Innovation, Integrity & Service

HAAS/créa is a boutique digital consultancy, developing for the web since 1997. We design and develop elegant CMS driven web/mobile apps as well as engineering solutions that are made to scale. We serve enterprise clients, entrepreneurs, artists and like-minded partners. Our distributed team of creative technologists based in New York City, the SF Bay Area and Saigon are dedicated to providing exceptional solutions and 24 hour service for our clients.

 

 
$10,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2009
Show all +
New York, NY
headquarters
  • HAAS/créa
    54 West 40th Street
    New York, NY 10018
    United States
    212-461-1841

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Avon, Conde Nast, Food Network, Countdown Entertainment, Times Square NYE, Fahrenheit212, Nestle Waters, LiveX Productons, Montefiore Health System, XL Communications

Reviews

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E-Commerce Web Dev or Women's Activewear Company

"Everything is delivered on time and within budget."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Oct. 2011- Ongoing
Project summary: 

HAAS/créa created a website for a women's activewear company. HAAS/Créa utilized Drupal and Ubercart to create a website to help generate sales. 

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
New York, New York
Emily Vitale
Co-owner, PRISMSPORT
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Google analytics reports suggest that users like the website; users look at pages, buy items, and spend time on the website. HAAS/créa's willingness to offer their opinion was impressive, and their project management has improved as the collaboration continued. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a founder and co-owner of PRISMSPORT. We make women’s activewear.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with HAAS/créa?

We launched our website with HAAS/créa.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When we started working with HAAS/créa, we didn't know what we wanted, so we took their recommendations. We built the website to help generate sales, and we’ve implemented new features over time. We worked with an outside designer who gave HAAS/créa all of the creative specs that he implemented. HAAS/créa did all of the technical work, and they used Drupal for the platform and Ubercart for the shopping cart. Most people these days are on Shopify as a platform. When we have the money, we will switch to Shopify, because it’s an easier interface.

How did you come to work with HAAS/créa?

HAAS/créa was recommended to us, and their price was what we had in mind.

How much have you invested with HAAS/créa?

We’ve been working with HAAS/créa for five years, so we’ve invested a tremendous amount with them, probably about $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with HAAS/créa in September 2011 or October 2011, and they provide ongoing maintenance for our website.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We have strong metrics from Google Analytics, and people tend to like the website. We know they spend a lot of time on it, they look at a lot of pages, and they buy items through it, which probably has more to do with the merchandise we’re selling than the website itself, though. Things tend to run pretty smoothly; we have few bug reports.

How did HAAS/créa perform from a project management standpoint?

We’ve had ups and downs with HAAS/créa’s project management, but things have been running pretty smoothly recently. Their team is responsive, and things get attended to quickly. Everything is delivered on time and within budget. We always get an estimate on things, and we approve items beforehand knowing what the scope of the project is. We used Redmine as a project management tool.

What did you find most impressive about HAAS/créa?

We were most impressed with HAAS/créa’s willingness to give their opinion. They’re good about suggesting changes and advising against them as needed, regardless of how much money they’re going to make from it.

Are there any areas HAAS/créa could improve?

HAAS/créa has improved on their problem areas. They’re much more organized. Things get done quickly. Two years ago, we had a rough time, but they attended to the issues and fixed them.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with HAAS/créa?

Businesses working with HAAS/créa should know what platform they want to use. I don't know what platforms they’re recommending now, but I may recommend Shopify. Businesses need websites they can manage, alter, and update themselves, so they don't have to hire somebody else to do it for them.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    HAAS/créa delivers on time.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I can't really compare HAAS/créa’s costs with other companies because I've only worked with them. At one point, we talked about going with another company, but the other ones were more expensive.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    HAAS/créa's quality depends on what the job is. They don't have in-house art people or a lot of other resources, but what they promise to do, they do.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I will recommend HAAS/créa.

Event App for Times Square, Web Dev for NFL Team Fan Website

"HAAS/créa thinks outside the box."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jul. - Dec. 2008
Project summary: 

HAAS/créa created the official Times Square Ball app with a custom backend ana a Google-Cloud enabled front gate to post pictures. They also developed a custom payment API for a football fan website.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Corey Behnke
President, Live X
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

At least 4,000 people submitted photos through the Times Square app, while the NFL fan website attracts roughly 1,000,000 monthly users. HAAS/créa exercised their creative custom development. Prospective clients should understand their project scopes prior to collaboration.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the president and co-founder of Live X, a live production and broadcast services company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with HAAS/créa?

