Award Winning Bespoke Software Development

Founded in 1994, DCSL Software has grown to become one of the UK's most trusted Bespoke Software Development consultancies in the industry, dedicated to helping its clients create efficiency-driving operational software as well as products and apps for resale on a subscription basis.

As a certified Microsoft Gold Partner, ISO 9001/27001 accredited firm and officially recognised by Clutch as one of the UK’s top software consultancies, DCSL utilises its own proven software development processes for delivering successful projects, in areas such as:-

  • Business Application Development
    • Business Apps
    • Mobile Apps
    • Web Apps
    • Software and Hardware Integration
    • Database Development
    • ​CRM Systems
    • White Label Software
    • Customer Portals
  • Systems Integration
  • Professional Services
 
$50,000+
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1994
Show all +
London, United Kingdom
headquarters
  • DCSL Software
    Fleet House, 8-12 New Bridge Street
    London EC4V 6AL
    United Kingdom
other locations
  • DCSL Software
    50-58 Victoria Road
    Farnborough GU14 7PG
    United Kingdom
  • DCSL Software Guildford, SRY
    United Kingdom

Reviews

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Custom Software Dev for Equity Research Broker

“They tackled the changing requirements without any difficulty and helped us achieve our goals.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct.2017 - Aug. 2018
Project summary: 

DCSL Software helped an equity research firm build a pricing methodology system to meet MiFID II regulations. They created a clean UI within an internal server to replace spreadsheets and existing data storage.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Head of IT Operations, Research Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The UX is attractive, fast, and efficient. DCSL Software was very involved with the CRM team and met all the requirements. Though reporting had a difficult start, they were always willing to escalate issues and solve problems.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a large, independent equity research firm. Our clients include investment banks, hedge funds, and other investment firms. I am the head of IT and look after all our global technology.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DCSL Software?

At the beginning of 2018, there was a huge regulatory change in Europe called MiFID II. It effects how firms like ours are paid. We needed to set up a transparent pricing structure and methodology that would fuel our client negotiations and comply with the new regulations. We didn’t have an internal development team and needed an outsourced partner.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They built a system to hold our pricing methodology. It has different levels of access and can be used by all our client-facing staff through the frontend. They helped us transfer our internal spreadsheets into something more technologically robust and shareable. They then helped us phase it, build it, test it, and deploy it.

We had to be reasonably prescriptive with internal hosting. We didn’t want a cloud-based system and already had some SQL servers and remote installation services at our disposal. It needed to link to our customer relationship management (CRM) system and support client phone calls. The CRM system is our nexus of client information. It pulls data to fuel the calculation process for pricing.

We also needed a clean UI that could display as much data as possible in a single, uncluttered screen. They put a lot of work into the design for that and we ended up with a top half that is filled with big headlines, figures, and numbers, while the bottom half is tabbed and set up to capture discreet information. Some people use it to consume information, others to input information, and still others to do both.

What is the team composition?

We had a project manager and at least three technical resources. I’m not sure of the exact team size, but it was definitely between 4–6 individuals.

How did you come to work with DCSL Software?

We were looking for a development company near London, but outside the city to save on cost. We gave them our specifications and had a conversation about the scope and pricing for the project. They submitted a proposal and we went through a couple of workshops with them. They are an agile software development company, which was ideal for the changing requirements we faced. We liked what they offered and decided to use them.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent around £150,000 (approximately $191,000 USD).

What is the status of this engagement?

We started around October 2017 and just went live in August 2018. They’re still working with us to make changes and provide maintenance and support.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They were very involved with our CRM team, who are the real stakeholders in this project. They met all our requirements and built what we wanted. The new regulations changed a lot but they were willing to be fluid and get the project done. We were happy to work with an agile team who could work outside of a concrete requirements document and help us work out our needs and the technological capabilities. The user experience looks good and is fast and efficient.

How did DCSL Software perform from a project management standpoint?

They did well eventually. We had some issues at the start while we were establishing our reporting expectations. They admitted to some of their shortcomings and made changes. They took our feedback and we ultimately got what we wanted.

Their technical directors are always available and we could even talk to the owner. They were always willing to escalate issues and solve problems. They use an online tool to log bugs and figure them out. They’re also available via email and regularly came to our office every other week.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They offer a very good value for the money. Their general approach is strong and they produced what we wanted. They tackled the changing requirements without any difficulty and helped us achieve our goals. They also helped determine what we wanted to do within our limited budget and schedule. We had a lot of things we wanted to accomplish but they helped us prioritize.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The only issues we had were with project management and the organization of the project. They improved those issues and were a lot better by the end.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be completely clear about the areas of responsibility between you and them, especially with regard to reporting, progress updates, and the breakdown of work. We expected more than they originally delivered, but they eventually got to where we needed them.

