What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
There’s definitely cost savings. The last leg of the project they just worked on is a one-year payback. From there on, we’ll be reaping probably $100,000 a year in operational cost savings.
How did CSW Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?
We communicate 75% by email and 25% by phone or conference calls. I really don’t micromanage them because I’ve never been let down. You give them a timeline and a solid date that it has to be fully functional and in production, and they’ve never missed a deadline.
If it’s a larger project and they say it’s going to be six weeks, I don’t start questioning it until about week 4 ½ weeks in, and then I say, “What do you have to show me?” Typically, what they’ll do is they’ll show me what they’ve got and where they’re at with it in a webinar. They’ll show me how much of the sandbox development they’ve done, what it looks like, and how it’s going to work. That usually comforts me for that last couple of weeks while they’re working the kinks out of it.
If I come up with an idea, I put together a white paper. I generally run the challenge that we need to overcome to my managing partners. I’ll send the white paper to Ari or Jose and they’ll quote it out and send it back. We basically agree on an all-encompassing price project and they do it.
What did you find most impressive about them?
It’s affordable. Their cost and the arrangement that I have with them is excellent. They’re very concerned about security. They’re very concerned about a logical process for workflow. I’ll know what I want it to do, and they’ll make it so it does that.
More generally, they’re always thinking outside the box. They’ve brought to me a widget here, a thing there, a service here that they integrate into these platforms.
There’s good and bad to that. Let’s say they’ve brought in a number of different side services or widgets. The bad is I get an invoice and I go, “What did I use this thing on?” I have to go back and ask them what we’re using that for.
There have been times where they come back and they say, “Hey, there’s a different service available from these guys. It works better. It’s cheaper. We’ll do that.” They’re constantly on the look for these cool, little side things that work well with the projects that we’ve put together. That’s the good part. All of these things always keep me coming back.
Are there any areas they could improve?
No. They’re very responsive, very talented, and very concerned about timelines and the project in general. I may be different in that I’ve known one of the managing partners now for 14 years. He and I have a very long-standing relationship. I may be treated a little bit different, but I don’t know. I’d like to think that anybody that does anything with CSW Solutions gets the same kind of service.
Do you have any advice for potential clients of CSW Solutions?
Give them a try because you’ll like what you see.