While 2021 far from brought us “back to normal,” it did bring us to a “new normal.” Signing off last year, vaccines were a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Now, they’ve helped us see family, friends, and coworkers again for the first time in over a year.
As soon as we safely could, KDG opened our office to vaccinated employees. Stepping back to our desks, with calendars and to-do lists (and, yes, even some snacks) left over from March 2020 was like stepping into a living history museum stuck in time. While some employees did choose to return, by summer, we made the leap to a permanently hybrid workforce. This shift improved our flexibility, enhanced our growth (more on that below!), and made top talent more accessible than ever. And we’re not alone.
With new teams and new talent, we embarked on a series of exciting and challenging projects with clients from coast-to-coast. We partnered with top-tier private universities, impressive start-ups, leading international manufacturers, and inspiring nonprofits. And if 2021 has shown us anything, it is that these new partnerships are here to stay. We celebrated countless anniversaries with legacy clients this year, from 1 to 3 to 5 to even 10 years working together. We look forward to celebrating these milestones next year and every year.
Join us as we take a quick look back at all of the ways KDG, our employees, and our partners like you helped us make 2021 a year to remember.
Being Values Driven
2021 started with us cementing our company values, from how we treat our clients to how we treat each other. These are values we have always lived and worked by, but getting them down on paper enabled us to hold each other accountable to them, memorize them, and refer back to them when facing difficult times or questions.
For the first time in nearly a year, Team KDG was able to get together again for happy hours, outings, and even company meetings. With so many new team members having joined us in 2020 and 2021, there were a lot of in-person introductions to go around! We still limited large gatherings, like our strategic plan meeting and holiday party, to virtual mediums, but we were able to strike a happy balance between safety and socializing. (The Wall Street Journal even gave our company and our creative gatherings another mention this year!)
Zoho Connect has been an amazing resource for us as we’ve navigated our hybrid workplace. It serves as our custom company portal where we can share news, make announcements, gather feedback, and get to know one another. Our daily Connect activity has been one small way in which all of us can feel a little closer, even when we’re hundreds of miles away.
I finished What we do in the Shadows a few weeks ago and would definitely recommend if you like dark humor.
Sausage dressing. It is always on my menu. If I go to my cousin’s for Thanksgiving dinner, I bring it. It is a “gotta have” for me every year.
-Mary Beth Myford
I got “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. Nothing like trumpets backed by a boom-chucka beat in the morning…
By the Numbers
KDG grew more in 2021 than any year prior, not just in our number of clients, but also in our number of employees. Our new hybrid workplace has allowed us to partner with top-tier talent in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. These fresh faces brought with them new experiences, new skills, and new perspectives to help us take on larger, more challenging, and more exciting projects (See below!). The face of KDG may be changing, but our commitment to flawless customer experience is constant. And these new team members are helping us deliver!
This year saw the launch of some of the most innovative and challenging projects our team has ever worked on. From custom applications and ERP implementations to accounting migrations and digital transformations, take a look at some of the projects we helped bring to life this year.
From designing user interfaces for our custom applications to developing eye-popping new websites for WordPress, our UI/UX team was kept busy this year! Their largest projects included building a new website for an international nonprofit, crafting another record-breaking crowdfunding portal for Drexel University, and enhancing the interface of a custom CRM developed for a national supplements manufacturer.
Our custom software development team spent nearly all of 2021 engaged in several large enterprise projects, including a custom CRM for a national electronic recycling corporation, a mobile application for energy auditors, and a fantasy sports app that millions of fans will turn to. They’ve also been involved in developing custom in-house software for invoicing, contracting, and feedback. This hard work led them to be named a top software development team by Clutch.co.
Preventing Data Dangers
This year, our cybersecurity and technology management team unveiled their free IT Network Security Assessment. With no cost, no catch, and no commitment, this no-strings-attached offering quickly caught the attention of small businesses in finance, consulting, and law. During the assessment, our team performs a three-day audit of a company’s IT network, from their devices to their shared files to their passwords. Vulnerabilities and best practices are compiled in a customized report. Clients can even turn in their report for a discount on their cybersecurity insurance! (Don’t miss out in 2022! If you’re looking for security support in the new year, book an audit now!)
Our accounting services team makes bookkeeping, numbers, and reporting simple, efficient, and sometimes even exciting. It’s no wonder they’ve been booked solid since the service was unveiled in 2019. This year, they led the charge on several large migrations from QuickBooks to Zoho Books. After they ended, many of these migration projects turned into monthly bookkeeping engagements. Our team helped landscapers, manufacturers, healthcare experts, and small business owners prepare for tax season, piece together missing data, run reporting, and simply save time on the daily, weekly, and monthly bookkeeping tasks that eat up hours.
No mention of 2021 would be complete without giving a shout out to our Zoho Partner team! This year, our certified Zoho developers became Zoho Enterprise Partner. As one of the only 100% US-based Zoho Partners and a global Zoho development leader, this new level of partnership has allowed us to partner with the largest enterprise companies in need of Zoho development and support in Creator, CRM, Inventory, Books, and beyond.
We have it on good authority that Zoho is planning some exciting things for 2022! We look forward to being your partner every step of the way.
Throughout 2021, we asked for your feedback. And you delivered! We received the most pieces of client feedback ever this year, with over 600 ratings and reviews submitted to our custom feedback system, as well as to Clutch.co. Every word you write to us is read carefully to ensure we’re delivering nothing but the best to you and your team. Thank you for helping us on our mission to flawless customer service!
Giving back to our community is a value each and every employee at KDG holds dear. We were fortunate enough to donate over $25,000 to local food banks, community nonprofits, environmental groups, healthcare organizations, and more. We also launched a partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects this year, having helped plant 2,500 trees. (The organization as a whole planted over 280 million trees in 2021!)
We also got back out in the community in-person! Some highlights of the year included participating in The Arc of Lehigh & Northampton County’s One Step Forward celebration, New Bethany Ministries’ Souper Day, and the American Cancer Society Making Strides Walk.
Any time Team KDG can get together and do some good? That’s a win-win in our book!
While we faced some challenges, 2021 was brighter than we could have ever imagined, and it is thanks to you, our employees, and our partners who have stood by our side throughout the ups and downs 2020 and 2021 have brought. Whether you partnered with us this December or a decade ago, we’re thankful for your feedback, your patience, your support, your questions…all you have done to help us grow and improve. We look forward to all that 2022 has in store.
Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season!