We reached out to HAAS/créa almost eight years ago to create the official Times Square Ball app for the New Year’s Eve in Times Square Ball drop.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

With HAAS/créa’s help, we created an app and launched it. We change it every year depending on new sponsorships and upgraded iPhones, Androids, etc. I hired HAAS/créa for mobile app and website development. I wanted to have a seamless transition between the mobile app and the website. HAAS/créa also built our CMS [content management system]. We have a platform where we’re able to put photos from all around the world onto the signs in Times Square for New Year’s Eve. HAAS/créa helped us develop that product as well.

HAAS/créa built a backend system for the app, and in order to do that, we built a credit system into the app. It was a front gate so that only people who really wanted to be a part of it could post pictures. Then HAAS/créa created a backend system using Google Cloud which made it scalable, and we ended up getting 36,000 photos the first year. We wanted users from around the world to be able to upload photos, and we wanted to create a moderation system so that we didn't get a lot of spam pictures and adult, not-safe-for-work content. There was a lot of social media integration with everything that we built. Our website also was attacked multiple times via DNS attacks and various systems. HAAS/créa was able to mitigate a lot of that because it was happening in real time.

Our cheeseheadtv.com is a store that requires full store integration with payment, payment APIs, and all of the required standards to accept payments on the Internet. HAAS/créa created and developed our new website, cheeseheadtv.com, which is the largest Green Bay Packer fan website on the Internet.

How did you come to work with HAAS/créa?

We didn't know any app developers, so we reached out to our network and found HAAS/créa through a colleague. We were considering at least three companies at the time. We ultimately decided on HAAS/créa because I got along well with Alex and his team, and he understood what we needed. We wanted a company that had good ideas for an event app. At the time, HAAS/créa had just completed a couple of similar apps that weren’t as big as ours, but they had enough similar pieces that we felt comfortable in choosing them. They also were New York-based, which was helpful.

How much have you invested with HAAS/créa?

I’ve probably spent a little over $800,000 with HAAS/créa.

What is the status of this engagement?

I think we started working with HAAS/créa in July 2008, and they completed our project in December 2008.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I think we had 4,000 to 6,000 people submit their photos to social media through our photo moderation app last year. Roughly 1 million people use cheeseheadtv.com a month during the season, versus 800,000 a month during the offseason. HAAS/créa runs and hosts that website, which is a pretty big one. They also created an app for cheeseheadtv.com, and it works really well.

How did HAAS/créa perform from a project management standpoint?

HAAS/créa performs well from a project management standpoint. They use a ticketing system, Redmine, so you know they’re thorough. Anytime I have an issue, I send them an email, it goes into Redmine, and it gets followed up on. Their project manager is thorough. We also use email and phones because I'm old school. The HAAS/créa team is really responsive. We’re a major client of theirs, so their response usually is immediate, and it doesn't matter if it’s a Saturday or Sunday. It’s rare that I don't get a response from HAAS/créa within half an hour when I send an email.

They also have an internal system that I don't use as a client, but their QA/QC is pretty good. Anytime we experience bugs; I send an email describing it. They also built in a bug reporting system in the app, so that users can submit bug reports in their settings, which is helpful. We’ll get the reports, and then if somebody says, “I have a bug,” or, “I can't log in,” we know what their phone is, we know what they’re using. The system tracks all of that.

What did you find most impressive about HAAS/créa?

HAAS/créa thinks outside the box. They really think about custom development and work as a custom development house. They won’t choose third-party tools and try to make them work for you. They’ll create something custom.

Are there any areas HAAS/créa could improve?

I think everybody can improve. HAAS/créa’s project management could be a little tighter. I like their ticketing system, it’s thorough, but it’s a little bit onerous for me personally. Right now, I’ll send an email to Alex, and he’ll put it in the ticketing system because I don't like managing it. That’s probably my only complaint, and it’s not even a complaint really because Alex will take care of it for me.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with HAAS/créa?