4.5
Overall Score We're pleased with the results but we needed to put a lot of effort into the project management at the outset.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They met every deadline we expected and dealt with changing requirements well.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Even with additions we had along the way, they still charged less than the original estimates from other possible providers.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We're very happy with the whole package they produced for us.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web App Dev for International Insurance Company

“They're very good… It’s the level of work I would have expected.”

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

Working from an initial mockup to develop the prototype, DCSL Software built a web-based application with database integration using .NET.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
United Kingdom
Chief Acctuary, Insurance Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

User feedback has been positive on test versions. The tool is poised to improve efficiencies by consolidating data in one location and more quickly producing required analysis and outputs. DCSL was responsive and quick to deliver.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the Chief Actuary for a large international insurance company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DCSL Software?

Part of our operation is writing reinsurance business, which involves recording policy and claim information and performing a series of calculations for specific outputs such as regulatory and financial reporting. This has historically been done in spreadsheets via a system with two separate parts, one for data collection and one for calculation. We have a tool for calculations but I wanted a modern frontend for the data capture. We needed a web-based solution to accommodate staff based around the world.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DCSL built us a web-based application for the data capture. I built a mockup using Excel that I handed off to DCSL to build the prototype, which I signed-off on before the build (in .NET) was started. They delivered the first code, I tested it, and they made my required changes.

The functionality includes frontend security with a login and different ways in which to both view and upload data. The website consists of numerous screens to input data in a structured fashion with a clean and modern interface. Unstructured data such as PDFs of contracts, Excel files of analysis, and any other related information can be dragged and dropped to upload to the database for quick retrieval. I was also looking for a specific way to ensure version control by applying updates to the database that is different to how web-based databases traditionally work. That involved a bit of back and forth to get right.

They’ve completed the core functionality. We had a working version last month. They’re now tweaking the design based on our tests and feedback, including fonts and layout aspects. We should have a final version very soon. Once the project is finished, we’ll take over the code to maintain it ourselves.

What is the team composition?

I worked primarily with the lead developer who was my main point of contact.

How did you come to work with DCSL Software?

I searched online for firms that had done something quite similar before. I looked at a couple of vendors include DCSL. I reached out to them and had an initial meeting during which I described what I wanted done and we discussed similar projects they’d done. They had specific experience with database integration and management. Based on the conversations I had with them, I felt that they’d be able to build what I wanted.

How much have you invested with them?

Approximately 30K GBP. 

What is the status of this engagement?

The work started in January of this year and is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Historically, all of our information was spread across different places – people’s emails, on the network, on local drives. We now have the ability to keep everything together. We also have clear indications that this system will be much quicker at producing financial statements, retrieving data, and auditing figures because all the data is captured in one place.

The feedback has been very positive from the people that have used it so far. It's working very well. I'm happy with the outcome.

How did DCSL Software perform from a project management standpoint?

I met with the managing director during the procurement phase and the lead developer for an initial discussion to go through the mockup. After that, we spoke via phone.

They were quite hands-off after I gave them the mockup. We didn’t have a strict timetable or schedule for communication but the turnaround was very quick on both the initial build and on making any changes that were required.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're very good. They were quick to reply to emails and to deliver outputs. It’s the level of work I would have expected.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Spend as much time on the prototype as possible. In retrospect, I would have taken a break of two to three weeks between building the prototype and going into full development. That would have allowed me to review and reflect on the prototype more. There were changes that came to mind mid-development that would have been better to catch before that phase.

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

Development for Fintech Software Company

"What mattered the most to us and made the biggest impact was that they delivered exactly what they had promised."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Dec. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Using an existing framework, DCSL designed UX mockups and software enabling users to view property transaction status and details. Having completed QA testing, they are now in the second–stage of development.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
United Kingdom
CTO, Software Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal QA testing determined that the software user interface met all specification, and preliminary user feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. DCSL’s responsiveness and willingness to meet face–to–face helped to complete the project within the tight timeline.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CTO of a software development company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DCSL Software?

We didn’t have the necessary internal resources, so we used DCSL developers to create a user interface that would enable different parties to interact with and see the progress of property transactions.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Based on the framework we provided, DCSL provided UX mockups and created software where users can log on, view various properties on a building site, what stage of development the properties are in, whether they have been sold and a mortgage established, and who the lawyer involved in the interaction is—if there is a lawyer. Throughout the project, they used Agile methodologies. I’m not sure on the technologies they used, but I believe developers used SQL, .NET, and probably model–view–controllers (MVCs).

What is the team composition?

We had a dedicated tech lead who had a team of three or four developers.

How did you come to work with DCSL Software?

I found them during my research and decided to meet with them. In the meeting, we discussed the project and their work in the past. Afterward, I contacted three of their previous customers to confirm the value of their services.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent about $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together December 2017 and are now in the second stage of ongoing development work.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The interface was tested internally by our QA team, who found nothing wrong with the code. The software hasn’t been fully rolled–out but users that have interacted with it have been very pleased with its functionality and appearance. By delivering the product to users on time, we’ve seen productivity gains.

How did DCSL Software perform from a project management standpoint?

Since our offices are fairly close, we were able to meet face–to–face at least three or four times and outside of those interactions they were also very responsive.

What did you find most impressive about them?

What mattered the most to us and made the biggest impact was that they delivered exactly what they had promised.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t have any advice or guidance for them. Our project was relatively short and we were happy with the results.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Provide detailed specifications at the beginning of the project and keep regular communication throughout. That should result in success.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They met what we considered to be quite a tight deadline.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Bespoke Development for Health Management Software

"We ended the project with a deliverable that was as close to finished as possible."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
2.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
3.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DCSL created wireframes and used multiple technologies to develop a custom health outcome tracking software.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
United Kingdom
Business Development Manager, iMPACT
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The software product performs well and has resulted in a doubling of the user base. Though the project was completed within budget, the timeline was more than double initial specifications. Additional areas for improvement include testing and detailed project management.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

iMPACT provides outcome management software. Our software evidences change over time and allows bespoke creation of key performance indicators to track performance. It is typically used within the health industry to prove outcomes from health intervention programmes. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DCSL Software?

As a business, we wanted to break into the emerging health market. Our challenge was to do this without disrupting the development roadmap of our existing development team. Taking developers off our existing product range would have meant not delivering expectations to our existing customer base. Working with DCSL gave us the opportunity to launch a new product, within a new domain, without impacting on our pre-existing development goals.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DCSL provided us with a one-stop shop that would build out an agreed specification, develop, test and build the new iMPACT software.  Once the software was delivered, they provided a hosted platform for our clients.  They were integral in the design and specification of iMPACT.  Together with the product manager, a full specification was drawn together based on detailed wireframes, a process that ultimately formed a waterfall specification document, backed up by a fully operable wireframe.  

What is the team dynamic?

Whilst the specification process was waterfall, the delivery was agile. DCSL provided a dedicated development team led by the technical director and backed up with 3 developers and a dedicated QA. End of sprint demos were provided, with bug lists being created for correction within the next sprint. Each demo was checked against the specification document to ensure correct performance.

How did you come to work with DCSL Software?

DCSL came to our attention as the author of a bespoke system being used by one of our clients. We engaged with both DCSL and our mutual client to design and create a new commercial software product.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project was signed off in April 2017. Since then DCSL has continued to provide second line support for the software, and development support to resolve bugs. In addition, we have engaged DCSL further in a couple of small enhancement projects to further improve the software.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We ended the project with a deliverable that was as close to finished as possible. It was a project that we were able to take directly to market. We’ve gone from 1 to 5 clients in the past 18 months. We started 2017 with only 2 clients, but now we’re going to finish the year with 5. We expect to grow even more next year.

The sponsor client has grown from running two contracts to 9 contracts, each delivering a range of right now from the outset. They’re one of the largest deliverers of intervention programs in the U.K., so we needed to deliver a complete solution to the market.

How did DCSL Software perform from a project management standpoint?

Throughout the project (from specification to delivery) we were allocated a dedicated team and a dedicated individual to lead the project. This was critical in the understanding and the delivery of the specification. The original time and budget specifications were excellent. The project was finished on budget, but unfortunately, didn’t deliver on time. That said, show me a software project that delivers on time.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There are always areas that can be improved. The standout for me was providing all demos off a single build at each end of sprint demo. In my mind, this would have eliminated some of the bugs that were discovered post sprint and would have provided a better opportunity to stay closer to the original time frames. Administration of bug reports was also clearly a down-fall and again an area that would reap immediate benefits. Finally, I would like to see more negative testing within their test plans, again this would drive speed of delivery as more issues would be captured earlier.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be clear on your vision and specification. It will pay dividends in the end product. Be prepared to assign a dedicated product manager to the project.

