What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
So far, it’s working fine, and the costs are quite manageable. It’s one-fifth of what we paid in Amsterdam. The quality of their in-house developers is equal to or better than those in Amsterdam.
So, we’ve had 5,000 more hours to get things done with people that are as good or even better. The partnership has had quite an impact.
BelVG is a PrestaShop partner. We work with PrestaShop which isn’t a super well-known platform as opposed to platforms like Magento. When we discussed rebuilding the web shop, I wasn’t sure whether to use PrestaShop again or Magento since BelVG is also a Magento partner.
However, they told me it didn’t make sense to use Magento and that PrestaShop is easier and cheaper. So, it’d take fewer development hours to get things done. We only have 50 SKUs and the PrestaShop format is good for that.
How did BelVG perform from a project management standpoint?
Project management is good. We have weekly or biweekly meetings depending on the tasks they’re working on. I write to BelVG about the outcomes of what we do internally.
For project management systems, we’ve worked with Redmine and Jira. Now, they have another system, YouTrack, that they implemented last week. It’s an online system where all their tasks are visible, and I can comment on these tasks.
There’s a customer support supervisor that I chat with on a daily basis via Skype to ask them questions or send in comments. That works smoothly and efficiently. Also, they’re responsive. If I say that something is urgent, they’ll be available at night and on the weekend.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They deliver good quality work, and their PrestaShop expertise is impressive. I don’t think it’d be easy to find a PrestaShop development partner that knows it better than they do.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I’m Dutch, so trying to make myself clear in English isn’t always the easiest thing when it comes to details. (They try to understand what I’m saying and get back to me in English).
Sometimes it takes some extra time and communication to get things exactly clear. I don’t think they like to ask questions. But, it’d be helpful if they could ensure that they understand me fully.
I speak with them via email or Skype. I used to ask if we could have a call, and they always refused because they don’t like talking over the phone.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
It’s important to absolutely make sure that they have a correct understanding of your needs before they start on your work. I’d try to always check on that. You should have them explain what they think you want so you can make sure they absolutely understand.
Also, send a lot of screenshots to avoid any doubts. You can display the changes you’re envisioning in a visual way without doing an entire Photoshop exercise.