Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Kiwee was able to grow with us, from being a brand-new company to having almost 5 million in turnover business this year. Also, Kiwee understands the importance of traffic peaks for our website. We don’t do TV advertising, but we have large campaigns around Black Friday. We also have another big campaign in the springtime, when we have a change in our product catalog. Another partner drives a lot of traffic to our site then. So far, they were always able to go from, say, 2,000 units a day to almost 100,000 units a day within 24 hours. They’re able to build the back-end just the same during those peaks. It’s not always easy to accomplish, but so far it always worked.
How did Kiwee perform from a project management standpoint?
It’s pretty agile. We have probably 7, 8 people who can create tickets in JIRA. Every 2 weeks, we review priorities, look at the top tickets in the backlog, and then start a new sprint. There’s a planning meeting with our lead developer from Kiwee, who also happens to be one of the founders. We also review the tickets together with the graphic designer. Kiwee estimates the timeline beforehand. Generally, they’re very careful about what they promise in terms of delays and features. Every morning, we also have a 15-minute call on Skype to review yesterday’s tickets and the tickets that they plan to work on during the day. We would also discuss potential roadblocks or issues before proceeding. We keep things very agile; if projects change or something urgent comes up, we adjust accordingly. If we need to pull in additional resources, Kiwee makes that possible. If we need short-term resources for graphic design or to fix anything that breaks, they can put in additional people. Usually, the short-term requests are either design or system admin in nature. If there’s something on the system, then those guys are pretty flexible.
What did you find most impressive about Kiwee?
Kiwee is very easy and very straightforward to work with. They’re remote, so we are hooked together on Skype. They are based in Poland and we are in France. They’re pretty much available whenever I need them, so I appreciate the ease of collaboration. It’s almost as if they are right next door.
Are there any areas Kiwee could improve?
The only remark I have is that real innovation or out of the box thinking needs to come from us. I don’t know if I should expect this from them or not, since they focus on execution. That’s okay. But whenever I ask them about best practices, it’s really not coming from them. You have to tell them what to do. Still, they’re doing their job so I don’t regret anything.