What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We just launched the app about three months ago, so concrete results are hard to determine at this point. We still have some programming-related issues with the site that we’re trying to work through. They don’t charge us for minor revisions. Sometimes, they'll make changes without sending invoices, but we’re still working through some of the normal challenges you would expect after launching a piece of custom software.
How did NCode Technologies perform from a project management standpoint?
They're good over email, but our collaboration has been difficult because of the language barrier over phone calls with them. They’re willing to hold Skype calls to clarify issues, but it’s not as smooth as working with a company that's based in the United States. On top of that, because they don't have a presence in the United States, the time zone difference can create other difficulties.
Most of their work happens in the middle of the night here, so we have to be proactive at getting all of our tasks to them by 5 p.m. our time. Of course, the quality depends on how well we wrote the tasks and how well they interpreted them.
Generally, by the time we're up and moving, they've moved through the tasks, and so we're at the mercy of how they chose to approach the work. We’ve certainly had some issues, but I would say they've been accurate 80%–90% of the time.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Overall, their communication could be greatly improved. For instance, I'll send them an email about a particular idea, and then they’ll respond with questions about an unrelated idea. As a result, my original idea keeps getting buried in the same email thread. They don't organize their communication well; it’s just a constant thread of back-and-forth. When I need to go back to verify what we talked about, I have to wade through a lot of unhelpful content.
They could offer a support ticketing system or something to allow them to provide a better client experience.
Advice for potential customers?
As with any IT company, spell out your requirements clearly. Developers can only accomplish what you tell them to do.
For small businesses like ours, IT experience is essential. The scope needs to be manageable. It's important to spend enough time in due diligence at your own level before you engage with a software company.