What was the scope of their involvement?
We started with a requirements-gathering process that involved our IT department and key stakeholders. The project is huge, so we broke it into different milestones. In the first phase, we found a vendor that could take the project to phase 2. We walked AppStudio through our requirements and challenges so that they could facilitate the entire component. We were initially thinking of hiring consultants for the first phase and then passing the work to a mobile team, but AppStudio understood exactly what we were looking for and documented it pretty well. Once this phase was complete, we were able to keep moving because we had the backend in place. Then, we asked AppStudio to work on the mobile app.
The work has a logistics component and a point-of-sales component. Logistically, we had to cut costs from delivery to production because the industry margins went down. We’ve implemented technology into each of the trucks that are delivering the steel. We’re able to track their routes through sensors to give insight in terms of cost. For the point-of-sales, AppStudio is helping us with an iPad application so that when our consultants and sales team pitch to a potential client, they have all the data on hand to provide a quote.
For the logistics component of the mobile app, we’re using Node.js because of the real-time component. AppStudio is helping us with an activity tracker. We have an iOS app and an Android app that are being built in Swift and Java. For the database, we’re using Mongo and Play. We have Legacy systems also that were in . NET. We had 5 business analysts for phase 1. I’m not sure how many developers were working on the project—probably 10–15 developers.
How did you come to work with AppStudio?
We had an RFP process. AppStudio and some other companies offered bids, and we used a scoring process to choose the best firm. We had predefined criteria in terms of our goals. We wanted to see if they understood the requirements, which was our primary concern. We’ve worked with IT for a long time, and the biggest problem is often requirements gathering. AppStudio seemed to understand that, so we chose them.
How much have you invested with AppStudio?
We’ve spent around $150,000 during our relationship. The RFP was for $500,000, but the work has been broken into 3 or 4 years.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with AppStudio at the end of 2015, and the work is ongoing.