Plaidypus custom-crafted software & mobile apps

Plaidypus designs and creates custom software and mobile apps for business.  Not all off-the-shelf software was designed for your company --- this is where we come in.  From intake and prototyping to consistently delivering production-ready code, Plaidypus produces software that fits your organization like a glove.

Whether you need an iOS or Android app, web application, systems integration or all of the above, we use our extensive experience and know-how to help you get your project over the finish line on-budget and on-time.

 
$5,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2004
Show all +
Naperville, IL
headquarters
  • 280 Shuman Blvd, Suite 230
    Naperville, IL 60563
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

*TedX Naperville*

 *A $150M/Year Food Manufacturer*

 *A $600M/Year Luxury Retailer*

 *Illinois State Board of Ed*

 *The Hawken School*

 *PARCC*

 *Esterline Landscaping*

 *The Center for Technology and Learning*

 *The Daily Journal*

 *Turbo Jet Partners*

 *Mosaic Construction*

 *iD Additives*

 *Thinkgate*

Reviews

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Multiple Dev Projects for Software Company

“They’re really good at helping people find an end solution.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
June 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Plaidypus is the dedicated development team in an ongoing engagement. They’ve built a multi-platform timekeeping app that utilizes GPS features, as well as a custom payment gateway designed to decreased fraud.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Florida, United States
Nathan Svec
Owner, Svesty Technology
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The payment gateway has decreased the end client’s fraud rate by more than half, and the time management app has increased one user’s revenue by $5,000. Thorough project management, acute attention to detail, and an accommodating approach continuously ensures functional products.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner of a software company, and I administer project management services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Plaidypus?

I needed to develop multiple projects for various companies.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I figure out everything that a company wants, and then go to Plaidypus to build the product. I use them for any time I get a development project.

I built a competitive timekeeping application with them and one of my investors for a landscaping and construction company. It was built for iOS, Android, and web with a database behind it. Our apps sync to QuickBooks and also possess some in-depth functionalities. The app uses a GPS feature for tracking employees who all clock in using their company-issued phones.

Employees are also able to press a “start job” button when they arrive at a job, and a “stop job” button when they’re finished. They’re able to type information about what they did, as well as upload before and after pictures. The owner is able to assign and track employee hours in order to monitor how much they’re making or losing. The app helps them see the full profit for any specific job.

We also built a custom payment gateway for a large luxury watch dealer who was experiencing a 4.5% fraud rate. We built a product for them that sends customers emails instead of allowing them to use cards in the store. The customer must click on a link and go through a process, the entirety of which is integrated with TransUnion. TransUnion pulls up three questions for the user to answer after they’ve inputted their name, billing address, and credit card information. Now, when they go through a dispute, they’re able to utilize this set of information for verification purposes.

What is the team composition?

I’ve worked with 6–7 people on different tasks.

How did you come to work with Plaidypus?

I’ve been working with Ryan [Owner, Plaidypus] for eight years, and we’ve done a lot of stuff together. I got a quote from him along with a couple of others, and although his wasn’t the cheapest, it was the most detailed.

How much have you invested with them?

The timekeeping application was a $175,00 project. The luxury software was about $30,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in June 2015, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The custom payment gateway has been used and tested for around six months. Based on what they told us, the project itself is going to lower their fraud rate from 4% to 1.5%. Based on their average transaction, we should be able to save them a significant amount of money every year. Their development cost was around $30,000, but in one fraud transaction, we’ll be able to save them that amount of money.

I have one review on the time management app starting that after using it for six months, the user was able to bill two more jobs per week, which equated to $5,000 of revenue. They used the app to monitor employee hours, which ultimately allowed them to bid on jobs more accurately.

How did Plaidypus perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management is really good. We work on adjustments to make scopes better after I give it to them. We had one change order for the whole customer retail project, which is really good in custom development. We only had two change orders for the time management app project, which is significant for its size and cost.

Plaidypus is very detailed. They communicate first and bill second. They want to make sure what they’re building is correct before they charge me for it. There offered a lot of good information.

I requested that we have meetings every two weeks and that they email everything else to me. We’d schedule those meetings and discuss sprint progress, backlogs, and needed changes via phone calls. They fit themselves into my schedule instead of making me fit into theirs.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The detail in their work is impressive. I’ve worked with a couple other places that just gave me a scope and weekly sprint review, but didn’t look at it from the customer side. When I work with Plaidypus, we go through the workflow in one direction, together, and then we test the product.

Ryan told me he didn’t like the way something felt, so they made changes and didn’t bill me for them because they thought the project wasn’t going to be functional for the users. He didn’t want to release a bad product.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nobody's perfect. There were a couple of things throughout the process that we could’ve talked through more and planned better. Some pieces didn’t flow perfectly, including the communication between the customer and the retailer. Their developers were interfacing with my customer, and some of those meetings were less organized.