4.0
Overall Score Overall, they delivered a great product, but sometimes, things were much more complicated than they should’ve been.
  • 2.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 3.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would certainly recommend them for smaller projects.

App Dev for Care Giving Support Platform

“The service is completely second to none. I can’t fault them.”

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

DCSL developed an application for a care giving support platform, working on the Visio Cloud-based app from its initial concept to the creation of an application that is now in the beta stage. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
United Kingdom
Helen Dempster
Founder & CEO, Karantis
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app is in beta testing and has received positive feedback. It is easy to use and intuitive, allowing users to track interactions and with bespoke reporting capabilities. The team handles project management faultlessly, communicating well and acting with honesty and transparency at all times.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Karantis built an app that gives care companies and care providers an application to support the care provided to individuals.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DCSL?

We wanted the agency, the caregiver, and the family to be within a transparent circle of care, within an application. We wanted an openness between the care provider and the families. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When we first went to them, we had an idea on paper. They’ve been with us on the journey from the concept. They took us from prototyping to the point where we’ve now developed a very good application that’s currently in beta. The app has been built on Microsoft Azure Cloud platform. 

The development and the actual build is second to none. I can’t fault them at all. When we put ideas to them regarding the build, they were honest enough to come back and give us other options for a better, cleaner response. We’ve used AI [artificial intelligence] at their recommendation. We’ve got big data analysis based on their recommendation. They’ve really aided the development of the application in full.

It’s an extremely vast application. We’ve created a tracking system for companies to use to monitor staff and to monitor interaction with clients who are vulnerable. We have a completely bespoke reporting system per company. It’s a disruptive technology that’s new to the market in the care sector. The current application in the MVP [minimum viable product] is finished. We’re still developing with them for further launches and further products.

What is the team dynamic? 

I’ve had conversations with 10–12 members of their staff. We have a technical director who manages our project. We work with the technical team, the development team, the tester, the graphic design team, and also Nick [Managing Director, DCSL Software]. He was the one that built out the prototype with us.

How did you come to work with DCSL?

We had a shortlist of 5 companies. 3 of us went into our meeting with DCSL, and when we came out and looked at one another we said, "They're the team." We didn't even go to meet the other teams. 

They were very passionate and engaged in what we wanted to do. They were interested in the project we had on the table. We wanted a company that was friendly, reliable, and committed to the project. DCSL is all those things and more.

How much have you invested with them?

$200,000–$999,999. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in December of last year and the work is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our application is currently in beta so it’s not available for public consumption at the moment. The feedback we’ve had from the beta trial is incredibly encouraging. The application is easy to use. It’s very intuitive and easy to follow. I’ve had no complaints whatsoever about the application or the build. There’s certainly no bugs.

How did DCSL perform from a project management standpoint?

It’s very slick and steady. You are given complete and utter control over the direction in which you want to go. At no point was anything too much trouble. If you split it into 3, a third is email based, a third is meeting based, and a third is phone based. If there’s something that we haven’t understood, or we aren’t happy with, I can pick up the phone and ask to meet with them. Within 24 hours, we’ve got a meeting booked. Most of the issues can be resolved either on the phone or via email. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their level of honesty and integrity and the way that they interact is most impressive. We haven’t had many issues along the way. If ever there was a problem or issue, they have immediately been honest about it. The service is completely second to none. I can’t fault them. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

No.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Go into the project with an open mind and they will guide you in the right direction. Nothing is too much trouble. 

5.0
Overall Score Our experience has been very positive. Hence, why we’re staying with them on the next project.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The Agile methodology that they use has worked incredibly well. 
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    You get what you pay for.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re not afraid of hard work and change.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anybody.

Custom Platform Dev for Sales Promotion Agency

“They’re a friendly and collaborative one-stop shop.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Apr. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DCSL Software created a new transaction platform for PC and mobile phone sales and leasing. Its functions connect manufacturers, financial institutions, and resellers to buyers and lessees.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Surrey, England
President, Sales Promotion Agency
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new platform garners a positive response and fills a gap in the market. DCSL Software is innovative, flexible, and accommodating. They focus on functionality and make valuable suggestions.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the president of a company that helps organizations sell their services and hardware globally. Most of our clients are in the PC and mobile phone markets, and we collaborate with them through our various partner channels. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DCSL Software?

