A changed outlook on life in combination with new technology have influenced our approach to work. In five years, 45 per cent of the workforce is expected to be working in a freelance environment. At the same time, the demand for human know-how is increasing in combination with the introduction of advanced systems from companies and organisations that must be developed in order to be able to compete in this new, digitised society. This trend is continuing to promote Ework as a facilitator and link between the demand and supply of competence, and also serves as a driving force in the revamping of both the consultancy market and the view of the future labour market. In 2018, we passed the historic 10 billion SEK sales mark, and even topped 11 billion SEK. At the same time, our digital investments continue as we consolidate our market-leading position.
Working in GIGs. Working Remote.
Just a few years ago, these were concepts that very few people knew what they meant. Today, it is a description of how more and more people want to work – and also are able to. Growing up in an age of mobile phones, the Internet and personal computers, the millennium generation has helped to redefine both working life and the labour market. Their quest to take control of their own lives to achieve a better life balance has also spread to other generations. At the same time, the demands on companies and organisations to exploit the opportunities being offered by new technology to bolster their competitiveness is increasing. This also boosts demand for competence. In other words, the search for skilled consultants is escalating in line with the digital transformation of society. The trend towards a consultancy-based labour market has accelerated over recent years. And Ework has not only taken advantage of the potential, we have also played a major role in its development by listening to our clients and consultants and with an eye on the future continuously exploring new opportunities to improve the benefits for both groups. Over the past five years, the company has seen impressive growth from sales of just below 4 billion SEK to break through the 11 billion SEK level in 2018.
Functionality and speed.
At the same time, we have
established ourselves in new markets. These include Poland, where we now have three offices and a business enjoying exponential growth. We also opened new offices in Stavanger, Sundsvall and Århus during the year. These initiatives partly reflect our conviction to be there for our existing clients when they need us, and partly our ambition to take advantage of the potential in areas where there are organisations and businesses with pressing needs for competence. In Stavanger, this primarily concerns the oil and gas industry, and in Sundsvall and the area along the Norrland coast, it is the public sector and major industrial companies that are in focus.
The past year was also characterised by continued investments in new systems. We regard these as essential, not only to attract new clients and capture new market shares, but also to retain our existing clients and consolidate our market-leading position. The investment can be broken down into three areas. The first is about the continued development of our consultant matching system, which is designed to make us even better at quickly identifying the best consultant for a particular assignment with enhanced search capacity, speed and functionality.
The system and this new way of working, which was implemented across all Ework offices in 2018, has resulted in us already enjoying a higher hit rate, that is, a higher proportion of completed transactions per request. The second is that we are developing and streamlining our internal administrative flows. The major part of the work in this area has now been completed, and we expect to have finalised the project in the second half of 2019.
A personal commitment to mark our position.
In summary, in 2018 we worked on improving the client and consultant offering through digital services, we continued the digitalisation of our delivery model and we strengthened the organisation by enhancing our sales focus. The new strategic software services provide long-term added value for our clients and generate excellent potential for Ework for the future. Although this has meant greater investments than we expected over the last two years, we are convinced that it is these investments that generate clear added value for our clients going forward. I would like to thank our clients, consultants, employees and shareholders for their contribution in our development towards becoming the leading company in Northern Europe, a key player in the ongoing transformation in the future of the supply of competence and how ‘professionals engage’.
RECORD BREAKING 11 BILLION – AND AN OFFERING WITH MORE CUTTING EDGE from
EWORK GROUP - Annual Report 2018