UX Design and Development Agency

Codal is a full stack mobile app development and UX design agency with over 9 years of industry experience.

We are a team of innovators, creators, and makers. Based in the heart of Chicago, we have a knack for bringing out the best in every brand that we work with. For almost a decade, our clientele has ranged from small businesses to enterprise; but our philosophy has remained the same, to empower brand visibility and deliver the most elegant solutions possible.

Some of our offerings include, but are not limited to:

 

-User Experience and Interface Design

-Web + Mobile App Development

-Technology and Innovation Strategy

-Dedicated Development Teams

-Hardware-Based Development

 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2009
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • Codal
    11 East Hubbard Suite 600
    Chicago, IL 60611
    United States
    312-219-8696

Focus

Service lines

  • Web design
  • Web development
  • Mobile app development

Client focus

  • Small business (<$10M)
  • Enterprise (>$1B)

Industry focus

  • Consumer products & services
  • Business services
  • Education

Branding focus

Mobile platforms

Mobile focus

Frameworks and CMS

Programming & scripting

Application platform

BI & big data focus

BI & big data solutions

CRM functions

Managed services

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Pepsi, Stokkup, United Airlines, ShowroomSquared, DoSomething.org, Indicard, Tabd, Next Door Self Storage, Feeding America, FirmHero

Healthy Amplified

Healthy Amplified is a platform that allows parents, physicians, and coaches to easily manage a youth athlete’s medical information. Our mission is to support parents in providing the best possible care for their children, all while constructing a nationwide health care network.

Showroom Squared App

Showroom Squared is a platform (both web + mobile app) to bring the high-end custom furniture industry out of brick and mortar stores. There are 3 different interfaces for interior designers, the showrooms, and manufacturers.

Please find more screens here: https://invis.io/VP74ABCW6

Spiffi

Transforming the way cleaning services represent their brand, Spifii's website takes and elegant and modern approach to a traditionally mundane cleaning service website. Beginning with design, our goal was to create a stylish yet simplistic WordPress site that would appeal to a wide range of users while also keeping focus of capturing the brand identity. Following to the process of development, we created a responsive website that focuses on a seamless user journey. From easily understanding the process of the service to the functionality of fully customizing a plan, we designed and developed a site that ranks superior others you would find in the cleaning service industry.

Firm Hero

FirmHero is a web and mobile solution for accounting firms and their clients. The client and accounting firm both have a web, and mobile (iOS and Android) application.

Codal did an entire UX process (discovery, research, wireframes, user testing, UI design) on both the web and mobile platforms. Codal also built a very simple marketing website for the application.

ACTIVate App

Turning an abstract idea into a mobile application, Activate seeks to solve the problem facing many parents in this digital era, children spending too much time on their electronics and not enough time staying active. In solving this problem, we designed and developed their MDM application in which syncs to a fitbit device to monitor the level activity of the children. Depending on the required amount of activity the child needs to obtain on a daily basis determines the ability to utilize their individual devices. Our goal was to create an application that solves this problem in an effortless way for the user while also establish a strong brand presence for this emerging startup business.



 

TraknProtect

TraknProtect is an inventory tracking and analytics platform that helps hotels save money by providing real-time location of guest-requested items for increased employee efficiency and enhanced customer service.

They work with hotels all across the country, including: Hyatt McCormick Place, Hyatt Regency Chicago, Clarion Inn and Grand Hyatt New York.

TraknProtect came to Codal to redesign their marketing website.

Stokkup

Stokkup is a full circle print shop management system designed to revolutionize a severely outdated industry. The platform enables shop owners and their staff to easily manage open print tickets from inception to completion through enterprise architecture.

Stokkup came to Codal with only a simple concept. Codal built out the super admin functionality for print shop management, modules for every step in the screen printing process, integration with many shopping services and payment gateways, a separate client portal, and a centralized dashboard for all data and analytics.

 

ACTIVate App

ACTIVate is an activity based screen time management application for parents to control their children's time they spend on their phones. The application integrates with fitness trackers; if the child does not get enough physical activity, they get locked out of their phone (utilizing an MDM solution) until the get more steps or burn more calories.

ACTIVate came to Codal for the entire MVP- from MDM research, to design and iOS development. Many agencies told the ACTIVate team that this concept was not possible to build.

Moody Tongue

Moody Tongue needed a website to better match their brand, and a place where their follower's could find more information on their brewery, beers, and tasting room. Moody Tongue also has an eCommerce aspect of it where their users can purchase Moody Tongue branded merchandise. 

www.moodytongue.com

Spiffi Cleaning Service

Spiffi is a daily cleaning and laundry service that comes to your home for about an hour a day to keep it in a permanent state of cleanliness. From restocking your laundry and doing your dishes, to making your bed and vacuuming the floors, Spiffi does it all!

Spiffi came to Codal to create their marketing website, and a place for their customers to sign up and easily book their cleaning and laundry services. 

Spiffi.biz

Reviews

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Dev and UX/UI for Gift Web Portal

"They have been my partner more than a developer."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Given a specific set of requirements, Codal developed an MVP of a gift services platform. They provided development and UX/UI expertise, as well as project management. 

The Reviewer
 
Entrepreneur
 
Wisconsin
Founder, Gift Service
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although the platform has yet to be launched, the product has met expectations thus far. The flow, layout, and functionality were praised in initial feedback. Codal continues to be a valuable partner, beyond the initial scope of work. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our business is a platform to help users manage almost every aspect of personal outreach and gift giving associated with important events in their family and friends' lives. We track those events and help them identify the appropriate type of outreach for them. We then walk them through the process of finding the right products services that meet those outreach desires, and the actual purchase and delivery of those items. I am the Founder and CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Codal?

I was looking for a provider who could help me create an MVP product of the platform. I'm a chemical engineer, so I have knowledge of certain technical aspects, but I'm not specifically versed in many of the programming languages. I was looking for a vendor who would be able to provide project management services where I could work directly with a project manager who would actually manage the technical individuals. I also wanted somebody who had the capability to develop the web application for the near term, but in the long term would be able to provide other services, such as mobile services and the like. The development partner needed to have varied skill sets.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I had a very specific vision for I wanted the product to look like, and I needed someone to build an MVP based on a certain set of requirements. These included the web application, certain tracking features to track specific events and recipients, what those different events were, and how people wanted to celebrate them. The product would also have a reminder system for those different events, as well as a type of identification portal.