I’m more of a salesperson, but their developers aren’t. When I communicated that with Ryan, he got some of those calls instead of the developers, which helped. He’s trying to train his developers to communicate better. All of that was resolved accordingly.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Go to them and tell them what needs to be accomplished, and ask them the best way to go about it. They’ve done a lot. Many of the workflows that they’ve seen and worked with can translate back and forth to different places. It’s best to give them a goal and ask them how to get there. They’re really good at helping people find an end solution.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re not the cheapest, but they’re good at sticking with their quoted cost.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I’m very happy with everything I’ve done with them.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Ten. I recommend them all the time. I go to them for everything that I need.

Multiple Dev Projects for Nonprofit Educational Software Firm

They’re dedicated to our success, making it feel like they’re part of our company.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Jan. 2011 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Plaidypus helps on numerous projects, from platform modification to server migration. The relationship has lasted for seven years, and they continue to provide top-notch service.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Illinois, United States
Product Owner, Nonprofit Educational Software Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Plaidypus is actively involved in project development, providing suggestions when proposed solutions won’t work. Honesty and transparency are important factors in the relationship, and the team meets most deadlines.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a product owner of an educational nonprofit that develops software applications for early childhood-through-grade-school students, focusing on observation and documentation in the classroom. It allows teachers to collect information and use it to conduct authentic assessments for their students, which are built around play-based observation. The teacher has to collect this information and then translate it into how the student is actually doing and if they are making progress. Our system is built around mobile devices and websites to collect and maintain all that information.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Plaidypus?

We needed help with several development projects for our organization.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They worked on multiple projects for us. A few years ago, we decided we were going to rebuild one of our sites. It was an assessment neutral version of our system that, at the time, allowed teachers to use any state funded assessment and collect their observations and align those to their state standards, making it incredibly flexible. We were working for a state grant, so we wanted a smaller skilled shop to keep our pricing under control. Plaidypus worked well with us to make sure we could deliver a good product and provide support to our clients, the teachers in Illinois.

We’ve also done one significant evolution for one platform, which is a pairing we did with a group out of Rutgers University who came to us with an assessment. This became a platform for some of our other pieces, but we did extensive modifications and markups to make the system a fully integrated assessment tool. We even evolved and integrated that tool into the system for an independent school in Ohio. They had developed a software package for their teachers, administrators, and parents, and we built tools that allow parents to go in and see all of the student’s data while maintaining the privacy of parents, teachers, and students.

This past year, we migrated from physical servers to a cloud environment, so we had to rebuild many of the tools used to manage our system, including rewriting code to make sure that the older code matched the new. We were able to make that migration, and we had some issues, but it worked well and we did this for several systems all at the same time. We had some legacy systems that were on MySQL, and some of those have evolved to MongoDB, Meteor, etc.

What is the team composition?

I’ve worked closely with one person, who is my first point of contact, but I’ve worked with up to 6–7 people. Because they aren’t a huge shop, it’s easy to find someone who’s familiar with our projects.

How did you come to work with Plaidypus?

They were recommended by one of our IT people when we were looking for someone to take over our projects from our previous programmers, who were good but cost a lot.

In the beginning, we worked with Ryan [Founder, Plaidypus], as he was building this from the ground up. He helped us keep things under control, especially when we were making the migration to a different company.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve probably spent over $1,000,000 with them. Several of the projects were big ticket items for us, but the numbers have been pretty reasonable the whole way.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together in the fall of 2010, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve been working with them for a long time, and the metric is that we’re able to continue to do that work and continue making things happen. We have a strong reputation with teachers and people throughout Illinois, and the product Plaidypus has put together has helped us maintain that. Those tools have lasted longer than they probably could have in other situations.

Our clients are happy with what we’ve been delivering to them. We’ve done a lot of business with Plaidypus, and we don’t regret a penny of it, which is great.

I’m extremely happy with the projects Plaidypus has done, as they are going to give us a lot of flexibility going forward. There hasn’t been a situation where we wanted to use something and they said no.

How did Plaidypus perform from a project management standpoint?

We use JIRA project management tools, and we use JIRA Service Desk for our support. We actually handle most of the support for our systems; we only rely on Plaidypus when we have an action item that is something we can’t resolve, whether it’s a database issue or coding issue.

We don’t have specific deadlines, since we work in education. Things get done during the summer, and we roll things out in the late summer.

We’ve had a couple of small deadline delays, but it’s been because of us and changes we asked to be made.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Our working relationship is a pretty friendly one. I know they do other work, but for the most part, when we call them or have issues, we don’t feel like we’re being put in line. They’re dedicated to our success, making it feel like they’re part of our company.

