What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Flat Rock delivered a scalable system that we hope to update in the future.
How did Flat Rock Technology perform from a project management standpoint?
There was a short period of time when our project manager had to return to Bulgaria, but that didn’t affect his responsiveness. He still got back to us within the same day. When he couldn’t give an answer, he would offer a detailed timeline to let us know that someone was dealing with the issue.
Now that the product is finished, our resource is somewhat less responsive, because most of our requests are less urgent. When we do have an important fix to make, they’ll typically get back to us that same day. Quite often, they can make small fixes within a couple of hours. They’re good about managing the time difference.
What did you find most impressive about them?
We’ve loved their can-do attitude and refreshing approach. Our previous provider could no longer offer support or a plan to deal with concerns that mattered to us. It got to the point where we could tell that it was a hassle to deal with us when we had an issue, particularly as we eventually found out they had no backup or record of the product’s code.
There were certain tasks that we couldn’t evaluate the complexity of because we didn’t have a background in IT. Despite this, Flat Rock handled every request in the same way. In other words, they never belittled our requests and were transparent with us if they felt that some tasks were relatively small or unimportant.
From what I gather, Flat Rock is still small enough that the people at the top are involved in most of their projects. Chris (CFO, Flat Rock Technology) is still copied on our correspondence, and this shows me that he’s committed to staying informed. They seem to be quite a cohesive company.
Aside from being a cohesive firm, Flat Rock was very flexible and accommodating. With my colleague and I, it was important that both of us could work from the office and at home, and Flat Rock was flexible around that. Also, our project manager was always reasonable in trying to get at what we wanted.
We needed to clarify some things with our project manager during the warranty period, and there was a bit of back and forth about what had been included with the original estimate. There were some instances where we had different perceptions about how things should be set up, and we struggled to communicate our concerns from an IT point of view. On the occasions when we were adamant about specific changes, they were accommodating. Our project manager and his team were understanding and open to negotiations.
Similarly, they were quite understanding about renegotiating our monthly maintenance. We were able to structure it so that we could pay quarterly or at six-month intervals. They’re a good company to work with from a maintenance perspective. Their post-production support is as good as the actual work, and that’s been quite important for us. Most companies don’t bother with maintenance after they’ve received their payment.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Ideally, we would’ve wanted to have a maintenance person that had been involved in the development, but the resource that we got was sufficiently updated regarding the work.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
It depends on the size of the company, but, if they have the time, it’s definitely worth it to have a face-to-face meeting, even just to present the requirements and to set up the workflow.
It’s important to get a feel for the project manager. Depending on the project, there can be a lot of things that Flat Rock can help with, and it’s a lot easier to get those things right from the beginning. That way, when you have an estimate drawn up, the actual desired outcomes will be made clear.