Our clients wanted a new option for customer transactions. We had a traditional purchasing structure, but wanted something that could reinvent subscription and leasing. We needed an organization to take our ideas and build a platform that could drive clients’ sales.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a rough idea of our end goal, but regulatory requirements and data interface made for a complicated process. We changed the branding for the system, and DCSL Software shared new ideas to develop the platform further. They made suggestions to improve the experience, and turned our vision into software, which we host on Rackspace.

They built a comprehensive leasing platform, built for OEMs [original equipment manufacturers]. It operates as middle-ware to integrate banks and resellers into manufacturing channels. It allows users to create baskets of products, with finance applications that can be sent to banks for approval. Users can also send shipment invoices through retail solutions in the backend system.

What is the team dynamic?

In the early stages, we met with developers every couple of weeks. As we moved further into the project, we had one lead contact. We mostly emailed them, but occasionally spoke on the phone to discuss any changes.

How did you come to work with DCSL Software?

They were a recommendation from a past collaborator.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent about $300,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in April 2017, and plan to use them as we roll out solutions to our clients and make changes.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re just rolling out the first iteration, but the response has been really positive so far. It’s an innovative platform, and it fills a major gap in the marketplace.

How did DCSL Software perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management was very good; they have a very responsive team. They work well, and accommodated changes to development all through the process. They were flexible, and created anything we wanted in the platform.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re a friendly and collaborative one-stop shop. We gave them our ideas, and they quickly returned with quotes. We were working together to achieve something, and they understood what our customers need. Their suggestions and solutions were valuable to us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The structure and the engine are great, but they could have done better with some of the initial side elements. They concentrated heavily on function, but the form and look could have been stronger or more creative.

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

Database Redevelopment for Construction Firm

"I chose DCSL to do our next project over anybody else I’ve used. That’s a testament to them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DCSL helped develop and implement a business management tool (database), being a new recruitment processing system.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Manager, Support Dept., Systech International
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The project went according to plan in terms of timeline and budget, and the recruitment system is noticeably more streamlined. DCSL’s project management and communication skills made for easy collaboration. The team is transparent, and their intuitive and efficient workflow makes them stand out.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Systech International is a management consultancy firm. We work in every continent across the world in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Europe, the Americas, and the U.K.

The services we provide are for highly technical quantity surveyors, building planners, and legal expert witnesses who work with our major clients overseas. These can be in construction, oil, and gas infrastructure sectors.

We provide management consultancy services, advice, and proposals to help clients get back on track and meet their budgets. We also ensure dispute resolution between a client and large project developers before a situation reaches arbitration. They’re projects like airports, rail systems, buildings, like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and very large global projects.

For the last 2–3 years, I’ve been responsible for implementing change and improvements in project management methods and developing the support departments of the global business. That includes HR, Administration, Group Recruitments, and Finance.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DCSL?

We have been extremely successful in implementing the system development change in the Finance Department and HR, and we needed similar success with our Recruitment Department. We needed a group recruitment global database that would support the APAC/MEA and the EUR/Americas parts of the Department gel together.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

It was a mutual streamlined approach between Systech and DCSL. I’d already written specifications and design documents that we sent to Nick [Managing Director, DCSL Software], and one of their developers called me and went through it. We went through the details, and they put it in their own technical format. We laid the foundation, and after the initial collaboration, believed both parties understood the brief and specifications.

After the implementation, they scheduled 3 defined testing phases of the system, which went to plan. The system allows us to track all the prospective candidates that our recruiters are looking at. These candidates will fall into the recruitment database, where the recruiters have control of whether and when they want to present those candidates to the senior personnel.

There are mechanisms built into the system that can quickly and easily email and send CVs and Candidate Records. We set up our own tailored forms to describe and document the candidates. We then are able to run that person through the pipeline. If they are of interest to a senior manager who is recruiting, for example in Japan or South Africa, we can plan and track everything from interview scheduling to seeing if they were offered the position.

At the end of the day, there is a software link between this new database and our existing HR system. When we push a button, a successful candidate is then transferred into our HR system as a new recruit to the business, and HR takes over. There is a feature in the system that now regulates communication, to make sure recruiters from different parts of the world aren’t trying to contact the same candidates or clients, which was an issue in the past. Candidate information is transparent.

The links we have been building to connect and support various departments has been a good way to ensure we don’t lose track of candidates in the shuffle. Recruiters may have recruited someone, but if we don’t have HR, we can’t deploy them overseas. Since we’re international, we may recruit someone in London that is assigned to Africa. We need a smooth handover to the region, and for that HR to induct that Consultant. The system helps us manage that process.