We were recently talking about long-term plans, and we really feel that Ryan wants us to succeed as much as we do. If we were to ask for something that seems silly or for features that might not work, we have a strong enough rapport where he would say that might not be the best way. He looks at the long-term and makes us feel he’s invested with us. It’s nice that he thinks about us and our success, as opposed to just doing work whether it’s right or wrong.

Are there any areas they could improve?

For a while last year, they had a project manager who made things run incredibly smoothly. He left, and we’ve felt that absence, but it hasn’t hurt us too bad.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

They develop a fairly friendly relationship upfront, but don’t let it worry you; they’ll get the work done well, and the product they deliver will be great.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already recommended them.

Multiple Software Dev for Media Company

“They would come up with innovative technology that I wasn’t quite expecting because of their business savvy.”

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

Plaidypus assisted a marketing company with a variety of development projects. Most recently, they built a digital platform to help small businesses process proposals and manage calendars.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Illinois, United States
Owner, Media Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The promotions software doubled the company's efficiency, cut costs, and increased its customer base. Plaidypus earned praise for their smooth Agile methodology, fluid communication, and fresh ideas. Their team's seamless combination of technical skill and business acumen set them apart.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I own a marketing consulting and web development company that was founded about nine years ago. We provide small businesses with marketing and sales support for digital technologies. Aside from web design, we also assist with social media and things of that nature.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Plaidypus?

I would reach out to companies like Plaidypus when our customers ask for custom solutions.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We’ve had multiple collaborations with them. The most notable and complex project involved web development and marketing. Our client needed a digital solution for creating proposals for residential painting projects. Back then, their sales representatives were giving handwritten proposals to clients during appointments. They’d already checked existing software, but they only needed a few features instead of the hundreds that were being offered by off-the-shelf solutions. We started by discussing their needs and how they would actually use the solution.

Plaidypus built a software application from scratch. Aside from creating proposals, it allows users to see all of their projects on a calendar. The idea was to create something out of the box that would also give customers what they wanted. The software was designed for small service companies, including those that do painting, landscaping, and HVAC [heating, ventilation, and air conditioning].

I loved it that they created an MVP [minimum viable product] first. This approach helped our client focus on what they actually needed instead of the extras that they thought they wanted. During development, Plaidypus’ team would ask the client whether they really needed specific features.

What is the team dynamic?

Usually, I'm working with no more than three people per project: the project manager, the lead engineer, and Ryan McIntyre [Owner, Plaidypus]. My main contact is the project manager. Our customer would communicate with both of us, and then I'll explain to the engineer how to tweak something. Usually, more people are involved in the initial stages.

How did you come to work with Plaidypus?

We got connected through a friend years ago. Ryan showed me some robust web development they were doing. He said, "If anybody wants custom software—not just websites, but things for the world to see—just give me a call." In the next couple of years, he threw some leads my way for website work. They were the first company to come to mind when one of my clients needed help with an internal checklist database.

How much have you invested with them?

As the person who connects Plaidypus with our client companies, I don't actually accept the money, but I do see all of the proposals that go to my customers. The last three projects are definitely near the $200,000 mark.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working with them since 2010. They continue to tweak and retool the proposal software.   

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The proposal software has been a huge success, doubling efficiency and helping our client expand their business. We met last summer, and they said they’ve doubled the number of proposals they’ve sent out.   

Currently, we are in the middle of development for another project. The biggest thing was seeing how much time our company would save by automating certain processes. For a solution worth $40,000, we’d save $25,000 on labor this year if we were to get it going. That’s the reason we work with Plaidypus.

How did Plaidypus perform from a project management standpoint?

They use Agile methodology, with two-week sprints that help everybody stay on task. After our first meeting, we never really saw each other again because we're in three different locations. On a weekly basis, we would gather requirements by phone and complete punch lists by email. We've used email as a primary communication tool because our customers are not used to technologies like Slack or Trello. We don't use Skype for our projects, but I know they use it for other clients.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I've met a few development shops, but I either meet amazing technology coders or business-savvy folks who tend to farm out all the technology. What I find is that Plaidypus understands both the business side and the development side. For example, they understand business needs and how solutions are going to work on a daily basis. They would come up with innovative technology that I wasn’t quite expecting because of their business savvy. Everybody's pushing for certain things like automated software, but Plaidypus actually does it. They have a unique approach that really hinges on Ryan’s involvement.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I’ve linked them to different companies, but I’d like to see if they would specialize instead of accepting any project that comes their way. As the technology space explodes, it’s a good idea to focus on an industry instead of trying to please everyone.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Before you commit to a scope of work, ask yourself if you've covered all the basics. That way, you avoid having to ask Plaidypus to change things in the middle of the project. It might not get done because by then, it would be too late.

5.0
Overall Score I recommended a business colleague, and they hired him as a sales rep. I talked to him last Saturday, and he couldn't thank me enough. He loves the work environment and the projects.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer