Unique Software For Your Unique Business

Sembit helps customers address challenges that are too specific or complex to be solved solely with off-the-shelf software. We write public web sites, internal apps, mobile apps, reporting systems - anything that has data. We prefer to architect solutions from the ground up, but we are also skilled in saving failing projects and bringing them to a successful conclusion.

 
$5,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2009
Show all +
Portland, OR
headquarters
  • 1440 Nw 130th Avenue
    Portland, OR 97229
    United States

Reviews

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Development Support for E-commerce Site

"They’re the perfect choice for any e-commerce company."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sembit made improvements to a website as part of an e-commerce development and optimization partnership. They created a backorder feature, improved page views, and solved an issue with a connection to PayPal.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Oregon City, Oregon
Craig Curtis
President, CreateForLess
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

This creative partner optimized sales to improve profitability and created additional value for customers by enhancing the e-commerce site’s capacity to support large orders. Sembit is a patient and accommodating team capable of offering thoughtful solutions and working as a member of the team.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the president of CreateForLess, which is a division of Petersen-Arne, a craft and sewing supply distribution center. They work with retailers and do business online.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sembit?

Our own programmer took a job with another company, so we decided to outsource that work.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We have over 60,000 different products for sale on our website. We place the orders on our website and then transfer those to the warehouse who ships them out for us. We do all the customer service, handle the returns, and we do the marketing. We have a newsletter and most of our business is organic. We don’t do a lot of marketplace business because our products have a very low price point.

They have made a lot of simple changes on our administrative site, and they have also done bigger projects like cleaning up some of our code. They enhanced a set of admin tools which we use for such functions as canceling orders and running reports.

They also worked on a backorder project. Our website offers items in large quantities, and typically larger quantities than can be found in a retail store. A customer might want 100 to 1,000 of one item, and we didn’t have the ability to have a backorder in our website or the functionality to manage it.

We also had an issue with PayPal. When a customer was hitting a minimum order, it wasn’t providing free freight. They helped us to address customer experience issues like that.

They worked to improve our loading time for web and mobile and assisted with page views. We worked with Google Optimize.

What is the team composition?

We work with Nick (Lead Software Engineer, Sembit), and Nathan (Software Entrepreneur, Sembit).

How did you come to work with Sembit?

I did some research and spoke to friends from my local industry, and they recommended Sembit. They came and met us in person, which impressed us. We met their diverse programming team, which features different types of talent. We thought we would give them some small projects and the relationship grew from that.

How much have you invested in them?

We have spent about $120,000 this year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in February 2017, and it is an ongoing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Over the last couple of years, our sales have declined, but that’s been intentional as we’ve chosen to focus on profitable business. We used to accommodate every order. We had low-priced items and a lot of people would order a package of one item which didn’t cover shipping and handling fees, nor the labor cost and freight cost of shipping one package of .69 cent wiggly eyes. Sembit helped us identify which orders were unprofitable and made our sales more efficient.

They’ve cleaned up the older versions of our software and made our website run more smoothly. It was a pretty significant project which we spent quite a bit of money on, but we now have new functionalities which allow us to grow our sales. One of our value propositions to our customers is our capacity to support large orders, and Sembit’s work has expanded that.

We are planning to do a site rewrite this year. We also want to extend our backorder offering to pre-sell products, or offering online sales of products we don’t yet have in stock. We only work with one warehouse right now which is our own, but we are going to branch out and work with some other warehouses, so we need to increase the functionality of the website to be able to ship from multiple warehouse locations.

How did Sembit perform from a project management standpoint?

They have been exceptional and they’re good communicators. If the site has a glitch or a bug, they address it within 15 minutes. If we can’t reach Nick, we can reach Nathan quickly. We all have each other’s personal cell phone numbers, so we can get in contact if we need to. Their understanding of our site and our business has been really impressive. They know where to look and how to be responsive when we have issues. They ask us good questions and sometimes suggest things that we haven’t thought of.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re easy to work with. Maybe it is because we are both from Oregon, but we just get along. We don’t get excited, we’re not aggressive—we all listen and understand each other. They know their craft and they are talented.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, we’re completely satisfied.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They’re the perfect choice for any e-commerce company.

5.0
Overall Score I think they are a perfect fit for what we do.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

UI Development for QR Scanning Technology

"They’re quite knowledgeable and smart. They always respond to us promptly." 

