What was the scope of their involvement?
Red Cherry uses a software build process called User Centered Design (UCD). Initially, they created a working prototype using a tool called InVision. Persona mapping helped us identify potential systems users, rationales for use, and applications. We organized this data in an “information architecture” flowchart. Once we agreed on the specs, they started building the full-scale solution. Due to our in-depth collaboration, the prototype looked very similar to the finished product.
The apps itself, built for iOS and Android, is for employees who work in the field. All of the populated information is funneled into a web interface, which I can access as an admin. It allows me to oversee all of my staff, monitor inventory, and complete accounting, work, and job orders. The interface shows the live or last known location of employees in the field, and their respective tasks. This real-time program eases asset assignment and tracking, allowing staff to indicate when they need equipment like tools and ladders. The software easily ties all this data into our billing and invoicing.
What is the team dynamic?
I’d often have Join Me sessions with the founder, Dan Carter. He's my main point of contact. We go through the project together, and I’ll show him problems or needed tweaks. He takes notes on our meetings, which makes organization easy. After I tell him what needs to be done, he makes it happen with his team. Having someone who works in software understand you is key, and helps to avoid things getting lost in translation.
How did you come to work with Red Cherry?
I found Red Cherry through a web search. After meeting with Dan and seeing their process, I felt they were the best fit. He seemed to really understand our needs. I was impressed by their portfolio; he showed me software builds they’d completed over 16 years of business.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent around $750,000, and recently decided to move forward with several new projects. One update for iOS, in particular, will improve our schedule. Rather than giving us a flat quote and building it out, we paid a "discovery fee" upfront to work with them on customizing the prototype. Their pricing was fair for the work they performed.
What is the status of this engagement?
We've been working together for two years now, since 2015.