What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
When I joined the company several years ago, many of the processes were still done manually. Inventories were being recorded on paper, in multiple Excel documents, and through off-the-shelf software systems. As a result of this project, we’ve been able to analyze our workflow and consolidate it into a single system that achieves all of the goals previously handled through multiple mediums.
We’ve seen a reduction in our operating expenses because fewer people are able to do the same amount of work. We’ve also seen an improvement in the quality of the process itself. We process over a million items through the system with minimal mistakes. We have information live and up to date at a faster pace than ever before, and we’re able to work with and attract customers as a result.
How did Icalia Labs perform from a project management standpoint?
We’ve used several different systems to find what works best, but we use Slack to maintain daily communication between our team and their development team. We’ve also used Google Hangouts, Zoom, phone calls, emails, Basecamp, etc.
We’re focused on results, and we haven’t had any issues where we felt like we had large scope overruns or paid more than we should have.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They’re very passionate about what they do, learning, and continuously improving the way their developers work. I’ve noticed that they’re more focused on an end product and delivering useful software versus focusing on billable hours, which is what many third-party shops do.
We’re happy that we’re getting a innovative approach to the development. We’re getting good value, and I’m accessing developer talent and quality that I may not be able to obtain in the U.S.
Are there any areas they could improve?
There’s nothing major that comes to mind. We’ve both improved, so everything has been going well.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Engage with Icalia upfront on design, scope, and business goals. People typically come with what software features they want in the beginning, which isn’t a bad way to scope a project, but it’s possible to engage with Icalia on a business level. Let them know what is needed from a business perspective, and how the software will achieve business goals.
Be open to them and their feedback. They have proprietary procedures and processes in-house that can better help the project scope. Ultimately, the customer will receive a better result and be more satisfied with the process.