What is the team dynamic?

The collaboration went very smoothly because we only worked directly with Nick [Managing Director, DCSL Software] initially, who sold the contract to us and worked with us to develop the solution. He was our main point of contact, and I know there were a few people working with him. He introduced us to Alexis, our point of contact in development, who we worked with throughout the UAT process.

How did you come to work with DCSL?

We were researching both smaller, local companies and larger companies in the Middle East and Asia. After narrowing it down to 5 or 6 companies, I immediately preferred the presentation, the proposal, and the charisma of Nick [Managing Director, DCSL Software], who sold his proposition very well. They are London-based, and we liked their proximity to us in the U.K. I felt we could work with them after hearing the clarity with which they described their services and deliverables

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in April 2017 and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

There was only one delay related to linking the system up with our HR system, which being upgraded by another provider. That part is being tested now and UAT has proven successful.

How did DCSL perform from a project management standpoint?

They are very transparent. If something isn’t clearly communicated by either party, it soon becomes obvious. Alexis [Technical Director, DCSL Software] would always come back and clarify and ask questions from the developers. That one point of contact made the process efficient.

The way they set up the UAT [User Acceptance Testing] or 'Sprint' sessions was good. We had very specific lists of items that we had to test every 2 weeks. We did that 3 times. We knew about everything going on, the timeline, and that we could give feedback along the way. All fixes were implemented, and everything went smoothly and according to plan.

We communicated via email, phone, and WebEx to share screens. One of the things they did extremely well was build the prototype with us. Alexis [Technical Director, DCSL Software] came into the London office and sat with us a couple of times, and otherwise would call us and share his screen. Building the prototype together solved many little problems as we went along, because we could discuss in real time. We were able to see straightaway how the system would look and work. That’s another reason it went so smoothly.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Nick [Managing Director, DCSL Software] maintained the initial quote made from my original design document. Even though we added additional functionalities, he committed to maintaining the original price. For us as a company, it was good for cash flow. It is good to be able to do business with a company that is not always looking for a way to create additional revenue.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Once all the flow of activity ended and we were at the point of just making small fixes, reaction times to make the fixes slowed down a little or a brief reminder was sent. Overall, this is not a criticism of DCSL.

5.0
Overall Score Over my 30+ year career in Finance, I have project-managed the implementation of many newly-developed systems, including finance, billing, and recruitment systems on small and global scales. DCSL was one I would recommend highly.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We’re using them again.

Business Operations Solution Developed for Healthcare Firm

"We have increased productivity 45-100% by having a custom-made product."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DCSL Software built a custom solution to manage stock and track payments on rented equipment. The majority of the work is done, but additional functionalities are still in development.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Director
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new software has streamlined operations dramatically. DCSL Software issues regular progress reports and produced an 110-page booklet explaining the ins and outs of the solution. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Mobility Giant is a provider of long-term rentals of mobility scooters and disability equipment. I’m the director.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DCSL Software?

We were growing quite quickly, and we needed to get some software systems in place in order to cope with the load. We had a software system in place already, but it was off-the-shelf. The purpose of the software was to control the day-to-day operations of the business, including keeping track of payments on rentals and to manage the stock in and out of the company. It was for the complete daily flow of the company operations.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DCSL built a new custom software system for us. They added brand new things to the new system. We asked them to design a custom-built software system for us. We went through the whole workflow and then it was built around that. They did not do any website work on this project. That was done internally. The software system is the only project we’ve worked with DCSL on.

How many resources have been assigned to your project?

We had one project manager with an additional four or five people on our team. We are always in touch with DCSL trying to improve things. At the start, we were having various meetings, maybe five to seven meetings before they produced the specification book for us.

How did you come to work with DCSL Software?

We were looking for a local company and found DCSL online by doing a Google search for software systems. We also spoke to another company and had a few meetings with them, but their quote was too high for us.

How much have you invested with DCSL Software?

We have spent $75,000 with them so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in August 2016, and the system was completed in September 2016. The work is ongoing. We just completed some upgrades to the system.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

In terms of the day-to-day running of the business, it is all much more efficient now, because everything is on online on our software systems. All customer data is easily found. We can see how many payments somebody has made or missed easily at a click of a button. It would be difficult to give you exact data on that because it’s the whole company operations that have been improved from that. We only have experience in the off-the-shelf software systems, which were difficult to use. Obviously, when you custom-build something, it’s built for your company alone. Everything can be much better. We have increased productivity 45-100% by having a custom-made product.

How did DCSL Software perform from a project management standpoint?