I had done a very basic set of wireframes on my own, so I knew the features I wanted to include in the MVP product. However, I needed to take it from basic to more advanced wireframes, which were more interactive and thought through how each one integrates with the other side. From there, we would do the UI/UX development, and create mockups that had a visual appeal. We converted those ideas into the development and the backend work to make it real. The development needed to happen in multiple phases, and my biggest role would be pushing my desires from a product feature standpoint. I would provide less input regarding visual appearance and function, which I wanted Codal’s input on as well.

I looked at different providers based in the U.S. versus offshore. It was critical that Codal be located in Chicago and Madison because I wanted the UI/UX team to be able to walk me through the different features that we wanted and how to prioritize some of those features. They were very good in that respect. I really enjoyed working with the UX team and learning from their perspective Although I had very specific ideas, Codal still gave me appropriate feedback and pushback. We had good conversations on the various features, what they should be, and how to prioritize them.

How did you come to work with Codal?

I found them through Clutch. After doing enough work with alternate vendors, I think that reviews are a good place to start. Clutch does a good job of getting solid feedback and reporting actual statistics. From there, I reached out to each of the companies that I was assessing and had conversations with a number of them. I asked the companies for references and spoke with them as well. For Codal, I was able to get in touch with a few different individuals and they were very interested and willing to showcase their work, as well as give referrals that I could talk to directly. I felt confident that they would be a good partner. From a cost perspective, I was also looking for a company who could provide a project manager to oversee the actual technical work, and UI/UX team that was U.S. based, and close enough that I could meet them in person. Additionally, it was important that the backend development and other aspects were offshore, but the project manager was local and could help me manage a lot of the backend development.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in February 2017 and the collaboration is ongoing.

How much have you invested with them?

We have invested between $25,000 and $30,000

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrated the impact of the engagement?

We have not launched the site yet, or undergone the actual beta testing. We will gain more feedback going forward. However, just from some of my technical advisors' initial reactions, they really like the layout, the flow, and the functionality currently in place. I think users will be receptive to many of the features. I'm expecting that certain feedback will open up opportunities to make improvements, but overall, I'm optimistic about the first version.

How did Codal perform from a project management standpoint?

Overall, pretty well. They do have many other ongoing projects that are larger. Also, working remotely is always a challenge. While we always arrive at the correct point, there are certain times where we have to communicate things multiple times or revisit topics. My project often takes up only a small portion of some of the resources' time, including the project manager and many of the other individuals. So, sometimes I have to work through that. However, within this context, I would say I've been pretty happy with how everything has been managed.

They have project management systems for messaging, so a lot of the written notes, quick check-ins and updates are done through their project management system. Every other week, we have a check-in phone call to discuss some of the points that we're either unsure of based on electronic communication or bigger updates that we need to go over. They have screen share built in through the system that we're using, which allows them to walk us through the most recent updates. We used this a lot for the UK portion of the project. Now, a little bit less, because we're moving more into the actual backend development.

What do you find most impressive about them?

They have been my partner more than a developer. From early on, they have been focused on providing solutions across the board. They have been willing to provide guidance and direction on things that aren't necessarily just in the development realm. I can look to them for cybersecurity insurance and other areas not necessarily related to the programming or specific scope of work. They provide knowledge they have gained from problems they have dealt with in the past, which I’m leveraging for my company. This is all to say that our scope of work is the MVP product but we're looking at Codal as a long-term partner.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The project management and some of the communication aspects. We often iterate on topics that are brought up at one point but are either lower priority or we don't arrive at the same view of it the first time. We'll have things come up and get to the right solution, but we're often not on the same page or I will provide feedback that won't necessarily be incorporated or disseminated. We then have to spend extra time to resolve these issues, rather than catch them the first time.

5.0
Overall Score They've handled any changes in scope, as well as the base requirements, very well. They produced a very good product that meets and exceeds all of my expectations thus far.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Overall scheduling has been solid, but there have been certain times that have extended beyond the timeline, and other times where the exact timeline has been more uncertain.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Compared to other providers that I assessed, their cost was very affordable especially for the quality of service that they provide.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They've exceeded expectations for most of my requests across a wide variety of deliverables and topics.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have had a very good experience working with them and expect to continue working with them myself based on the experience thus far.

Ongoing Dev Partner for Media Company

“Codal is our primary and only developer at this point. We’ve used them for the duration of the company.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Codal created a custom platform providing a front-to-back solution revolving around Twilio and continually develops it around the user experience. Codal monitors and develops the website on an ongoing basis.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Arizona
Alexander Guizzetti
Founder, Media Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The Media Company started with around 500 clicks a day, processing $200-$500 a day in revenue. Now they’re doing more than 10 times the traffic with around 10,000 clicks a day and $6,000–$10,000 per day in revenue. Codal helped scale from that small, custom website to now.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

The business is a media company. We work with Twilio to route text messages and phone calls. We have a few different applications for the platform. The one we’re working on specifically allows agents, celebrities, or really anyone, to monetize text messages, keep their phone number and other contact information private, providing a dedicated phone number to field requests from fans or someone you’re counseling. There’s a ton of applications that we’re scaling in that aspect. I’m the owner, founder, and president of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Codal?

We’re building a very custom platform around Twilio. What really drew me toward Codal was their experience and knowledge of the platform. I know they have some connections within Twilio so it’s always good to get direct support or other help when working with them. Their knowledge of Twilio gives them the ability to make things happen.

 

What we’ve created over 4–5 years of developing is a pretty robust, custom platform wrapped around Twilio. We also use quite a few other APIs and services. Kevel and Matt both really stay in tune with what’s developing as far as what programs we should be using. If there’s not something out there, Codal is pretty much always willing to custom code it, figure it out, and kind of one-up the current competition if we aren’t willing to license or buy another product because it is lacking in features. We develop it ourselves, and in the meantime, we develop a better product than them.

 

So, it’s been a good relationship with them. They know the tech side of it and stay in tune with what’s happening lately. Development cycles are generally every 1–2 years so the code base gets updated regularly with the latest, most efficient development methods. Keval (Baxi, CEO of Codal) stays in tune with all that.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Codal is our primary and only developer at this point. We’ve used them for the entire duration of the company. They work on multiple projects for us. We’ve created a front-to-back solution revolving around Twilio. The platform uses Twilio’s APIs and their new features as they come available. We continually develop the platform around the user experience.

 

Codal is taking care of the UX, the UI, the coding, and management of the tech side of the platform. I manage the business aspect. It’s been a very positive business relationship with Codal and myself. I handle the day-to-day business and Codal monitors and develops the website. They have their procedures in place to make sure everything happens. We have two project managers assigned to my projects, and I’m in constant contact with them through Slack. If something comes up, I can ping one of the project managers and have a response pretty quickly.

 

If it’s a serious matter beyond a project manager, I can ping Keval or Matt anytime. I don’t know if Keval sleeps; he’s almost always available. If I send him a message at 10 pm, 9 times out of 10, Keval is going to be awake and responding to my message. Just having them readily available on all aspects of the business has been huge for me. Keval knows what he's doing and is very responsive to what I bring to his plate.

 

As a business, we went from a very small website processing a few hundred dollars a day, maybe 500–1,000 total hits on the website, to a website that’s going to process close to $3 million this year. They’ve helped us scale from that small, custom website to where we are now. We’ve gone through several iterations of the website, several upgrades to the backend platform. We’re coding in PHP. Since we started the project five years ago, there have already been 1–2 iterations or upgrades from PHP. So, scaling the website and the traffic alongside what we’re doing on the business end, we’ve never had a shutdown on the website where it goes dark because something happened on the tech end. We have checks in place to make sure that doesn’t happen.

 

We upgrade the platform as needed to scale with the volume. We’ve transferred a lot to AWS (Amazon Web Services), which has helped with the scalability. That transition was seamless as far as upgrading nearly the entire website. It’s a huge task. On the front end of the website, there are obviously design changes, but on the backend, there were no negative effects when making that huge transition over to other services that help scale and fill our needs as a growing business.

 

How did you come to work with Codal?

When I first got in contact with them, I was still in school in Madison, Wisconsin. I’d bumped into someone they knew, and he made the connection. He knew of Keval and Matt, and that was the extent of the initial connection. We scheduled a meeting pretty quickly after, and I went down to Chicago from Madison to feel them out. At that point, I had talked to 2–3 other developers before deciding to go with Codal. The main thing that separated them from the other firms was their experience in Twilio. Knowing that they’re an established company in Chicago made a big difference as well.

 

We had contacted a freelance guy who said he could code the entire website and do it for nearly half the cost, which was a red flag from the start. He quoted something too low, so I knew it wasn’t a realistic quote. If we had gone with him early on, we wouldn’t have a business today. We would never have been able to go from processing maybe $50,000–$100,000 a year to over $2 million with that developer. So, we obviously made the right choice going with Codal, and I’m glad we did. Their quote was very realistic.

 

We were also eyeing up another group that had a very similar quote to Codal. We went with Codal due to their Twilio and PHP experience. Matt and Keval are young, up-and-coming entrepreneurs, and I was able to relate to them. We were talking on the same wavelength as far as what I needed, what needed to get done, and how we were going to get this small project launched with the schedule to turn this into a much larger project.

 

We’ve grown the businesses side-by-side as partners. We’ve exclusively used Codal as our developer and never looked back. As they’ve scaled Codal, we’ve scaled our company side-by-side, learning as we go in some instances, but that’s sometimes the best way to do it. They’ve come a long way, as I’ve come a long way with our company.

 

How much have you invested with Codal?

We started out paying them $2,000 a month to initially get it launched. Right now, we are paying around $10,000 a month to Codal. We’re able to bring developers on and off projects as we need them when bugs need fixing or new features are being developed. We can add 1–2, and then take them off once that feature is finished. Their ability to fluctuate in a custom team of developers has been huge for us and helps us to save money. When we need to really push for a new feature or a fix, we’re able to bring on a few developers for a month and get that solved and then scale back a bit.

 

What is the status of this engagement?

The first round of development started in October of 2012 and our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We started with around 500 clicks a day, processing $200-$500 a day in revenue. Capping out around 1,000 clicks was a good day for us early on. Now we’re doing more than 10 times the traffic. We get around 10,000 clicks a day. We do $6,000–$10,000 per day now in revenue. Just those two metrics, although very general, show the growth of the company and how Codal has handled that. It’s a pretty big jump from where we started.

 

At first, we only had a part-time developer coding the project. Now we have 3–5 full-time developers on at all times. Going back to that custom team dynamic that Codal provides, we were able to go from one half-time developer to five as needed. They take care of all the hiring needed if it’s not already in-house. The scheduling and monitoring of the project have stayed with the project managers and in-office managers. It’s been a really good experience in that sense.

 

On one of the projects, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the overall aesthetic of the website. Codal’s main graphic designer did all three iterations of the website at this point and we’ve gotten compliments on every one. Every time we do a new layout of the website, there are always people who complain but that is very minimal if at all.

 

We have competitors coming into a very similar space, seeing what we’re doing, and seeing that we’re doing well. They’re trying to mimic our business model, but they really fail in a lot of UI and UX perspectives. We have competitors come in with very deep pockets and they’ve failed despite us having a much smaller backing. We’re doing everything through bootstrap financing, and growing organically at this point. These other companies have had either venture capital behind them or just wealthy owners and have done projects in the same industry. They’ve come and gone because of that UI/UX advantage with what Codal provides. Also, a lot of the custom development we’re doing is rapid and agile where these other companies may have been slower in adapting to what the users are looking for.

 

How did Codal perform from a project management standpoint?

We haven’t experienced anything that would take down the website. They have their reports that are generated on a daily basis to check the security aspects. Obviously, bugs are inevitable in web development. Once it becomes known, or we get a support ticket that brings up an issue, I’m able to take care of it on the business end if it’s a non-technical thing. If it’s a technical bug, I’m able to forward that to the project manager and developers through JIRA, which is our main project manager software. If it’s a quick question, we have a different channel on Slack set up to go to the appropriate people. The right people are seeing communication between one another, which has helped organization quite a bit.

