Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Projects take a long time, and they also have launch dates that get pushed back. I can't say that Commerce Shop met all deadlines, but there are unknowns in our work, so it hasn't been a negative situation. Commerce Shop accomplished everything that they've committed to, but I have no key metrics to share.
How did Commerce Shop perform from a project management standpoint?
Commerce Shop has been fantastic in general, but there are a few things that they can work on. I have access to a US-based project manager who is available during my business hours, and Commerce Shop has generally been available when I needed it. Emergencies get resolved, no matter when they occur. Commerce Shop has called me during Thanksgiving, helping resolve a situation.
There has been a bit of scope creep on directions that were outside of the RFP. I was fine with this, as long as the approach taken by Commerce Shop achieved what I was looking to achieve, but I was still billed additionally.
We wanted to give dealers on our truck parts site the ability to bulk order. When the site was first released, it only featured a normal check-out process, which wasn't what I wanted. Commerce Shop also built a bulk check-out option, but I was billed for both functionalities. Things in this line have happened before, and my project manager from Commerce Shop agreed that we shouldn't be billed for the extra work. I assume that the same outcome will occur here, so it's not a very big deal, but I will still need to have that conversation.
There's scope creep in every project, and Commerce Shop is in the business of making money as well. I want them to be successful from our relationship, but there are limits.
What did you find most impressive about Commerce Shop?
I enjoyed the fact that Commerce Shop's team was available when I needed them. It's very important to have contacts one phone call away and take care of emergencies fast. Commerce Shop has done this multiple times in the past.
When we were exploring going overseas, we looked at 10-12 options. My boss showed me ads for $5/hour developers, but they didn't have a US-based contact. I would have to be up at midnight, call the other side of the globe in order to talk to someone with bad English skills, and be billed for additional time because they misunderstood what I needed. The fact that Commerce Shop is based in the US and has the ability to address my needs are important.
Are there any areas Commerce Shop could improve?
Outside of the scope creep, no. Commerce Shop has done everything that we've asked for, had weekly calls with our team, and the project managers are intimately familiar with our products. I felt that my needs were met; I don't consider the negative aspect to be very significant. Commerce Shop always worked with me, and billing hasn't been a problem in the past.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Commerce Shop?
I’d advise clients not to look anywhere else. Commerce Shop is what they need. We've had in-house resources, I've outsourced the work to a US company, and we've interviewed 15 different opportunities overseas. Commerce Shop has been the best available option.