This review was updated on June 25th, 2018 by the client. New content is below.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
My company is Akbosh Media Network. After working on the first project with Artelogic for a couple of years, I left the business to start my own company, Auto Transport Plus. I’ve engaged them for smaller-scale development and online marketing projects since then. Our current focus is Cloudvanlines.com.
What challenges have you been trying to address with Artelogic?
After working as a programmer for 15 years, I decided to start outsourcing all of my development tasks. I didn’t fully trust anyone at the time and figured that in the worst-case scenario, I could continue the work myself. Since I first hired Artelogic to fix my website, they’ve become my primary resource.
What was the scope of their involvement?
Most of our projects have used a SaaS model. Until recently, we used Microsoft tools which align with my background. We’ve recently pivoted from .NET to ASP.NET MVC with Microsoft SQL Server as the database. Artelogic built the entire platform for this transport-car brokerage firm, which operates in the U.S. We shifted the model to SaaS to increase sales and added components for transporters, customers, and brokers.
Cloud Van Lines launched in 2013 after investment and development inconsistencies. Now, we’re rolling out a new system that aims disrupt the household moving and storage industry. This phase involves buying our own containers and placing them across the U.S.
A notable mobile app Artelogic built was for a buyback program. Manufacturers like Ford, General Motors, and Ally Financial give cars to rental companies and repurchase them after users are finished with them. Our app helps inspectors evaluate minor damages to determine whether vehicles qualify to eventually be pushed to auctions and sold.
What is the team composition?
When we started in 2009, Artelogic only had a couple of employees. They currently have over 30 people on their team, 15 of whom have engaged in one of my projects. Since last time, project management and development resources changed. Using a thorough review system, they take their time before making a hire. They let go of that employee quickly if issues arise and continuously follow up with us.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent about $300,000 across all the projects we’ve done since my last review.
What is the current status of this engagement?
We’ve paused development a couple of times but are currently working on Cloud Van Lines. Many development companies from Ukraine and Russia approached me after the first review, but I don’t plan to use them anytime soon. I have a group that works well, so there’s no reason to make a change.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
After Artelogic developed our BuildMyMove project, we raised $1.5 million in investor capital. We’d started with $100,000 in capital to position ourselves to attract new investors. This influx of funding after the first development they completed grew our business from three to 70 people within an eight-month period.
Our most significant success yet was selling Auto Transport Plus for a seven-digit figure. We were bought out four months after completion and invested much of that revenue into Cloud Van Lines. In a little under two years, we showed the investors who gave us $1 million to roll this out that our model is profitable. Thanks to Artelogic, we have all three parts of our project in place and can launch our service in full force. The system works, and users can now place orders.
I’m consistently humbled by Artelogic’s performance. Projects of this caliber are hard to outsource. Teams come and go, and this type of work almost never gets done. They’ve kept their priorities straight as they’ve grown and always deliver. I’m lucky to have found them.
How did Artelogic perform from a project management standpoint?
They have an effective method of breaking down projects. We understand each other’s style and communicate clearly and well together. They’re a well-organized team that accomplishes tasks as promised and is always there for me. Most of our communication is one-to-one, but we use Google Hangouts for group discussions. We supplement Jira, our primary project management tool, with Google Docs and Dropbox for tasks like mockups.
We often speak directly with the developers for updates. I was glad to see that even under new management, we never experienced a slowdown. I understood the position the new developers were in as we taught them about our system. I give them kudos for how well they’ve adapted and dealt with the learning curve.
What do you find most impressive about them?
They’ve grown significantly since 2009. After learning from our explanations, they understand our business much better now. Many concepts were utterly new to them at first. For example, there are no moving companies in Ukraine, where they’re located. Instead, people usually ask friends and family to help them out.
Pretty much everyone on the team now speaks English. Only the leadership used to, so I’d dealt with every task through one key point of contact. In the last 1-2 weeks, though, Artelogic’s developers even Skyped people from the U.S. side of our project to give demos of work they’ve done recently.
Artelogic is skilled at other technologies besides .NET. They’ve also done WordPress integrations using PHP on a smaller scale so far. I used to refuse to use anything but Microsoft. When they got too busy to provide enough of those developers, I gave PHP a try, and they delivered just as well.
Are there any areas they could improve?
No, none that I can think of.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Don’t hesitate to bring Artelogic in as more than just a developer. New clients should be open about the company’s goals. Share internal challenges so they can allocate the necessary resources.
When we lost one of our investors, I kept Artelogic in the dark because we didn’t want to stop the project. At the same time, we couldn’t afford to have them continue development. This pause was a hit for them. They had to allocate teammates to other projects or let them go if there were none available. When we resumed the work a few months later, we had to start small since it took time to find new developers. We should have been more forthcoming about the possible challenges we faced.