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.