 

From a project management perspective, they’ve exceeded expectations. Zev Ginzburg has been on the project for quite a while now, and more recently, Danny Azarenko. Both are responsive and cordial. They field the requests, and they’re much more organized than I am. They’re able to keep track of everything that needs to get tracked. I can ping them on Slack and they will take care of it. They’re going to add it to JIRA or reach out to the programmers directly to ensure it gets taken care of. So, I’m not losing things in communication. I can worry about the business aspect as opposed to the technical side.

 

What did you find most impressive about Codal?

I would say it’s their ability to figure out solutions to problems in a cost-effective way. If we can’t find an API or some out-of-the-box software that’s turnkey, we’re going to do it custom. We’re going to build that ourselves and find the right tools to integrate a completely custom experience. Obviously, it’s built for our website, but potentially for other projects, which holds value as well.

 

Are there any areas Codal could improve?

I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. Everything’s been well managed. I think the only thing that really was the biggest thing starting off with them was that we both had growing pains. That was pretty clear for both businesses. They figured out a lot of organizational issues on their end and the same for us. In the past, it would have been an almost more than perfect situation if I was able to be that new entrepreneur right now and go into Codal’s current state, versus going into Codal when we were both relatively new businesses. I think Codal was around for 2–4 years I went to them. If I went to them in their current state with 8–10 years of experience, we’d get around a lot of those issues, but that’s all hindsight kind of stuff and not a realistic scenario. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We were able to program a website for half of what competitors spent programming a very similar competing website and have failed. From a cost perspective, we saved an incredible amount of money while putting out a better product than our competitors.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve been routing all my other projects to them. If a friend had a startup idea or a bigger application, I’d definitely route them to Codal, at least for a consultation. They would be very upfront about whether they could handle the project.

Website Dev for E-Commerce Startup

“I never questioned the amount of money I was spending on Codal’s services.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. - Jun. 2016
Project summary: 

Codal developed an e-commerce website that targets customers who are interested in high-end accessories. The team recommended the virtual platform, helped with branding, and launched a successful e-store.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Co-founder and COO, E-Commerce Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Codal’s simple and user-friendly design was faithful to the brand’s identity and directly contributed to conversions. The team provided a good balance of business strategy and creative design. Their professionalism, timeliness, and initiative inspired trust.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a co-founder and the COO of an online retail startup, a brand for fashionable bags and accessories. We design tech bags like backpacks, totes, and items used on a day-to-day basis. We are fundamentally a brand business. Our CEO is an incredible designer and serves as our creative director. We have a small team of fewer than 10 people.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Codal?

We have many excellent products, but we needed to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace and set up a premium face for the company. We were trying to figure out how to make the new website reflect this while serving as the homepage for the entire company.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Codal built our site, from inception until completion. Aside from the brand image, simplicity was very important for us. Codal walked us through the whole process and what we could expect. They went through an ideation process with us and created something we liked. It’s a product website, and there are tons of granular ways that we could organize its flow.

Codal recommended we build the site on Shopify from the beginning, and I was able to do some research on the platform. They helped us become comfortable with Shopify and presented the logistical advantages it offered. Codal distilled many of our CEO's ideas and brand concepts into what we have today.

How did you come to work with Codal?

We evaluated a number of firms and found Codal through a referral. We had email discussions before going through a more formal proposal process. Based on Codal’s portfolio, I knew that the team would be comprehensive on the technical side. We could tell that Codal understood the simplicity we were going for with the brand and felt confident that they could bring it out.

As a new brand, pricing was a big concern for us. I wanted to make sure that we’d be getting a lot of value for our dollar. We received quotes for anywhere from $10,000–$60,000. Fortunately, I got a sense of Codal’s strategic add-on value early on.

How much have you invested with Codal?

I believe that the initial cost of Codal’s work was $30,000–$40,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I don’t remember when we started working with Codal. The project took a couple of months to complete. We’ve gone back to them for various add-ons and changes, and they were always helpful.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Around half of our revenue comes from the website. The conversion rate is at 5%–6%. While marketing campaigns and other factors also have an impact, the user flow has contributed to our conversion rate. Many of the user-flow elements are very clean due to Codal’s guidance and direction.

Working with Codal was a great experience. It was a valuable collaboration for us since the results have been long-lasting. I’ve worked with other firms in prior roles, and one thing that stood out about Codal was their ability to get deep into the essence of what we were trying to convey. Codal was aware of the unique aspects of our brand-building process. Instead of having a department store feel, we wanted to come across as a high-end brand. Codal kept this simplicity while providing the information and guidance that users would need. They really brought out the brand.

How did Codal perform from a project management standpoint?

Project management was one of their strengths. I felt that Codal put in the effort and energy to work with us. They kept us updated on the number of hours something would take, and we adjusted our expectations on a weekly basis. Even when things came up, I trusted them because I knew what was going on. We did meet in person at Codal’s offices in Chicago, but most of the work was done over the phone, Skype, and email. The face-to-face meetings were convenient rather than necessary. We developed a very good relationship. I even visited them once or twice when I was in town.

What did you find most impressive about Codal?

They’re creative and strategic, which allows them to bring ideas to life in a unique way. Codal considered what would be best for our project from a business point of view. I’ve worked with people who saw the project as more of a numbers thing but didn’t understand the brand essence. In contrast, Codal was good at this. They were also professional. They knew what was going on, and made us aware of problems, opportunities, and changes as they were revealed. I never questioned the amount of money I was spending on Codal’s services, which sometimes happens when working with contractors. I was beyond satisfied with what Codal was doing.

Are there any areas Codal could improve?

Nothing comes to mind right now. Some of the big issues I’ve had with other developers were related to timelines and not communicating issues, but Codal was good in this respect.

5.0
Overall Score They’re great partners.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We received much higher and lower quotes, but we got a little more than we paid for.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have done it already.

