How Hive handled the COVID-19 pandemic
It has been over a year since the coronavirus has taken over the world. The pandemic put economic life on hold in March of 2020, and while the situation is looking a lot more promising in May of 2021, the virus still has its grip on everyday business. In this article, we would like to give you an insight into how Hive has handled the sudden recession and how our company has found a way to successfully continue to grow.
The past fourteen months were times of unprecedented uncertainty, also within Hive. When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, we were having some sleepless nights. Our sales pipeline was completely cancelled, and the plans of our existing customers came to a full stop. For a while, it seemed like our business model was at risk. On top of that, we had just invested in a new office that has been empty this whole time due to obligated remote work. Hive was, just like so many other companies, thrown into a sudden slump.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to change the way we handle (new) projects. We were used to building long-term relationships with prospects and customers by meeting them in person and going on-site to comprehend the situation they are in. Now that we have to work remotely, we were pressured to find a different way to connect with people.
Our team decided to shift the focus to sectors that experienced fewer impact from COVID-19. We began a big project in agriculture for Royal De Boer, a Dutch manufacturer of barn equipment. We worked on the project completely remotely together with the Dutch project team implementing HiveCPQ for Royal De Boer. Their highly customized SAP dealer management module was replaced by our CPQ platform, including more than 20 custom product configurators. This project was a challenge for our team, but we successfully equipped Royal De Boer with a powerful e-commerce platform in less than 6 months.
We also focused on a different region: in the summer of 2020, China was one of the first countries to start opening up again after the pandemic. Our team started a new project in China, set up four complex product configurators, and got the platform live on a Chinese server so our customers can use HiveCPQ without obstacles. We have achieved all of this while working remote, and without meeting any members of the project team in China.
A second strategy to cope with the recession was improving the systems for existing customers. While the economic life was on hold, we had time to look at how we can further improve our software to ensure a great experience for our existing customers. We added new features to HiveCPQ, built more integrations and further enhanced our customer service.
Hive also had to find a different way to attract new customers. We previously used our network, trade fairs, events, and group trips to get to know companies. Due to the pandemic this has all come to a full stop. Our team continued to introduce Hive to new customers by improving online presence. By investing in our website and online advertising, we were able to attract some new leads.
These approaches have helped us to overcome the slump we were suddenly thrown into in March of 2020. The manufacturing industry is not running at full speed yet, but some sectors have started picking up their normal activities again. One of our new clients in France, for example, is a manufacturer of milk tanks and was looking for a way to make their business more scalable. We got them up to speed with over fifteen product configurators so they can start selling remotely and online!
The COVID-19 pandemic has given Hive quite a hit during the spring of last year, but by focusing on the right regions and different sectors and by spoiling our existing customers, we were able to fight the sudden recession. We continue to concentrate on optimizing our online presence and communication. We are looking forward to when things go back to normal. Until then, we are more than happy to meet you for a digital coffee break! Get in touch, we hope to meet with you soon!
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