Review of 2021: our highlights.

Despite some fear and confusion due to the pandemic, along with the uncertainty of ever-changing government rules, 2021 has been a good year for Balloon.

We were resilient in overcoming the workplace difficulties that Covid presented. Beginning in 2020, we quickly adapted to the new normal of working from home. And during 2021 we did it while simultaneously home-schooling or training the lockdown puppy we had impulsively acquired.

Here we reflect on some of our highlights from the past twelve months.

Charity fundraising.

As a company, we organise a lot of charity fundraising and we support a new charity project every year. This year, we chose Helen & Douglas House, a charity hospice that cares for terminally ill children.

The charity relies on millions of pounds of donations every year to be able to continue its work. The team was keen to support the charity by running the Ealing Half Marathon.

Nine staff ran the race on Sunday 26th September 2021. Most of them had never run as far before – and for some, it was their first ever race.

The overwhelming feedback from the day was that the Balloon competitors relished both the race and the chance to raise money for a worthy cause. All in all, the team raised £2,533.

E2E conference.

In September, we held our annual end-user event. The End-to-End Conference 2021 was a chance for our customers to get together, share ideas and to hear from our partners.

Our client, Birlea Furniture, hosted the first day, welcoming everyone to their Castle Donnington warehouse for a tour and to hear the company’s operations.

After a meal and a catch up over a drink or two, we held the main conference the following day. We heard from our partners about their solution roadmaps and upcoming plans.

Our own staff presented information and updates about Balloon, including the launch of Geo2, a rebrand for our Balloon Springboard products.

Geo2 addresses the supply chain challenges that our customers are facing – such as increasing global ecommerce, new driverless delivery options and zero carbon goals.

Environmental responsibility.

We wanted to play our own part in tackling climate change by cutting carbon emissions and are proud to have become a signatory of The Climate Pledge.

In signing, we agree to commit to achieving net-zero carbon across our business by 2040. We will also use the opportunity to collaborate with fellow signatories, sharing best practices and innovations in supply chain technology.

Aside from measuring and reporting on our own greenhouse gas emissions, we are also implementing decarbonisation strategies, such as making energy efficiency improvements, utilising renewable energy and reducing materials.

One contribution we have made to neutralising any remaining emissions was to plant some trees. In November, six of the team volunteered to travel by train to Northumberland where they planted around 300 trees near Amble as part of our carbon offsetting endeavours.

Staff development.

We invest heavily in our staff, always looking for opportunities to encourage development and personal growth. So we were delighted to have recently been awarded the Investors in People silver accreditation.

Part of our people strategy is to bring in a group of new graduates each year. They undergo a comprehensive graduate induction programme to give them a good grounding in the company processes and procedures.

Our 2021 graduates joined us in the summer and have settled in well and are making a great contribution to the business.

Consultants making IT happen.

Our internal slogan is “making IT happen”, a phrase that exemplifies how we like to work with our clients. We have a pragmatic approach that drives how we deliver IT solutions for customers – and our aim is to “make IT happen” for them.

To implement exceptional projects, we count on our consultants and developers to apply their expertise and knowledge to tailor software that brings our clients the best solutions to their supply chain issues.

To demonstrate how these skills have helped make IT happen for some of our customers, we have published some case studies that show the innovative and effective solutions that they have delivered:

New clients.

It has been very rewarding to have helped clients to optimise their supply chain software during this difficult year. We have delivered several projects that have ensured clients could maximise their potential for online sales, or to achieve growth and economies of scale.

We have welcomed many new clients this year, some of which include:

 Premier Housewares – a wholesaler of furniture, interiors and kitchenware products

 Beauty Bay – an online beauty products retailer

– Pets Corner – a pet care retailer with shops and online sales

– LSE Retail – a lighting wholesaler and retailer

– The Protein Works – an online sports nutrition brand

 Virgin Wines – an online wines, beers and spirits retailer

Looking ahead to 2022.

As we face 2022 – a year in which we hopefully finally emerge from the pandemic – we will continue to strive to become the most trusted provider of supply chain software and services.

We want to help our customers achieve their ambitions, our users to enjoy their work, our suppliers to experience growth, and our employees to expand their horizons.

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