I think as with any technology developer; you need to make sure you understand your scope and have one set. HAAS/créa is good at drilling down on your scope with you before they bid anything out because they want to be clear on what you want so they know what they should deliver.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I’ll give HAAS/créa a perfect score for scheduling because they deliver.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    HAAS/créa is not the cheapest company, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We’ve never had a problem in eight years of working with HAAS/créa. Anytime there is any problem, HAAS/créa fixes it immediately.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Dev for HR Consulting Firm

"[HAAS/créa] understands the business reasons for the sites we develop and what we are trying to achieve."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jun. 2013- Jan. 2014
Project summary: 

HAAS/créa created a website that had a custom interface for different sets of employees. The site featured a strong CMS, a backend to assign permissions, and availability in English and Spanish.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Norwalk, Connecticut
June Mara
CEO, HR Consulting
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A 300% audience increase and 38% decrease in communication costs is a testament to the quality of HAAS/créa's website. They were highlighted for their business acumen; their planning and strategy delivered a superior product.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder and CEO of XL Communications Inc. XL is a full-service HR consulting firm that uses communication to help organizations better manage their investment in people. We work in partnership with clients to plan, design, and implement effective communication programs that build understanding and change employee behavior.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with HAAS/créa?

We wanted to develop a digital solution for clients built specifically for employee communications. Most sites our clients were using were built for employee self-service and other administrative tasks making them very inflexible and ineffective communication tools. We wanted a site that offered flexibility in look, feel, content, navigation, and that could be easily modified to add new features and keep up with changing technology.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

HAAS developed a complex website for one of our clients. The site was developed for multiple classifications of employees, each with a unique log in. The log in determined what information they would see. The site was also in two languages; English and Spanish and employees could toggle back and forth at any point. The site also had a robust CMS [content management system] with varying levels of permissions which we could assign.

I had investigated at least a dozen tech firms before selecting HAAS. What made HAAS stand out was their understanding of the subject matter, our desired results, and their level of commitment.

How did you come to work with HAAS/créa?

During my investigation of tech firms to partner with, a friend referred me to a professional photographer who had done extensive research on tech firms before developing his website. I met with the photographer who told me why he had selected HAAS and then chose to meet with Alex, the founder of HAAS.

How much have you invested with HAAS/créa?

We have been working with HAAS since 2012. In that time, they have developed many sites for us. Fees over that time have been more than $200,000, but I cannot give you an exact amount.

What is the status of this engagement?

The initial site development project took about six months from start to finish. We began early in the second quarter and completed the project in the fall.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Clients for whom we have done work with HAAS have been extremely pleased. One of our largest clients said their only regret was that they didn’t do this sooner. This particular client has 29 different classifications of employees with different benefits and multiple locations. Through our work with HAAS, we have been able to increase our audience by 300% while reducing communications costs by 38%.

How did HAAS/créa perform from a project management standpoint?

Project management is superb. HAAS provides a dashboard where we can track email threads and stay current on each project’s progress and status. HAAS is committed to excellence and timeliness and have never missed a deadline.

What did you find most impressive about HAAS/créa?

Alex understands the business reasons for the sites we develop and what we are trying to achieve. It is far more than slapping a website together. We do a lot of planning and strategizing – ultimately leading to a far superior outcome. Alex’s consultative approach is outstanding.

Are there any areas HAAS/créa could improve?

No, HAAS does an outstanding job in every respect.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with HAAS/créa?

Prepare to spend time and energy into the planning process. It will be well worth it.

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

Web and App Dev for Official Times Square Ball

"It means a lot to me to have someone with whom I can brainstorm, present, and talk ideas through."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jun. - Dec. 2010
Project summary: 

HAAS/créa used Wordpress to create the Time Square Ball website. They also built an app for iOS and Android that allows users to interact and stream the New Years ball drop. They annually manage both.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Jeffrey Straus
President of Countdown Entertainment
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

After winning a bidding cycle, HAAS/créa created an app that was downloaded over 500,000 times by global users. They are distinguished for their iterative ability and hands-on service. Their ability to present and listen to new ideas has an ongoing, seven-year collaboration.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the president of Countdown Entertainment. We produce the Times Square New Year’s Eve event every year.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with HAAS/créa?

HAAS/créa helped me with several business challenges. My biggest business problem was that I needed a cost-effective solution that can handle little to no demand for most of the year, and then meet a huge demand for a few days.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They helped me create a Times Square Ball app for iOS and Android that allows us to communicate details about the ball drop event. The app allows people to interact with the ball and get video of the event online. HAAS/créa also helped make our website mobile-friendly, and they created an app for the website.

