things, we often take for granted.
Sharing this is not to convey a “holier than thou” message. The message here is an emphasis on the importance of recognizing the good and fortunate things in our lives and being grateful. That same gratitude manifests itself through the decisions we make and actions we take to level the playing field for those we interact with.
[PURPOSE] Purpose before profits. Not to say both are not important to a healthy business, but profits without purpose tend to be myopic. Purpose for me is our social responsibility to the environment. It may sound cliché but engaging with Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and association with 1% for the Planet by our sister company, Lapine, provided a much-needed reality check. We are not the first ones to realize the importance of the environment, sustainability and may even be late to the game. My perspective is – better late than never to show gratitude to our environment.
II. Social Closeness, Physical Distance
Amidst the talk about social distancing, for Effectus it was about social closeness (figuratively) with both our Clients and Vendor Partners.
For several of our clients, we are critical to their business operations. As soon as the pandemic transpired, we increased our “social closeness” (collaboration) with clients. Jointly, our teams developed BCPs (business continuity plans) and prioritized the daily tasks that would be essential for our partners.
For our global vendor partners around the world, we already had implemented video conferencing since the formation of Effectus. This made transitioning to being 100% remote less of an issue for us and our vendor partners from a technical and infrastructure perspective.
III. Transformation – Digital Content and Technology
With the launch of our SaaS (software as a service) platform – ECP (Effectus Content Platform), we are even more equipped to assist companies in their digital commerce journey. In light of this past year, we have focused efforts on delivering value through this medium.
The acceleration of e-commerce growth exposed gaps in the digital experience that many brands were unaware of. All of our clients that utilize this platform have been able to quickly improve product content to form actionable insights to address the content deficit. As brands have had less control over their physical presence in 2020, de-risking their business with an enhanced digital strategy became mission-critical, and bridging the information gaps between manufacturers, retailers and consumers was urgent. Our users successfully leveraged ECP to speed the digital R&D effort they wound up needing sooner than expected, enabling them to remain focused on executing against their consumer’s most pressing needs.
With the rapid surge in our clients’ content needs, we tripled our content management team to support ECP. This team is responsible for helping brands further assess the current-state of their content architecture as well as solutioning for the content enrichment goal-state.
Beyond ECP, our technological capabilities enabled our clients in more operational capacities, as well. Despite businesses reopening and people being called back to work, there continues to be a financial strain on customers, many of which are using coupons and vouchers to subsidize the financial burden. Our digital Coupon Processing solutions helped retailers get funds credited faster for the coupons redeemed by their customers. Solutions like our digital Coupon Processing have improved the flow of products and preserved the relationships our clients have on the supply side of the product journey.
As we close out 2020 and enter 2021, to our employees, clients and vendor partners, Thank You and Happy New Year ahead!