We would go for regular meetings and then they would provide a booklet from each meeting with how they see their software was going to pan out. We got regular updates from that. Once we had gone to five, six meetings and they had done their work, they produced a finished booklet of a software flow system. The booklet showed how the software was going to look and how it was going to work. We signed off on that to give them the go ahead, and then they created the software system itself. The documentation was an 110-page booklet before the software was even started. They had outlined the whole system and how the workflow was going to appear on the system before they started it.

What did you find most impressive about DCSL Software?

They were very involved from day one. There was a big team working on it and they broke it into work groups and they were able to finish large chunks of work in quicker time than perhaps if only one or two people were working on it. There were whole work teams created which I liked. Within in a week, a third of the software was done for us to inspect. The efficiency that they were able to get the product out to us and finished up was impressive.

Are there any areas DCSL Software could improve?

It is difficult for me to do that without having experienced other companies. This is the first time we’ve needed to utilize software systems. In terms of the experience we had with them, I think it was as good as we could have hoped for. In terms of areas they need to improve, I don’t think there is much.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We were quoted a lot more for the same product from different companies. It still cost $75,000.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It’s been pretty good from day one.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We have already recommended them.

Database Modernization for Maritime Regulatory Agency

"I appreciated the emphasis on [ensuring] the prototype would be what we were expecting as a customer."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. - Oct. 2016
Project summary: 

DCSL Software renovated a database making it capable of more functionality. The 3–4-person team handled prototyping, refined specifications, QA, and bug fixes.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Manager, Information & Communictions
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The newly upgraded database fulfills all requirements and produces far more nuanced analytics reports than before. While bug resolutions could’ve been faster, their thoroughness during the prototyping and specification phase made up for it.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the information and communications manager for a company that responds to instances involving oil or chemical spills from marine vessels worldwide. We have an emergency response system and operate 24/7. As part of this, we offer some key services, namely damage assessment from the incident, contingency planning, and information.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenges were you trying to address with DCSL Software?

We had an old Access database and needed to upgrade it to an online SQL platform that would allow multiple users. Beyond that, we wanted to expand the scope of the database so we could expand the range of possible capabilities and outcomes.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We provided very detailed specifications to DCSL Software. From those, we built a prototype together, making sure that everything would work, and when it didn’t, we could do things slightly differently for the user experience. The initial specification was done internally, while the final document was done in collaboration with DCSL Software.

They assigned 3 or 4 people with whom I had regular communication. Initially, we had a one-to-one relationship with Valery Possoz, their technical director, who helped us build the prototype and specifications. During the build, he continued to manage the process and brought in a developer and a quality assurance person.

The database allows us to input all the instances in which we’ve been involved, going back to 1970. It also contains all the worldwide tanker instances we don’t attend to directly, but for which we analyze any trends in order to assist with government contingency planning.

How did you come to work with DCSL Software?

We sent our proposal to a few companies and spoke to them in order to see what they could offer. We chose DCSL Software based on their understanding of our business and the solution we were trying to achieve, as well as their experience and cost. One of their staff members came to us in order to discuss the project, find out exactly what we were trying to achieve, and exactly what they could do for us.​

​​​​​​What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with DCSL Software in February 2016. The project concluded at the end of October.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The software is doing what it was intended to do. All our staff members can input data and use it for lessons learned, performing many more analyses than they were previously capable of. There are some enhancements and tweaks which we’re still lining out, but overall, it has definitely matched our expectations.

There have been some bugs, but every project will have them to some extent.

How did DCSL Software perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very professional — especially at the start, during the prototyping phase. That was invaluable to us and allowed us to see exactly how the software would work before committing to the build. DCSL Software was very good in terms of communication during the sprint development, setting up calls every two weeks. We used a combination of Skype for video calls and Sifter for logging issues towards the end of the project.​

​​​​​​What did you find most impressive about DCSL Software?

I appreciated the emphasis they put on making sure the prototype would be what we were expecting as a customer. That was key for us.

Are there any areas DCSL Software could improve?

Once the product was built, having a faster turnaround on some of the bugs that needed ironing out would have been ideal. The project overran slightly, but we ended up with something we really needed.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with DCSL Software?