I think they used WordPress to build the site, but I know there have been changes throughout the years. I wanted HAAS/créa to design a look that would line up with my expectations for the website. They also needed to build an infrastructure that was powerful enough and had the scaling to accommodate a huge demand on New Year’s Eve. We really had to think about what we were trying to accomplish with our website and app, and at what price, etc. They laid out a lot of options for us. We had many meetings where we talked about what we were trying to do with our outreach and what was important.

Over time, our ideas have changed, especially now that social media has become so important. HAAS/créa and I are now in a relationship where they will come to me every year with new ideas and opportunities that we need to implement to upgrade the site and keep it current. It was their idea to make the website mobile-friendly two or three years ago. I was thrilled with that recommendation, and it ended up being fantastic. Obviously, everyone’s doing it now, but it wasn't as common back then.

How did you come to work with HAAS/créa?

When I started looking for companies to hire, I went through a whole bidding cycle. I did my due diligence when selecting HAAS/créa. I wanted a boutique firm that was hands-on and could act as my IT department in many ways. For instance, if I have a problem with my website, I can call them up at any time and get a call back right away. They listened to what we were putting in our proposal and came back to us with creative and cost-effective solutions. I also wanted dedication from a company; I didn't want to be lost and one of many. I wanted direct communication with the senior people in the firm all the way through a project. Those are the kinds of things I needed.

How much have you invested with HAAS/créa?

I've spent over $300,000 with HAAS/créa. Years where we’re doing a lot of projects, I could spend as much as $70,000 or $80,000. Years where we’re just upgrading or maintaining, I could spend as little as $20,000 or $30,000. The amount I spend fluctuates because there was a big investment early on and then another big one two or three years ago. But the other years, we’ve just tweaked what we had.

What is the status of this engagement?

I’ve been working with HAAS/créa since 2010, and I’ve continued working with them every year since then to upgrade or tweak the work that we’ve done. We obviously always have to get our updates done before New Year’s Eve. For the app, it took us about five months to get that to Apple and Android.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our relationship with HAAS/créa has worked out really well. We’ve had well over 500,000 downloads for our Times Square Ball app. People from all over watch the event on our website. Several of my sponsors who are featured on the website and app are thrilled with it. I think it has been great, and it’s why I’m happy to recommend HAAS/créa. They’ve been a great partner.

How did HAAS/créa perform from a project management standpoint?

The number of developers from HAAS/créa I work with depends on the year, so it’s varied from as few as four to as many as 20. What I love about them is that they’re small and hands-on. I consider them more of a boutique-type firm but with the ability to scale up quickly. But at all times, my main contact has been Alex, who heads the firm. I always have access to him. Some of the larger agencies will hand you off to an account person or someone else down the chain, but that doesn’t happen with HAAS/créa. I get in touch with Alex, and he follows up with me and oversees the process from beginning to end. That is extremely helpful in creating the website and app for the event.

We’ve had to make changes throughout projects, but HAAS/créa always has been finished on time, mostly because we don't have a choice. We’ve used Google Documents and Skype to stay in touch, but I’m a traditional old guy. Most of the time I'm picking up the phone, or we’re sending emails to one another.

From a budget point of view, HAAS/créa always has stood by their project clauses, and they’ve notified me if there are upgrades that will change things. They’ve never come back to me and said, “This is going to cost you more than what we originally told you,” unless I made some change orders in the process to which they alerted me well in advance. They’re good about communicating where the costs are.

For our business, scaling is important. One of the most important things HAAS/créa has done for us is balance server demands to keep the site throughout the year while also handling hundreds of thousands—sometimes over a million hits—on New Year’s Eve. They did a good job at controlling my costs so it’s cost effective for me to keep everything working all year long. It scales up for New Year’s Eve and then it scales back down. It’s worked really well.

What did you find most impressive about HAAS/créa?

The most impressive thing about HAAS/créa is their hands-on commitment. It means a lot to me to have someone with whom I can brainstorm, present, and talk ideas through. They’re partners, and they’re proactive when it comes to making improvements every year. I don't always accept their ideas because I have budget limitations, but it’s been great to have someone who’s pushing me—who’s thinking about these things, who’s offering me alternatives and improvements, and listening to me and my needs. That’s why we’ve been together for seven years, and I expect to be together with them for as long as I'm doing this.

