What was the scope of their involvement?
This solution was built from scratch. This was a site to allow customers to order things to be printed.
Do you know what platform they used?
It’s a custom piece of software that they’ve created. What they have been willing to do, which I think is unusual, is to make an existing platform do what I want. Very rarely do they say, no, that can’t be done. Most of the time they will say let’s look at this and, nine times out of ten, I would say that they come back to me with the solution that I had in mind. I am talking about a modification to a particular module that didn’t previously exist.
They are willing to do customization to their own existing platform, and I think that is unusual too and is another reflection on how they approach their customers. In the past, working with different entities, they just say no we can’t do that. They box you in and you end up either settling for it or getting frustrated and feeling like it is time to end that partnership. That has not been the case with Radix. They always try to figure out and listen to what my needs were and gone to whatever lengths to create that customization that I needed.
Let me give you an example. I needed to have a module created that would allow me to email a proof of a design that a customer had uploaded or created to as many people as they wanted. They could send proofs, Separated by commas, in a shopping cart. There is no other printing site out there that allows you to send proofs from the shopping cart. But we needed it and, they did a great job of embracing that. That is really refreshing when you need something done. In the case of the email, we had a corporate account that needed it. And that was a deal breaker. If we couldn’t do it, they were probably going to choose another vendor. They were able to create that customization and we satisfied what was ending up being a long list of requirements in order to gain that account. They seemed to understand that if they couldn’t do it we would probably lose the account. That is another thing that you don’t see that often. No seems to really care about the bigger picture, which is the business of getting jobs out so that we can invoice and get paid.
What other functionalities did they put together for you?
From the standpoint of introducing video on our product pages, that was not a component. They made some adjustments to their platform that allowed us to have a video module on the product description page. They were able to modify the calculator so that it revealed itself. When you click on the calculator you will notice it reveals itself and shadows the back of the page. That was custom. The way the gallery images was something on their platform that they modified a little bit. There were probably 15 to 20 custom edits. Many of them were fairly minor, but they were different from their custom platform that they are trying to sell other companies like me. They were willing to make those changes no matter how small. From the standpoint of user experience, lots of the changes are tiny and they have to be made, because cumulatively they add up to a bad experience. They were willing to take care of tiny little edits that we felt like were important for our users.
How many resources have been assigned to your project?
There were at least four people working on our project. They have a great deal of structure when they tackle any project. We were dealing with a point person, who is the project manager, that would outline before the project begins. We recently went through a redesign and launched that in February. Before that project started, they clearly outlined the team. However, I was primarily dealing with one point person. On occasion, there was one more person, but they would reference other staff members that were working on it or that would be if a task was addressed or discussed. They would reference those other team members as being the ones that would be working on that.
Another thing they do a good job of is they give you very realistic timetables of when things are going to be done. I think that is really another important component for us in terms of the things that I feel like I need in a technology partner. I don’t care if it takes another two weeks as long as it takes two weeks. Don’t tell me it will be tomorrow and then it’s going to be two weeks. They are very fair and very realistic and honest in their approach. That is really refreshing.
How did you come to work with RadixWeb?
I found them through my online research. I looked at other firms as well. I felt like the sum of all the different ingredients included in Radix’s platform made sense for us. I was a little anxious about working with a company out of India. I had no experience in doing that. For anybody that hasn’t worked with anyone in India, it is a bit of a scared thought. If you are going to be successful in technology, you have to embrace every continent and find expertise where you can get it.
How much have you invested with RadixWeb?
Originally, the platform was around $10,000 or $12,000. Their service agreements are $1,000 - $1,200 a year. You get a lot for that. You can Skype a representative there anytime, and you’re going to be getting immediate responses from them. There is ongoing training that they are providing. They don’t tell us that we’ve exceeded our agreement with them and they are going to charge us more. They don’t nickel and dime. I worked with agencies in Manhattan and the West Coast who want to eat up your retainer and they don’t care if they give you anything. When you do ask them for something, they are going to quickly burn through that and they are going to say you need to pay more money. That is not the case with Radix. I Skype with them three times a week, spending up to 20 minutes with them. That is a significant commitment. It’s a good value from that standpoint.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in 2013. Our entrance into what we are doing now is very different from where we started. The learning curve with the admin panel requires a strong discipline. It took me a long time to really understand it, and I am the owner of the company! And there are lots of things that I am still learning as I go.