Reflections from a Cloud Software CEO on a Year of Remote Working

Mar 9, 2021 | Industry

Editor’s note: This article was contributed by Gary Nemmers, Magaya CEO and Board Member.  

Ah, March. Winter is coming to an end. Spring is just around the corner. March is a time for new beginnings, but this year, it has a little extra flavor to it. Right alongside the thoughts of renewal and hope, the one-year anniversary of the pandemic disrupting our lives gives rise to a whole bevy of thoughts. After our first full year of running Magaya as a fully remote company, now is a good time to pause and reflect on our successes and the lessons we’ve learned from the switch.

On March 16th, 2020, Magaya employees began to work remotely, continuing to serve our customers by phone and email. There was no change to our business hours or the high level of service we take pride in offering. There was never any disruption in service to our customers, which was our number one priority as we adjusted to the change.

Being agile and adaptable is part of our culture, and that was instrumental in ensuring that implementations, development, and other projects continued as scheduled.

We pivoted quickly from a mostly in-person workforce to remote-first, in large part because we had the right infrastructure in place. That includes our own cloud-based Magaya Supply Chain software and a host of remote working tools like Slack for instant messaging, Zoom for video conferencing, Milanote for sharing information, ClickUp for project management, and so many more. These tools have helped us stay organized and in touch, making the transition possible without losing momentum on projects or negatively impacting employee productivity.

Remote meetings took over from conference rooms, and communication took a little more effort than walking down the hall, but we adjusted quickly to the new way of working.

Despite the challenges presented by the last year, we accelerated our growth curve, adding more than 1,200 new logos and customer engagements combined, completed two strategic acquisitions, released a host of innovative new products and features, expanded our strategic alliances around the world, and received industry recognition. It was a banner year for Magaya, our most successful yet.

Since going remote, Magaya announced a variety of product enhancements, including an exciting augmented reality app for the Dimensioner, a connector for QuickBooks Online accounting software, and an AMS Query extension for customs compliance, among others.

We also welcomed Catapult, an industry-leading rate management solution, and ACELYNK, a best-of-breed ACE-certified automated broker interface (ABI) customs compliance platform, positioning Magaya as the most comprehensive logistics software platform on the market today.

Plus, we expanded our partnerships around the world, announcing a strategic collaboration with Tsol in Mexico and collaborations with BlueX and CocoonFMS, adding value to the Magaya Ecosystem with new features and extending our reach in global markets.

The industry has taken note of the company’s success, with Magaya being named a Top Logistics IT Provider by Inbound Logistics and G2 listing us as a Leader in their Grid Report on Warehouse Management Solutions.

These successes are only possible because of our incredible team of dedicated, hardworking employees. Employee wellbeing is important, both to me as a leader, and to the Magaya company culture, so it’s only natural that we’ve supported our staff as they adjusted to the trials and tribulations of remote work, balanced working with young children by their side, and adapted to remote schooling. Our remote employees have required more flexibility in schedules than ever before, and we’ve been able to accommodate accordingly. Like so many of you, we’ve enjoyed our share of little faces in our Zoom happy hours and meetings, and the occasional family pet from our distributed workforce on our team calls.

Throughout it all, supporting our employees has been a top priority for the management team at Magaya. When PPE supplies were hard to come by, we distributed free N95 masks to every employee to help keep them safe. We’ve also surveyed our employees several times in the last year, learning a lot along the way about how we can better support them through wellness programs and other benefits. We respect their wishes to continue to work remotely or via a hybrid approach, working from the office part-time. We’ve even welcomed several new remote team members who we have only met virtually.

Looking towards the future, we have no immediate plans to require employees to return to the office. Those who wish to do so will be supported to return in a safe manner, as local regulations allow, and with added safety measures like distanced work stations, privacy barriers, hand sanitizer, closed offices, and more.

As an employer and business leader, I’m so proud of the Magaya team, and impressed at how we’ve been able to adapt and overcome the challenges of remote working. Magaya has always had a very family-oriented company culture, and although many of us are excited to be able to enjoy our office cafecitos together again soon, it was of the utmost importance that we, as a company, support our employees in being present for their families throughout these challenging times. As much as we love our office space, having a distributed team has not slowed us down. I’m also excited about the many projects we have underway related to mobility, artificial intelligence, automation, and more. 2021 is off to an incredible start for us at Magaya, and having a remote workforce has not slowed us down in the least. Stay tuned… the best is yet to come!