Are there any areas HAAS/créa could improve?

I can always say cost, but that’s not really fair because I think HAAS/créa does well with cost in comparison to other companies. There are always areas for improvement, but HAAS/créa isn’t doing anything I’m unhappy with right now. I can’t think of anything they’re doing that’s glaring or missing. They’ve been turnkey for me, and it’s worked out well.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with HAAS/créa?

Like with anything, I think good communication is important for a successful project. You can’t ask for work and then just disappear. You have to be in constant communication throughout the process. Have your weekly meetings and check-ins so that you maintain that communication, because the more you're communicating, the more you're involved, and the better the result you're going to have.

5.0
Overall Score I’d give HAAS/créa a perfect score for overall satisfaction. That’s an easy one.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We’ve never missed our New Year’s Eve deadline. I can’t say there haven't been tight times, but we’ve never missed one.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    If I could, I’d give HAAS/créa an even higher rating. For the amount of time I spend on the phone working with these guys, I think I'm getting a great value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I’d give HAAS/créa a perfect score. Everything they have made for us has always worked well and lived up to our expectations.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I absolutely would give HAAS/créa a perfect score for willingness to recommend. If you're looking for a small firm that’s hands-on, I think HAAS/créa is great.

Web and Mobile Dev for Entertainment Representative Website

"I was so impressed by how quickly and efficiently HAAS/créa fixed everything."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Nov. 2011- Jan. 2012
Project summary: 

Filling in for an unsuccessful previous vendor, HAAS/créa restructured the website and revamped billing and e-commerce capabilities. After the restructure, they developed an Android and iOS app for the site.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
General Manager, Website
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

HAAS/créa excelled with project management. Their ticketing system, Redmine, made QA very efficient and they were very responsive to changes (less than 24 hrs). They were enthusiastic and highly engaged throughout the project; future clients should expect plenty of feedback.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the general manager of a small business, and I run a website. The company is owned by a film and TV producer, and I deal with all of the day-to-day management aspects of the business. My company is a subscription-based database service for professionals in the entertainment industry who want the contact information for the authorized representatives of people working in the industry, including actors, screenwriters, musicians, music producers, athletes, etc. We list agents, managers, publicists, and many kinds of representatives.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with HAAS/créa?

When HAAS/créa started working for us, we were in a bad situation. We had had an awesome freelance developer who had gone to work for a bigger company and could no longer work for us. We replaced him with a company that turned out to be awful. We didn't actually sue them because they returned all of our money, but we probably should have sued them for the work they did. Somebody had to fix everything, and HAAS/créa came to work for us under difficult circumstances because the site was barely functioning when they came on.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

HAAS/créa provides all of the web development, technical support, and maintenance of our database and e-commerce side of the website. When they came on board, they did a lot of major work in a pinch that dealt with the referential database structure of the website. They were also involved with the website’s billing and e-commerce side, such as dealing with our integration with Authorize.Net and PayPal, our API and PCI compliance and security matters, etc. From that point on, they took over everything that we were doing. They’re like a one-stop shop for us. I don't think we’ve used anyone else for our tech needs since we found them. We even used HAAS/créa to launch iOS and Android versions of an app for our company and to build a couple of other sites for our company’s owner.

My website is an entirely self-contained service. The e-commerce side of the website must process recurring subscription payments and securely handle payment information and user subscriber information. HAAS/créa also manages issues about the user side, like the interactive experience. They also maintain and have created an interface for the admin side so that we can manage the data and the commercial aspects. This allows us to query customers, do customer records, find payment histories and receipts, and access all the information that we might need if we had to settle a dispute, for example.

HAAS/créa simultaneously built the iOS and Android app versions of our website which took all of the data from our browser version as well as all the user interactive stuff, like the ability to log in, the ability to view receipts, the ability to change passwords, etc. I think they built those apps within three or four months from the point when we said we wanted a proposal to its launch. That included testing, beta versions, just about everything. I think that was a pretty big undertaking, and people have been happy with the app. I was impressed with the app.

How did you come to work with HAAS/créa?

