2019 was a very successful year for QBSW. We reached record turnover, we had a large number of contracted projects, and our number of employees was the highest in company history. We entered the year 2020 with equally optimistic expectations. It was a perfect year to celebrate QBSW’s twentieth anniversary.
Of course, we knew that the election was ahead of us
As a result, we had to anticipate changes in the government and the management of state-owned organizations. Nevertheless, the information systems and services we provide are used by both public administration and private companies to such an extent that we had no reason to assume that we would be impacted by the election results.
In March, we were faced with a threat that few could have foreseen at the start of the year. The COVID-19 pandemic surprised us by its infectiousness and its ability to paralyze the functioning of society as we know it. Luckily, we only saw this from afar in the most affected countries around us – in Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom.
We immediately responded to the situation
We moved all work to company-wide home offices and implemented online communication with our clients and partners. Thankfully, we were already familiar with communicating online with our foreign clients. We already had systems in place for remote communication within teams (as three of our teams are located outside of Bratislava).
However, the impact on our existing business was dramatic. Within a month of the coronavirus outbreak, one of our largest customers from the private sector announced that they were terminating our project, as it was no longer profitable for their end customer due to the ongoing crisis. Also, the payment discipline of our customers grew worse as the pandemic and lockdowns wore on.
We had to react to this situation with several cost-saving measures
One of them was, unfortunately, the unpleasant termination of some of our colleagues. During this entire process, we tried to act as openly, fairly, and sensitively as possible.
We are closely monitoring the possibilities of government support for entrepreneurs, and we are using them in a suitable form. We have also been focusing on increasing our efficiency and expanding our business activities. During the year, we managed to acquire several new customers—one from Austria and others from the Slovak banking and finance sector. We have launched a marketing campaign aimed at foreign markets, and we are also communicating intensively with chambers of commerce and other partners while searching for new opportunities for the export of our products and services.
Once again, we are expanding our teams and hiring new colleagues as the volume of our deliveries is starting to increase. We believe that the renewed demand from our existing customers and the acquisition of new ones will allow us to grow steadily over the next year. The experience we gained will enable us to respond efficiently to the business needs of our customers.
We look forward to you being a part of our success.