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sembit is developing a UI for a web-based QR scanning solution. They’ve also worked with data flows and custom QR code creation.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Long Beach, California
Business Development Manager, DENSO Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Despite facing issues outside their control, Sembit is delivering required functionalities. They’ve displayed excellent industry knowledge, and they always respond quickly. They communicate consistently over multiple channels and are patient.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I’m a business development manager at DENSO, an automotive components manufacturer. My division focuses on barcode & QR code business services and scanner sales. I promote QR code business services in North America.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Sembit?

Current QR code creation services aren’t structured in a user-friendly way. We wanted to develop a simple and easy UI to promote this service.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to launch an easy-to-use interface that works with our current system structure, as well as develop service management features such as credit card transaction capabilities. We also need to monitor and manage user interactions with the service system.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

Sembit had already worked with our company on a different project, and we felt they’d be a good fit for our needs.

Describe the project and the services they provided in detail.

They developed the framework for a web-based UI. They also modified our current data flow and custom QR code creation method and demonstrated how it works.

What was the team composition?

3–4 people are working on this project. Sembit also assigned a project manager to be our point of contact.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

Due to a limitation on our part in providing them with key software source code, the second feature of the interface—decoding QR codes using a mobile application—has not been developed (although they have tested the feature using a third-party software, which we don’t want to use). There was a fundamental miscommunication regarding the interface’s structure.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

We communicate via email and conference calls, though we did have face-to-face meetings initially. Both parties have been busy other things as well, so this was somewhat effective. We've benefitted from the extra time, using it to communicate with our development team in Japan and collecting their feedback.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

They’re quite knowledgeable and smart. They always respond to us promptly.

Are there any areas for improvement?

Being provided with more visuals (i.e., diagrams, flow-charts, and write-ups) before, during, and after conference calls would be helpful. The same goes for email conversations.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

E-commerce Website Development for Automotive Company

“They're able to understand our business and deploy solutions without physically be here … .”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sembit is helping enhance and modernize an e-commerce website, deploy new features, and improve user experience. They handle most of the development and provide recommendations.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
California
Head of IT, Automotive Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website is more secure and user friendly, while the new services and features minimize the need for customer service calls. Professional and knowledgeable, Sembit exceeded all expectations and earned trust, becoming a go-to partner for future projects.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the head of IT for an automotive company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sembit?

Our e-commerce website was outdated and had security issues, so we were looking for a company to help us enhance our site.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

First, they analyzed our website and identified the problems. Then, they mapped out technical and business requirements for our site. They're our preferred vendor when it comes to website support, so they handle most of the new enhancements and expansions of our site.

In addition, they provide recommendations and educate us, helping us understand and improve the user experience. (For example, we didn't want our users to go through 12 clicks to reach the content they needed, so Sembit helped us reduce the number of clicks to two or three.) They also give us feedback about how we can use landscape on our website properly, without adding too much data noise.

Our website is mostly focused on automotive parts for small and medium-sized companies. Our clients have access to their own profiles and can see their credit limits and the status of their orders. We're now adding services, such as repair for robotics and mobile automotive components, so Sembit is helping us deploy those services. They mostly use .NET and Java for development.

What is the team composition?

We've worked with a project manager, their leadership team, and technical resources.

How did you come to work with them?

I worked with them in my previous job in the healthcare industry. They were very responsive and aware when it came to the controls and regulations pertaining to healthcare products and provided proper documentation and testing, so they earned my trust. There are a lot of vendors around, but Sembit is the top choice for us.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in October 2016 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our website used to go down three times a week, but now it's more secure. Also, more and more of our customers visit our website instead of calling our customer service. And when they do call us, they've already gone on the website and understand where they stand.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

They go above and beyond for us. They're able to understand our business and deploy solutions without physically be here, which is impressive.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They do their best to understand their clients' needs and take their time to develop a proposal and provide feedback. They're not just looking for work, they want to bring real value to the project they're working on and they'll refuse to do a project that is too high-risk.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing comes to mind.

5.0
Overall Score They're my business partner. I feel very comfortable with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There is always room for improvement.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Dev for Business IT Support Services Company

“Their technical skills are astonishing, but their customer-oriented approach to business is their greatest strength.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
2010 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sembit built an online web portal with digital storage management, online bill payment, and security features.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Dennis Bjelland
Owner, Sterling Network Solutions
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

More than 5,000 patients are using the web portal, and there haven’t been any reports of major bugs or technical issues since the site launched. Sembit’s regard for functionality and cybersecurity is unmatched. Their success reflects their dedication to customer satisfaction.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner of Sterling Network Solutions. We provide computer and network support to small and midsized businesses.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sembit?