The same person who recommended the terrible company also recommend HAAS/créa. What happened was we went through a media consulting company to find someone to relaunch our site and shore up our security and PCI compliance issues. That’s when we began to work with the terrible company. After they had done the work, we hit “go” on the relaunch, and they destroyed the business. We wrote back to the media consulting company and threatened to sue them. They returned our money, found HAAS/créa for us, and said they would fix everything for us for free. It turns out the media consulting company paid them to fix it, but I was so impressed by how quickly and efficiently HAAS/créa fixed everything that we kept them on, and that was six years ago.

How much have you invested with HAAS/créa?

I think we’ve invested more than $200,000 but less than $1 million with HAAS/créa. I don't know what the final bill was exactly because it was all done under emergency circumstances, and the media consulting company that recommended them to us ended up paying them quite a bit that we never saw. When HAAS/créa became our go-to company, we started paying them a retainer of about $1,000 a month, with a rate of $100 an hour beyond that, which is lower than what they wanted to bill and what they typically do bill. They took that rate because that is what we had been paying for a regular developer, and we’ve kept that rate for six years. There have been years where we have invested as much as $50,000 over that retainer for specific projects.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our company’s relaunch that went haywire happened in November 2011. We found and spoke with HAAS/créa near the end of November, and then they took on the project and completed it in December 2011. Everything was fully back on track by January 2012.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

It’s tricky to measure in some sense because HAAS/créa has done everything for us, and they’ve been working with us for six years. There have been times when our traffic has gone up and times when it has gone down.

How did HAAS/créa perform from a project management standpoint?

HAAS/créa performs well from a project management standpoint. They’re basically part of the fabric of our company. I think the only thing they don't do for us is hosting our website.

All of their project management is internal. We give them the scope of a project, and I work with Alex [Founder & Principal, HAAS/ créa] to make sure all of the parameters are clear. He’ll then turn that into a ticket so their team can see what they’re doing. They run an external ticketing system called Redmine for issues that might crop up. I can’t think of a time when I haven't received a response to a ticket within 24 hours, and I often hear from them within several hours. Redmine is a product that they introduced to our process. It’s not something we requested of them. It’s an efficient ticketing system that allows us to go in and list what we need, and it will create a chain of correspondence.

When we’re developing these products, HAAS/créa will post them on a beta site on their server so we can test them out. They’ll then send us a link on Redmine, and we’ll exchange our feedback that way. Otherwise, I speak to Alex on the phone, or we exchange emails. I've met with him in his office because we’re both on the East Coast. All of those communication options are available.

If there’s ever an issue that they suspect can’t be fixed efficiently or represents a larger matter outside the scope of tech support, then they’ll invoice us separately, and we’ll negotiate that. They’ve yet to deliver anything that didn't work as they described it would once we hit a final version of the product.

What did you find most impressive about HAAS/créa?

To my mind, the key with anything of this nature is to feel like you're never being told something can’t be done. That has proven to be true in this relationship. I feel like I’m often translating between the owner of the company, who’s not tech-savvy, and Alex at HAAS/créa to figure out which of the owner’s goals are possible. Alex has a positive can-do attitude. He never displays any sort of IT guy condescension. Even when ideas feel like they’re coming out of the left field, he’s able to translate them pretty quickly into something that can be done. He will turn that into something he and his developers can understand and achieve.

Are there any areas HAAS/créa could improve?

I don't want to say there aren’t any areas HAAS/créa could improve because everybody has areas that need to be fixed. I think the reasonable requests we have put in front of HAAS/créa have been accomplished, and I’m pleased with that.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with HAAS/créa?

Future HAAS/créa clients probably are going to be interfacing with Alex primarily and almost exclusively. I would say he’s somebody who’s enthusiastic, he gets excited, and he puts forward a lot of ideas. I think clients should be receptive to that. I don't think he gets his feelings hurt if he throws something out there that you don't think is going to work. I just would advise future clients to be open and ready to get a lot of feedback regarding anything you're putting forth and expect an extra level of engagement.

5.0
Overall Score I've been pleased with HAAS/créa’s work.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    HAAS/créa responds to the ticketing system well, and when we need to get ahold of them, we’re always able to do so in an efficient manner.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    HAAS/créa started working for us at a lower rate, and they’ve stayed at that rate over six years. I think they’ve been able to benefit from that in the long run because we’ve expanded their scope of work.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    With HAAS/créa, deliverables arrive in a timely fashion. They take feedback well and correct any issues during the beta process, and they’re always clear in providing explanations for what they’ve done and why they’ve done it.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer