Navigating the business world in any circumstances is perilous, but in the midst of a pandemic, the level of difficulty is even higher. But for Mooresville-based Advantage Software, they've worked to help keep advertising agencies afloat in such turbulent times.
“We're a private company, so we can’t divulge financial information. I can say that despite seeing a significant downturn in Q2, we're on pace to see double-digit year-over-year growth, and expect that pace to continue accelerating into 2021," Advantage Software CRO Jeff Thrall said.
Part of that is due to their adaptations to what has been a turbulent 2020. Businesses suddenly had to figure out how to operate in a world where the coronavirus is a threat.
"We focused all of our energy and resources around supporting our clients through the shock of the initial change. We helped them adapt to the remote work model by doing things like creating educational materials and conducting web training sessions," Thrall said. "As things started to normalize over the last few months, we continued to support our clients, but also advised them that the hidden opportunity in all of the chaos is for them to take a hard look at all of their operations, and use this slower period to identify areas for efficiency and improved workflow. This message has really resonated, and we're seeing significant demand for our software and services as a result."
The company itself has experienced its own ups and downs as well. They said they posted a record number of sales before the coronavirus took hold.
“We had a record first quarter in terms of new sales, and then COVID-19 hit and everyone got scared," Jeff Thrall said in a statement.
But bouncing back isn't just good for the company, it's good for the county as well as Advantage Software, which employs around 50 people, the majority based out of its Mooresville offices. Iredell County began the year with a 3.8% unemployment rate that spiked to 13.8% in April but settled down 7.9% in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Aside from the economic benefits driven by the office and employees we maintain here, we also bring more positive attention to Iredell County. We are routinely speaking with the brightest minds in advertising from around North America and other parts of the world as well," Thrall said. They're always interested in where we're located and why. We espouse the benefits of the greater Charlotte and Mooresville area and raise our community’s profile in our conversations with these influential people."
They may like the physical location around here, but they're still keeping an eye on the virtual world as well as remote work became one of the subplots of the way coronavirus changed society. Adapting to remote work temporarily was a necessity, but it will have ripple effects going forward. Companies are still adapting to workers not always coming into the office now, but once that virus is under control, many workers may return to their offices.
However, it's hard not to see more flexibility in the coming years as some businesses had employees working effectively without stepping foot in an office building.
That's something Advantage sees as another opportunity.
“The shift to remote work showed a lot of companies where the gaps in their workflow were, that they had previously been able to cover up in the traditional work environment. With the sudden shift to WFH, these companies were feeling a lot more pain. I told them that we should use this time as an opportunity, while things have slowed down, to re-evaluate everything, find what is broken, figure out how we can fix it, and use technology to streamline those systems. It is important to do this now because we know there is going to be a recovery, but the question is, are you going to be ready for it when it comes?" Thrall said.
Follow Ben Gibson on Facebook and Twitter at @BenGibsonSRL
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