On Dec 15th 2020, we published a podcast episode titled: Looking Back at 2020 With SOLABS’ Executives. I’ve decided to write down the key takeaways from this episode for our clients that prefer reading rather than an audio format!
By reading further, you will learn about how our executives measured their performance throughout 2020, along with what their biggest challenges and realizations were during the year.
Ericka Moore, Head Client Success
Biggest Challenge of 2020: After a prolonged leave, I had to adapt to a lot of new technologies. Even Microsoft 360 tools are different now! It’s not exactly a project, but adapting to all of that has been my biggest challenge.
Realization I am most proud of for 2020: Since I’ve only been back a few months, it’s hard to pinpoint anything I’m personally proud of. I am however very proud of SOLABS as a company! Our employees and clients are very happy, our support team is doing quite well, and all that in the middle of a worldwide crisis. I feel proud to be part of the organization that SOLABS is today.
How has the Client Success department performed over the course of 2020?
One of the main things I monitor is the Level 1 Support SLA that we’ve launched this year. So far this service has been very successful. On average, we have 7 clients that use it every month and we bill about 30 hours per client monthly. I give my thanks to Gretchen Dixson who provides most of this service to our clients!
The second metric that I look at are software revenues. In Q4 2020, we’ve already achieved an increase of 5.8% over last year. Our objective is maintaining an increase of 5% quarter over quarter.
Kevin Byrne Langlois, Head of Engineering
Biggest Challenge of 2020: The biggest challenge would be the update of the infrastructure for our hosting center. We just completed it on November 29th. It took approximately 8 months of work, changing firewalls, vendors, infrastructure type, technology, etc.
We wanted to be able to expose our clients to how we built the hosting center and how we manage it, so we created a set of structured documents for this purpose. This was definitely the biggest infrastructure update I’ve done for SOLABS so far, both in the amount of work that went into it and the amount of time it took!
Realization I am most proud of for 2020: The realization I am most proud of is a global achievement and everybody from SOLABS pitched in. We decided to move to an objective based approach and we have put systems and processes in place that enable us to define our business needs, prioritize them and schedule time for our employees based on those. This really helps us focus on what matters most at all times.
How has the Engineering department performed over the course of 2020?
One of the first metrics we look at is the amount of downtime we use. In 2019, we used a total of 11.3% of our available downtime compared to 23.3% in 2020. This difference is explained by the hosting center maintenance that was extended 3 additional hours. At the end of the day, we’re still 76% off of what our SLA allows, so we’re in good shape.
We’ve had 4 incidents this year compared to 2 in 2019. One of those is related to the hosting center maintenance, so the real delta is 1.
At the release level we have completed 2 bug fix releases this year compared to 0 in 2019 and we completed 6 corrective releases compared to three in 2019. This solved a lot of issues, which also had a positive impact on support. This year we opened 216 CREQs compared to 316 in 2019, which is about 40% less. We’re very happy about this.
The total number of users in SOLABS QM’ hosting center has gone up by 29% since 2020.
We also had a goal of 9 QM App updates. Eight of those have already been delivered and the final one is about to be completed.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, we had a scheduled infrastructure update. This was completed and it works. The documentation related to this has also been completed and approved.
The last project we had to deliver was the work from home project for SOLABS’ employees. We had to provide new infrastructure to support SOLABS’ team working full time from home. The equipment has been ordered and we are looking to deliver in January,
Martine Boire, Head of Product and Quality Management
How has the Product and Quality Management department performed over the course of 2020?
Our main objective was to address our open internal deviations. At the beginning of the year, we had 15 open deviations that were overdue. Out of these, 14 are now closed.
Another objective was to address the open client audit observations. SOLABS had multiple client audits in 2019 and 2020 and we wanted to address everything that was reported. At the beginning of the year, we had 28 observations and 15 recommendations that were still open. Out of those, 35 have been closed, 7 have been extended (after approval by the client) and 1 is ongoing.
We also wanted to redefine our current CAPA and Deviation processes to better align them with how we work internally. For this, new Deviation and CAPA management processes are now in place at SOLABS.
Finally, to ensure SOLABS’ quality system is as strong as possible, we have an objective to obtain ISO 9001:2015 certification. The certification process is currently ongoing. The GAP analysis has been completed and the report and action plan are to be finalized by the end of 2020. Our goal is to get the certification by end of 2021 or before.
Etienne Langlois, Sr. Marketing Coordinator
Biggest Challenge of 2020: Implementing the new SOLABS website was my most challenging project this year. The project began in 2019, but was delivered in February 2020. A follow-up to this was establishing the habit of publishing content on the Knowledge Base portion of the website and making sure that we continuously add new content, allowing us to stay ahead of questions our clients and prospects might have.
Realization I am most proud of for 2020: I would say the branding that we’re developing for SOLABS is what I am most proud of. We worked on how to explain what SOLABS does in both words and illustrations. Also, I’m very proud of everything I’ve learned this year and I feel like I’ll accomplish even more in 2021 than what I did in 2020.
How has the Marketing department performed over the course of 2020?
The most important thing that I measure is the number of leads that come in that were not initially solicited from our sales team. Our objective is 3 qualified leads a month and starting in June we’ve either been on target or almost on target each month. We’ve had two in June, none in August, three in September, two in October and two in November.
I also like to measure the performance of our ads. Last year, we had only one campaign running. This year, we have four different ad campaigns. Looking at numbers, last year between September and December we had an average of 1600 clicks per month. This year during the same period, this number rose to 1660. In addition, through the months of September through November 2020, this number has gone up to 2174. We can see a positive trend moving forward.
Finally, since we’ve put a lot of effort into building a Knowledge Base that provides answers to our client’s questions, I measure how much we’re contributing to it! Starting in July we established an objective of one article every week for each of our six contributors (huge shoutout to Gretchen, Pascal, Martine, Kevin and Philippe). We did not meet the objective in July but we did achieve it in August, September and October and got very close in November.