What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The solution means all the tedious steps are automated, and we can concentrate on speaking to the clients, making sure the house is right for them, and solving any problems they have. They always want the cars, meals, and caterers booked.
A lot of the owners like the fact that rather than having to log, they can just click on a link in the email and that does it for them. That was their idea and they implemented it. We used to only book on Saturdays, and now we've got booking on all days. People can book different times in different calendars, and it works very well.
Other agencies and the owners themselves can also book these houses. Calendar management is important and they made it so that blocking off calendars is just about as easy as it can be: it's drag and drop, and there’s no need to press anything. You just drag all over the calendar, and it'll lock it off for you. Some of the features made the processing more streamlined and faster.
How did Prograils perform from a project management standpoint?
We’ve used Trello, Slack, and Skype. The project took 10 months longer because they misjudged the complexity of the backend when we first described the project, but what was great was that they said they'd do it for X amount of money or X amount of hours and they stuck to that. Although it took longer, it didn't cost me any extra, which I appreciate a lot because it’s tight margins in this business.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They're clear, transparent, and responsive. They stuck to their word. They never pulled the wool over my eyes, and they never tried to sell me a solution that wasn't what I asked for. They took longer to develop it, which might feel frustrating, but it means that they took doing the job that they promised to do very seriously.
I would say there's a kind of ethical core to how they do business, which I appreciate because that's how I do business: if I say I'm going to do something, I'll do it. If it ends up not quite working out how I planned, costing me more, or taking me more time, I'll suck it up and make sure I do my sums better next time. That's how they did business as well, and it stopped it becoming too stressful.
Are there any areas they could improve?
It would be good to have a review every 3 months on projects of this length. We never had an overarching review of where we were, where we're going, and how long it's going to take to get there. I think it can be good to take stock occasionally and to check what's going on. They could probably do better on testing some of the things.
Some things came back and had to go back because something bumped out with them, which should've been caught in testing and wasn't. Overall, I thought they were very good. I haven't looked at the quality of the code, but my impression is that it's good.
The reason I've got that impression is because whenever I asked them to change something, the speed with which it gets done makes me think that the code underneath must be solid because they're not going back and having to unravel the code. They've kept it as it should be.