Ed Tech Platform Developed for Big Data Firm

"The business relationship element was very important to them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Mar. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Codal supplied/managed a team of engineers who developed a data-driven, business intelligence portal using Python/Django. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Jim Regan
Founder & Chairman, StatBoard US
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

It was abundantly clear throughout the development process that Codal was heavily invested in the success of the project. Their leadership made themselves available whenever necessary. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

StatBoard is probably the only inter-organizational web portal allowing entities to compare their performance with their peers. I'm the founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Codal?

I was approached by the National Association for Pupil Transportation in order to develop a business intelligence portal for all school districts in the United States and Canada. Codal is my strategic partner for the development of the platform.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I had all the analytics required for the project and contacted Codal in order to incorporate the data into a web portal. It was a custom-built solution using AngularJS, HTML5, and CSS3 on the frontend. It has a Python/Django web framework on the backend, and it will feature APIs [application programming interfaces] for interacting with other system providers in the school transportation world.

Codal's team included 2 full-time offshore developers, technical lead, program manager, user interface developer, and engineering lead, the latter 2 being based in Chicago. Codal uses the Agile development process. The short timeframe was the main reason for using their team. We had a tight deadline.

Our user group consists of transportation directors. They're not technologically sophisticated, so we wanted to develop a starter kit for them, with around 60 data points and around 40 dashboard elements for measuring performance. We have developed a LEGO-like product strategy and plan to launch a new module every 10 weeks, implementing functions like fleet maintenance, safety, and finance. Rather than delivering a product with 800 data points all at once, we followed an incremental approach.

My local team is in charge of analytics and templates. By default, we are setting the performance standards for the school industry in the U.S. and Canada. My company will white-label the platform for other industry associations, and I plan to use Codal for those ventures as well. We can replace transportation metrics with ones relevant to law firms, offering the product to the American Bar Association. The same is possible with franchise restaurant metrics, and so on. The portal was built in a way that could enable us to replace one data set with another while keeping base functionalities. The conversion to another data set is only a $20,000 to 30,000 cost.

How did you come to work with Codal?

I have used Codal on 2 previous companies. Initially, Codal was working with a group for which I was a board member. I've also used them to design a reservation portal for a joint venture between 26 motor coach companies.

How much have you invested with Codal?

The first iteration of the platform had a cost of $150,000. Given the number of data points, we estimate that each additional module will have a cost of $25,000. We're adding 5 more modules as well as ongoing monthly hosting and maintenance costs.

What is the status of this engagement?

We sent our initial specifications to Codal in March 2016. We have worked on wireframes collaboratively in order to get a sense of the cost. These were laid out in April. The actual development started in the third week of May. The transportation platform was launched on November 6 [2016]. I was given a 6-month estimate for this project, but we actually completed it in 5. Codal continues to work with us on retainer.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

After seeing it for the first time, 4 states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a Middle Eastern country all agreed to use the portal. I'd say the platform really speaks for itself. 

How did Codal perform from a project management standpoint?

In terms of the project's cadence, we established a standing meeting every Friday morning. This became an institution, giving us project discipline. My engineering team worked with 3 school districts in order to test everything. We also had a 3-member product advisory committee from the transportation association as well as a group of 15 school districts with which we could test ideas. The parties involved had access to the software through Codal's project management portal, making it a transparent process all the way through. If there was a problem, everyone knew about it and worked to fix it, instead of trying to hide issues.

What did you find most impressive about Codal?

Codal's client management team allowed me to call them, even at 10 p.m., during the development phase, if I required it. The business relationship element was very important to them. We could have more than a 9 to 5 relationship. I also found the process well managed. They documented their activities and procedures for us better than expected. 

Are there any areas Codal could improve?

Our product advisory group, beta testers, and advanced engineering groups were all involved in the work. This led to the specification management and tracking to be loose at times. If someone had an idea for the portal, Codal was able to integrate it successfully, but it still amounted to 3 hours outside of the original spec. I agreed to every change made, but it made tracking the product reviews more difficult. It's an evolutionary process, so it's possible to forget what the original spec was. We didn't overrun the budget, and the work was also delivered on time, so we were fine in this regard.

5.0
Overall Score I plan to keep using Codal as a strategic partner for clients looking to leverage the platform we've built.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We had a very tight deadline of 5 1/2 months, but the product was delivered within budget.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I didn't get competitive bids for the project, but Codal delivered within our budget, working for extra hours at times, with no additional cost. Our client association is pleased.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I've used Codal 3 times. The reason I go back to them is because they're good.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom App Development for Consumer Products Firm

"Whatever you can dream up, Codal can create it for you."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

After repairing the client's existing app, Codal created a cross-platform app that shared customized contact information and integrated Dropbox, Salesforce, and multiple social media sites.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Philadelphia Metro Area
Co-Founder & CEO
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client has been exceptionally pleased with Codal and the product. Codal provides a strong and accessible team of developers, is very responsive and flexible, and completed everything on time, within budget and scope, and above expectations.

BACKGROUND

Over six months ago, we brought an app to Codal which didn't work well at all. It was riddled with bugs and had a backend that was just terribly done by past developers. We asked Codal to rehab that app to the point where it functioned and then simultaneously rebuild the app from the ground up. Not only did Codal do triage on the first app perfectly within weeks, but Codal also rebuilt the new app perfectly within a few short months!

I met the Chief Executive Officer, Keval, at the TechWeek in Chicago about a year ago and was impressed with his knowledge of CRM [customer relationship management], his ability to speak of the complex social API integration, and the projects they had done in the past. After interviewing 14 firms to develop our app, we landed on Codal. They have been phenomenal partners and I can personally attest that you will not go wrong with these guys!

Our app, Contap, is a networking app that allows young professionals to connect instantly in person and share only what social platforms and contact info they want with their new friends. Users can customize exactly what they share with new people, and then view all that social content from one app. We integrate with Dropbox to allow users to also share documents of any kind. Additionally, users can log into their Salesforce.com account to easily send new Contaps to their CRM without any data entry. You can even share your contact information with people who don't even have the app through a one-way share feature.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

We were trying to have users load up their contact information and major social media platforms so that when users were together in person, they could tap on a button, and be instantly connected to each other- and then share the customized information that they had loaded at that time. After that, we wanted each user to be able to view this information that was shared with them from the same app, in a unique way. Aside from this, we wanted to integrate with cloud-based document storage companies, as well as cloud-based CRM's in order to share documents and store new contacts to their CRM's, respectively.

SOLUTION

Codal worked with us every step of the way to design an app that could be used cross-platform to connect in person and share customized contact information and social platforms. They have exceeded every expectation. We even had an in person planning session at their offices in Chicago to ensure we had every detail ironed out. They successfully integrated Dropbox, Salesforce.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, WhatsApp, in a unique and custom Group Share feature, a unique and custom One-Way Share feature, a unique Connect Nearby feature, a contact integration with a unique user interface element, and so much more. The app is exactly as we had dreamt it up, with so much more. The developers are extremely accessible, the project managers are on top of everything, and the final product is a true testament to their quality developers and their process. They get the job done!

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Codal is a professional firm. What they say they can do, they do it. I had numerous firms tell me that what I wanted to create was "not possible"... not only did Codal do it, they did it extremely fast. Whatever you can dream up, Codal can create it for you.

The developers at Codal not only completed every single item that we had in our scope of work, but they also suggested and added features and elements into the app that I had not considered.

Codal was both on time and on budget with our app. I asked many times for changes, and I also made many mistakes which they fixed for me. They never once complained or were visibly annoyed by the changes we made in the process, they simply rolled with the changes, made corrections, and finished the app according to the new specs. I couldn't be happier with their work.

Working with Codal is extremely easy, and they will save you an enormous amount of time and money. I wish that I had found them sooner!

5.0
Overall Score Great firm. We love these guys!
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Timelines were strictly held to and guys worked overtime to ensure we remained on track!
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    You cannot beat the cost. They stick to the budget 100%. Never an overage charge at all.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Perfect quality. Their internal quality assurance was so good that there weren't even bugs in the test builds!
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would refer Codal to anyone. In fact, anyone searching should stop their search now. Codal is right for you!

WordPress Eevelopment for Local Brewery

"Codal made the work easy, giving me the product that I wanted within the agreed-upon timeline and budget."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2015 - Mar. 2016
Project summary: 

Codal created a new brewery website using WordPress. The team focused on improving the brand, e-commerce capabilities, and newsletter registration. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
CEO, Brewing Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new website is easy to use and visually attractive. Codal implemented all features asked of them and were responsive to feedback and changes. They provided a project leader who was hands-on and communicative throughout the project.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a production brewery based in Chicago. I am a co-founder and co-owner of the company. I also run the business side as the chief executive officer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Codal?

We needed to create a new website for the company. Our old site was slow, clunky, and not the best representation of our brand. We don't have technical staff here so we had to find a partner who could produce the code and the designs we needed and then actually launch the site. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Codal built my site from scratch, using WordPress. Our page is mostly informational, also allowing users to contact us and sign up for our newsletter. We also have merchandising and processing components on the site. We had an idea for the site, but Codal helped us design it. We went through a couple of iterations for the site, before deciding on one.

From a day-to-day basis, depending on the project phase, we worked with 4 people from Codal, including a project manager, a designer, a developer, and a member focused on collecting information.

How did you come to work with Codal?

A friend had worked with Codal on their website.

How much have you invested with Codal?

So far, we've spent around $12,000-15,000 for Codal's services.

What is the status of this engagement?

Codal delivered our site in March 2016, after a 4-5-month development period. The work has mostly concluded. There is one more page to be designed, for our tasting room, but we plan to revisit it in the future.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

People have loved our new website. It is easy to use, seamless, and visually-attractive. Codal was able to implement whatever I asked for and deal with me. The website is very well-organized and thoughtful.

How did Codal perform from a project management standpoint?

Codal made corrections when I asked for them and they used a very good portal for keeping track of the project. We also monitored changes through shared spreadsheets. Our budget for the work was never a question. Codal gave us an hourly rate and an estimated total number of hours, which was what we were billed for at the end.

What did you find most impressive about Codal?

Codal was very easy to work with, which is not always the case for this type of project, because of personality issues. Our project leader from Codal was incredibly easy to correspond with, especially given that website design is not my area of expertise. Codal understood what I wanted to say and translated that into a good product. They were very hands-on.

Are there any areas Codal could improve?

From my experience, Codal proved to be exactly what I was looking for. They gave me a fantastic work product in the end. We've made a few tweaks since then, and Codal helped out, maintaining good customer service.

I initially approached Codal's designer thinking that I could give them a conceptual or philosophical idea of what I was trying to accomplish and have them build something for us. I came to find out that we needed to provide more details on what the specific content would be and what layout we wanted. The more homework a client does on what they're looking for upfront, the better.

5.0
Overall Score Codal made the work easy, giving me the product that I wanted within the agreed-upon timeline and budget. From a functionality perspective, Codal achieved things which I didn't know were possible.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Responsiveness is incredibly important to me. I tend to be an over-communicator, but Codal never complained and they always got back to me, which isn't true for all of our partners.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Our first website had a cost of $3,000-4,000. It was a lot simpler than our current one. I was easily expecting to pay 30-40% more for the work with Codal.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I think that the product delivered by Codal was excellent. I had had a horrible experience before, but Codal made it easy for me. Customer service is one of their strong features.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended Codal.

Custom Development for Furnishing Marketplace

"Codal stood out through their sensitivity to the startup experience."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Codal designed and developed an online platform for custom home furnishings. The team also worked on a corresponding mobile application. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Dan Carroll
CEO, Showroom Squared
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team used good project management tools and was fully transparent in their work. Codal has resources in Chicago, India, and London, which was great for a diverse array of expertise. They offered competitive prices and excelled at meeting deadlines. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are an online business platform designed for the custom furnishing market. We provide a marketplace which showcases products for different manufacturing brands, facilitating access to showrooms and authorized dealers for design professionals. We enable the collaboration and tracking of product specification changes, as well as online orders.

What is your position?

I am the chief executive officer of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Codal?

We are fully-dependent on an online platform, so we needed to work with a company that could develop the platform itself. We have a mobile application as well.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

We are a startup with very limited resources, so we used Codal to help us develop our concept. They were a small company offering many of the services found in a larger development house. We used Codal for business intelligence gathering, user experience design, as well as the architecture of the platform.

Codal used resources both in Chicago and in India. Their development team is in India, but they have a graphic designer in London, who was excellent. Not including the Indian developers, our team consisted of 5-6 people involved in user experience, project management, architecture design, and graphic design. The Indian development team consisted of 6-8 people, depending on our production stage.

How did you come to work with Codal?

I reached out to a number of companies in the Chicago area, put a spec together and started a bidding process. Codal came through out of 4 total candidates. Codal and one other company were very close in terms of quote and past experience. Coming from an IT corporate background, I was fairly certain of what I should expect. Codal's price was competitive.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Codal 15 months ago. We are about 4 months away from launch.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

Our company was only launched last week, at a trade show. We showed a demo of the platform, but we're not ready to go into full production. Codal was very good at meeting our deadline. We had to have a working prototype, but they came through. I'm very confident that we will meet our launch in 4-months' time.

After 15 months, we've created a very good relationship with Codal, which is always a positive. There are typical pressures for startup businesses, but Codal has come through and turned out to be a nice group to work with.

How did Codal perform from a project management standpoint?

This was a big project, but we've managed to stay within timelines. Codal was generous in not nickel-and-diming us, which I appreciated. There has been some management change, but it was handled reasonably. Overall, Codal came in on budget and they've been on track timewise as well. It's been a very good experience.

Codal used very good tools for project management, helping organize the process. We use Teamwork Projects, which is a very good online form through which we share all documentation. Axure Share is the prototyping tool we've used, while Jira is used by Codal for software development. Any issues are reported through the Jira screen capture, which makes a ticket for the team. This has helped the prototyping process and our feed-back loop. There were no surprises. Everyone on my team, as well as on Codal's, has had full transparency.

What distinguishes Codal from other providers?

I interviewed 4 companies for this particular project. Codal stood out through their sensitivity to the startup experience. I know that they have had experiences with other startups and really grasped the challenges. This has enabled them to fill in the gaps for us. As we developed the project, there was a big need to interact. I wish that I would have had more resources to send to project meetings, but Codal has been incredibly patient overall. Also, Codal has a great understanding of cloud-based solutions and how they can best be leveraged. Our platform is very complex and involves a lot of back-and-forth messaging. Codal has a good sense of leveraging utility tools.

Is there anything Codal could have improved or done differently?

I couldn't point to anything in particular. The shortcomings in our moving the project forward had more to do with our company's limited resources. Codal did an excellent job of bridging the gap whenever we needed support.

4.5
Overall Score It's been a very positive experience.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I rarely give maximum ratings.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Quality will be hard to judge until we get the platform out to the public, but I can give a rating for the process of moving forward.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Absolutely. They've done a terrific job so far.

iOS Musician Tutorial App for Entrepreneur

"[Codal's] team is really easy to work with."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
3.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

Codal developed an iOS app to facilitate guitar player collaboration. The app allows for user interaction and tablature writing. The team was given wireframes and design templates to work off of. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
United States
Entrepreneur
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The UI/UX quality is great, with simplistic and intuitive functionality. Compared with other developers, Codal did a great job, although could have sped up the timeline. The team was easy to work with in terms of business development, sales, and project management. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

The experience that I have with them to date is for an application that I had them developing for me as a side project myself, not really affiliated with a company. The app itself is called Tabd, and it's kind of a guitar player's workspace for collaboration. I've since also hired them through a different business that I work for full-time to do development work for us. That has only just started, so it's probably easier if I speak about the personal project that they've been working on for me.

What is your position?

I'm an entrepreneur.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Codal?

I had conceived of this concept to create an application for guitar players to collaborate and communicate via their smartphones. I had been kind of sitting on it for a while, and I never really had the skill sets to do any development or design work because I know nothing of mobile applications. I started thinking about pursuing it to see what would come of it, and started doing some research to find a developer who would be able to meet my price range and my requirements for developing the application, and that's how I happened upon Codal.

The app is [similar to] a social networking application, whereby you can comment and interact with other users through text messages or audio comments. There's a lot of the sharing functionality going back between individual users, There is also a design or UI [user interface] to allow the users to write in a specific musical language called tablature. It's relatively simple  – just a way of using numbers to communicate and identify the strings and the frets on the fretboard. It's a way that guitar players actually read music without being able to read music. They had to provide interface for the user to input that information, to share it with others, to comment, and so on. At the moment, the app is only for iPhone.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in more detail.

They did all the development. In terms of the design, I had already come to them with a pretty fleshed out user interface to begin with. They just kind of took my wireframes and templates and added some tweaks here and there to improve the way that the user interacts with the application. I knew nothing about development, so they did everything on the technical end. They also performed quality assurance testing. They worked closely with me to resolve the bugs that came up.

How did you come to work with Codal?

They were actually a referral to me through another company, PunchKick Studios, which is another mobile development firm that handles more enterprise-level clients, so I wasn't really a good fit for them, and they referred me to Codal.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It was probably about $15,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The relationship is ongoing. The initial scope of work was completed. Then, before I actually launch it in the Apple Store, I wanted to make a few other enhancements, which is what we're working on right now. The actual app isn't live for users just yet.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics, metrics or user feedback from this engagement?

Obviously, I can't provide any statistical information but, in terms of benchmarking the overall quality and UI/UX [user experience] of the application, I benchmark it against a lot of applications that I use in my personal life. I draw highly from applications that I find to be intuitive, like Evernote or Wunderlist, or these other file-sharing applications that have simplistic functionality that is easy to understand. To that extent, I think that the quality of their work is pretty much at my expectations.

How did Codal perform from a project management standpoint?

In terms of the actual timeline and project management, I wasn't 100 percent satisfied. I can't really speak to how much of that rested on me as a client and not so much on Codal, but I guess I would have liked the project to have been completed in a more timely fashion than it actually was. It kind of dragged out for a while.

However, I do know that, given the amount of money that I paid them, I don't think that they were able to allocate the number of resources that they typically do to a normal client who isn't funding a project all by themselves. In part, it probably was a little bit on my side, and part of it was probably due to resource allocation on theirs, although I can't claim specifically to be unhappy with it. I just would have liked it to have been completed quicker.

As a project management tool, I think they use something like Workspace, or one of those project management systems that is like a bulletin board you can communicate on. I can't remember it specifically what it was called. Then they also used JIRA for task management.

What distinguishes Codal from other providers?

Honestly, I don't really have too much experience to make any real comparisons. I did work with one mobile developer prior to them for an unrelated project, and I was not at all happy with them. I thought that they actually did a pretty poor job in terms of communication and follow up. Based on that, I think Codal did a phenomenal job, if I were to benchmark them against a company that I had previous experience with. Their team is really easy to work with, especially on the business development, sales, and project management side of things.

Is there anything Codal could have improved or done differently?

Besides remaining within specified timelines in the development cycle, the only other one would probably be just general understanding and commitment to the scope of work. I know it's pretty difficult, when you're developing something from scratch, to come to an agreement and flesh out all the features and functionalities fully prior to the project even beginning, and things happen along the way. I guess that would probably be an area that they could improve upon. I think that's an area that anybody can improve upon.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 3.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Process Automation Solution for Boutique IT Consultancy

"Regardless of revenue size, Codal wanted to do a quality job."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
Project summary: 

Codal partnered with another web design and development firm to develop a large web-based application. The team was specifically responsible for automating all paper-based processes.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
John Suffern
President, Telarus Solutions
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Codal greatly contributed to simplifying the technology and processes for this large project, while working under a strict timeline. Feedback on the project has been largely positive. The team had a dedicated project manager who ensured milestones were met. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Currently, I work for a company called Telarus Solutions. We help nonprofits and small businesses build e-commerce-capable websites, refresh their websites, a full array of website design and development services as well as select and connect them to other IT [information technology] resources that they need to be successful.

What is your position?

I am the president.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Codal?

The original challenge was that it was a large client, meaning it was the United Airlines Foundation. Having such a big name client was a big undertaking, so we wanted to make sure we got it done right. We were in need of a solution that allowed us to transition from a paper-based, manual process to an online process of collecting what were called volunteer impact grant applications from United Airline employees around the globe.

It allowed the application process for grants that were made by United Airlines Foundation back to employees, volunteer community-based organizations, and it directed those grants of a $1,000-$1500 back to those employees' designated agencies where they volunteered. In past years, that had all been completed through traditional paper applications and, this year, we automated that process using Codal's frontend application and backend CMS [content management system].

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in more detail.

We really simplified the technology. It was a web-based application platform wherein employees had to create a profile, which was verified by United Airlines so that they were sure of the applicant being an employee, so we had them engaged in the process. Once the profile was validated, then the employee could enter in their unique information.

Our job is to make sure that the information was all accurate and valid; that the agencies they volunteered for were, in fact, 501(c)(3) designated organizations, which means we needed to know their EIN (employer identification number). We verified them using a nonprofit website that collects all the tax information for nonprofits and public charities across the country. Then we verified it with the CMS, and then processed all the payments to those organizations. I don't know how the CMS was packaged or whether there was a template, but we were able to customize it to the needs and the questions that were asked on our applications. This was done last fall, and I don't recall exactly what the solution was.

How did you come to work with Codal?

Part of my job is to identify strategic resources for my customers, and I came across Codal at TechWeek, which was held here in Chicago in June 2014. I basically did research on a number of different companies, and then prequalified them through interviews, checking references, and looking at their previous work. We did that for a half dozen or so companies that were in their space.

I actually contacted three companies, and Codal came in with the most accurate response, under budget, and in a timely manner, so they could finish on time. We were in a need for speed, so to speak, because United had taken their time to make a decision in selecting us to do the work, and it was a matter of moving rapidly. Codal guaranteed they would do the work in the timeline we had, which was within 30 days.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It was less than $10,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project is complete.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback from this engagement?

The feedback has been positive. We have not received any negative feedback from the applicants from United, or internally, from any of the processing that we had to do. It was all smooth. We went through a couple additions of a rough draft of the application itself online. Even though we put it exactly how they had it on paper to online, the minute it was online, it became much more visible to anybody in United, and it became much more important that everything was worded entirely correctly, including all of the pull-down options and menu options for the multiple choice questions that they had.

Once it became much more visible, then everybody had to get their two cents in, and there were a few different edits and drafts of what became the final version. Using the project management system that Codal had put in place allowed us to respond to the needs of our client, put it in the PMS [project management system], and then the changes were done in a rapid manner because they're basically up and running almost 24/7 with their offshore development team.

I believe there were 500 applications submitted through this process, which was more than they got when they did it by paper. I believe there were 20 to 30 percent more applications submitted, which was great, because in prior years they didn't give out all the money that they had available to them through the foundation. This ensured that they were maximizing the company's ability to give to employees' designated agents, which we did this year.

How did Codal perform from a project management standpoint?

We had a dedicated project manager here locally, in Chicago, and he did a great job coordinating everything and making sure all the milestones were met. It was nice to be able to put something in on a Friday, and on Monday come into the office and have the requested work already done.

What distinguishes Codal from other providers?

I would say that this was probably a small project. The unique thing to me was that it really didn't matter to them. They said it's a name-brand client, and that they wanted to build a relationship with me and my organization, to do more work. Regardless of revenue size, Codal wanted to do a quality job, which I respected. Many times, I've seen smaller budget projects get pushed down the queue quickly. They never gave me an indication that that was the case at all.

Is there anything Codal could have improved or done differently?

They're an offshore organization, so the only thing is sometimes difficulty with communication. We have to ensure that the English they used was not the King's English. It had to be American English. When they're in India, "insure" versus "ensure" becomes a difficult thing to put into writing. Sometimes, when you're talking on conference calls, there is some difficulty there. However, I would say that having the local project manager always ensured that we were able to have good communication.

4.5
Overall Score I think they're a busy, fast-paced tech company, and I think part of my responsibility is to make sure that I communicate with them. I think they do respond well but, sometimes, the response is a bit delayed.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    This was a nonprofit project. Even though it's United Airlines, it's still their foundation, which is considered a 0(c)(), so I think they took that under consideration and gave us more than a fee, more than the money that they received.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I'm still doing it.