When our company gathered for our annual kickoff meeting, we had a lot to discuss. From our challenges and successes of 2017 to our big plans for 2018, it was an exciting time! If you are reading this, it is most likely because you are partnered with our company, so it is important to me we keep you updated on how we are doing.

The year in review

Who knew so much could happen in a year? Last January, I started out by saying, “NetGain Technologies has always had core values, but we want them to really come alive this year.”

As we settled into our new roles, Brendan and I asked the management team to focus on internal culture and an improved employee experience. We asked the whole team to learn and live the “NetGain Way.” You’ve heard me discuss those 10 values throughout the year, and I’m proud to say they’ve really become the underpinning of all our actions. (I even wrote a blog series on using the ideas behind the NetGain Way to become a great place to work.)

Hearing our teams

The suggestion box on our company’s intranet has been the source of dozens of great submissions over the years. Last spring, we added another forum for staff members to offer ideas for improvement. An Employee Advisory Council helped us receive a steady flow of insightful feedback and proposals to make us a true workplace of a lifetime. The program was such a success that we asked Robert Patterson to lead a new council in 2018.

Closing out 2017 in style

December was a month for the record books. On our way to celebrating a milestone—our “million dollar year”—we achieved our largest-ever month of new MRR. Monthly recurring revenue is our most important internal metric, and it was the focus of our 2017 annual goal. You might have seen my pictures of our company celebrating together for a six-state live mimosa toast via video conferencing!

Getting the right people on the bus

An important success last year was adding two key leaders to the team. To get to where we had not been as a company, we needed executives who had been where we wanted to go. We hired a vice president of operations to manage our service delivery who had managed this type of work at CDW, and we hired a vice president of managed service sales who could grow that line of business. We filled both roles with leaders who fit the NetGain Way. Jason Bowra and Nigel Taylor have brought innovative ideas to their teams while living our values. We hired for a culture fit first and foremost. They have settled in, and they’re ready to continue our growth in 2018.

What I learned from clients this year

Our clients tell us our ability to advise the C-suite differentiates us from other I.T. service providers. One of my favorite things to do is get out and meet clients. Throughout the year I heard some common themes when meeting with people running businesses:

  1. More businesses are looking to outsource I.T. responsibility
  2. More C-level people are less worried about where their I.T. resides
  3. The market wants to understand a company’s SUPER POWER (i.e., what they do best)
  4. C-level people want to be led strategically
  5. Product sales continue to decline and services sales continue to increase
  6. The market is becoming more data driven

We have spent the year making the appropriate investments to deliver on these trends. It may be introducing new services like virtual chief security officer (vCSO) or implementing new quarterly business review processes with budgets to make them more business focused. Either way, we are listening. I once read that, if you fall in love with delighting your clients and not your products, you will always be in business. This quote is what we do at NetGain Technologies.

Fanatical focus on client satisfaction

Ninety-five percent may be the best-in-class industry standard for client satisfaction rate, but our Projects team hit 97 percent in 2017, and our Tactical Remote team managed a stellar 98.8 percent satisfaction rate. We finished the year with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) halfway between “excellent” and “world class.” We have a great team focused on creating happy clients!

2018 theme

Every year and quarter, we identify a unifying theme and outline several specific corporate goals. In 2018, we decided to make our theme a core value from The NetGain Way. If you think you can or can’t, you’re probably right. (My dad used to say this to us all the time so I know he would be proud!) The reason we chose this theme was we have many new talented people in leadership roles and have set big goals. The only thing that can stop our success is us.

Looking ahead

If 2018 looks like a bigger, stronger version of 2017, that’s exactly how it is supposed to appear. Here are four goals we’ll concentrate on in the year ahead:

  • We’ll continue to focus on culture. We have to have the right people on the bus in the right seats.
  • In order to hit our company budget, we MUST do two things: Hit our sales plan and be more efficient in service delivery.
  • We are investing more in facilities and our image. NetGain’s Cincinnati and Louisville branches are moving to new high end office spaces while Little Rock is getting a makeover. More investing to come!
  • We’ll keep investing in business intelligence, integrations, and software to help drive data. We are using more data now than ever to report to clients, manage our business, and make better decisions than our peers.

We are about to take a group of 30-plus people to Marco Island, Fla., to celebrate our success. Our Chairman’s Club trip is a fun time to take a breath and reflect on our success with top service and sales performers. 2018 will be another year of focusing on the right things with the right people. I’m confident that if you are partnered with us, you will experience our constant pursuit of a better way. If you are not partnered with us, my hope is you will reach out and give us an opportunity to see how we may serve you.

Honors and recognitions in Q4

Quarterly awards for outstanding employee efforts went to:

  • Sales-Professional Services: Carl Crosby
  • Sales-MRR: Robert Ney
  • Finance and Administrative: Megan Reed
  • Marketing and Development: Deneé Wilson
  • Technology OneSource Engineer: Brent Poynter
  • Professional Services Engineer: Robin Fischer
  • Tactical Operations Team: Ian Hanley
  • Client Success: Robert Patterson
  • Sales Support: Randy Preston

Honors and recognitions for 2017

Annual awards for outstanding employee efforts went to:

  • Finance and Administrative: Julie Rogers
  • Marketing and Development: Scot T. Gillies
  • Technology OneSource Engineer: Jesse Kuykendall
  • Professional Services Engineer: Robin Fischer
  • Tactical Operations Team: Jonathan Tuers
  • Client Success: Adam Weiger
  • Jo Hayes Sales Support Award: Kevin Smith
  • NetGain Technologies Employee of the Year: Jason McRoberts

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