Talk to numerous providers and go with someone who really understands the solution which needs to be achieved, and who will ask questions that make the client think about the project in a more detailed manner.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We had some small issues towards the end.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Database Redevelopment for Market Research Firm

"They actually understood what we wanted to do."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Nov. 2016 - Apr. 2017
Project summary: 

DCSL Software replaced an inferior database with a prototype designed through a collaborative discovery workshop. Improved productivity and sustainable growth are made possible with the new solution. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Farnham, Surrey
Co-Founder, Market Research Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The creative process was itself a differentiator. DCSL invested the time to grasp the challenge at hand before proposing any plans. Their customer-oriented approach and superior expertise produced extremely positive results.  

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

TechMarketView is widely recognized as the most influential UK-based research agency in the UK tech sector. We’re a boutique organization. We have about 15–20 people. I’m a co-founder of TechMarketView and managing partner, and I have been working with, Richard Holway, co-founder, and TechMarketView chairman, for some 20 years in this and predecessor businesses.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenges were you trying to address with DCSL Software?

We had an existing database system produced by another vendor; it was about three or four years old. However, it was no longer going to be flexible enough to take us through our next growth phase. So, we decided to go back to the drawing board and invited proposals for a new database design, one that would enable us to expand the services that we offer to our clients.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

After discussing our requirements in outline, we entered into a first-phase agreement, which was the design process. The design process was basically a three-day workshop split over two sessions, where they prototyped the solution. It was built in front of our eyes so we could see exactly how they interpreted our requirements. This was an incredibly fruitful process because by the time we finished the three days, the design was pretty much there.

Basically, the database is a repository of our company research. It contains detailed financial information about all the companies we currently track. Our legacy database system has a couple of hundred companies on it and tracks a certain subset of the financial information that we would subsequently want to track. The problem was that the legacy database was not flexible enough to be able to expand the number of companies we wanted to track or the scope of additional data we wanted to track. So, the key requirement of the new database was that it had to support thousands of companies rather than hundreds and allow us to record any information about the company that we like—financial, operating, or even textual. That was the underpinning of the new design.

We had no input into the composition of their team and we didn’t want to. We leave it to our suppliers to decide who are the people for the job.

How did you come to work with DCSL Software?

We were referred to DCSL Software by someone on our team who had experience with them a few years prior. We only really considered two or three. Everyone we considered was within reasonable traveling distance of key members of the team. When we met DCSL Software, they seemed to be best suited to do the job.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began in the mid-end of last year with initial conversations, and we started the design process in the fourth quarter. Our target deadline was to have the system live by the end of March because that’s when we go into our next research cycle. We went live at the end of March as we planned.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The new database has already shown us benefits. We’ve already made some changes to the database as we’ve started to use it and realized there were other things we wanted to do. This was one of the major reasons for having the rewrite done: these were changes we could make ourselves without having to go back to the developers. Straightaway, we saved ourselves time and money in being able to tailor the database to suit requirements we didn’t see at the time.

My colleagues are very satisfied with the new system. We’ve added a lot more functionality to the system, even in the day-to-day use. Not every member of the team has the authority to change the construct of the database, but in terms of using the database for its primary purpose, which is to store and retrieve company data, everybody is really happy with the new functionality that we’ve incorporated.

How did DCSL Software perform from a project management standpoint?

It was very straightforward. We had regular meetings (some were face-to-face at their offices, while others were done over Skype). They have a very efficient requirement tracking system, so as we were going through the design process and testing and cutover process if there was anything we needed to communicate to them, we did it through their system. That way, nothing fell between the cracks, and we could track the progress of every issue that we raised.

But, if there were other conversations to be had or something more detailed, then we’d use email or pick up the phone.

What did you find most impressive about DCSL Software?

We found them competent, easy to work with, and very responsive to our needs. Most importantly, they understood the context of what we were trying to achieve with the new database.

DCSL Software seemed to have advanced design tools; the prototyping and design sessions we went through with them were a revelation to us. We hadn’t seen those tools used before. It did transform the effectiveness of the design process.

Are there any areas DCSL Software could improve?

There’s nothing I would call out. Obviously, everybody can do some things better, as could we. But, in the context of what we asked them to do and being able to respond to changes, of which many were inflicted by us, they were really good. I would be nitpicking if I called anything out. I think in the context of this project, we were very happy.

5.0
Overall Score It would be nit-picking just to find the odd glitch.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There was one key deadline, the launch date, with the system functioning to specification, and they did it.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We thought they would be a good value for money if they delivered what they said they would, and they did. It wasn’t cheap: it was just good value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The system met our specifications. There was rework to be done on both sides, but we ended up with arguably more than we expected.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Certainly, if people asked if we would use them again, absolutely we would. We haven’t tested their other services, but based on the work they’ve done for us, we would have no hesitation in recommending them.