As a network administrator for a local medical clinic, we were in charge of developing an online portal to store and manage electronic medical records (EMR) and other patient files. We needed more resources to build, design, and implement the platform successfully.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sembit worked in conjunction with the medical staff and the programmers who were developing the EMRs, so they started the project by defining their scope of work. Their tasks were to create the site’s content and design the front- and backend. They collaborated with the other parties to integrate security features and EMR modules, and they even helped the medical staff become EMR-certified. We launched the site five years ago, but their team regularly adds new features and updates. Most recently, they built a payment feature that allows patients to pay their bills online.

How did you come to work with Sembit?

They’ve been our primary web development company for the past 14 years.

How much have you invested with them?

Developing and maintaining the website cost us less than $15,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We launched the website in 2013.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

More than half of the clinic’s patients are using the online portal and all of its convenient features, which is approximately 5,000 users. We’ve only received positive feedback, so we’re delighted with Sembit’s work.

How did Sembit perform from a project management standpoint?

Viewing the project with a wide lens helped them break the exhaustive job down into manageable steps. Whereas many developers get attached to trivial tasks, their team moved the project along without my prompting. Collaborating with Sembit was easy because they have a simple way of articulating their complicated development process.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their technical skills are astonishing, but their customer-oriented approach to business is their greatest strength. I’ve worked with many web developers, but none were as accommodating as Sembit.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Set clear expectations at the beginning of the project and Sembit’s team will perform and deliver accordingly.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom LIMS Implementation for Clinical Laboratory

"They come on-site and listen precisely, look at what we do and hear our process flow, and then that’s all they need."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2011 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sembit wrote and implemented a new closed-loop information system. It automated compatibility testing and reporting processes for patients and donors. They’ll provide support and new modules as the lab expands.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Zahra Kashi
CEO and Lab Director, Kashi Clinical Laboratories
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sembit is the only outsourced team that understood the complexity of the project and the need for real-time precision and responsiveness. They never fail to deliver and help run through extensive QA. They can work under high-pressure deadlines without losing the highest of quality solutions.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Kashi Clinical Laboratories is a clinical lab primarily focused on transplantation immunology. In other words, we provide compatibility testing between donors and recipients for bone marrow transplants, and we offer our services worldwide. It is predominantly genomic testing for the purpose of establishing the best-fit donor. We are a confirmatory lab, and I am the laboratory director and the CEO of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sembit?

We needed help updating our laboratory information system.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The laboratory information system that Sembit built for us, in our line of work, is really the most important tool that we can have because it automates the data in a closed loop. A client, usually a hospital, puts the demographics of any donor or patient into a secure portal and sends us a vial of samples to be tested. The samples can travel to us from wherever they originate, inside or outside the US.

When they come in, the portal entry serves as a requisition form for us. It shares the same database as our information system, so we can access the information when we scan the barcode on the sample, making it really simple to proceed with testing.

In essence, the daily acquisition of samples is a real-time automated system that connects to all equipment in the lab, and we can easily access all data through the information system. Every step of the way, the data is collected and we can analyze it.

At the end of this closed loop, the system generates a final report that determines the suitability of a given donor for a given recipient, and that gets uploaded to the same portal the samples originated from. It sends an email directly to the client, letting them know that the data is awaiting them. Then they can log into the system and get the information they need.

For one of our departments, we did have an older language lab information system in place. And then, we had a brand-new department for which we didn’t have any system. Sembit generated a brand new system as well as revamped the existing system. Over a couple of years, they rewrote the whole thing and consolidated the two systems. So right now, we have the same source for all of our departments, and we are still using Sembit on an ongoing basis. Anytime a new test is added or new machines and technology are added, they build a new module.

How did you come to work with Sembit?

Sembit came recommended to us through the IT manager of the IT firm we use. I interviewed one of the Sembit programmers, and we gave them this extremely important project which would impact the survival of our laboratory. I had been interviewing and talking to three other firms, but they couldn’t really grasp what we were doing. One of them took three months and I didn’t really see the outcome, and we were up against a deadline. This is why I feel very indebted to Sembit for as long as I will be alive and for as long as this laboratory will be operational, because they had a very short deadline for this project. We would have become out-of-compliance had they not delivered on time.

When we were referred to them, quite frankly I thought my explanation would fall on deaf ears again. To my absolute pleasant surprise, he spent four hours here. He listened without any interruption and he said he could do what we needed. I wasn’t sure, but he came back a week later to put everything in a QA environment. I was astonished that, in such a short period of time, something that other companies had taken months to understand, this company was able to execute. Since then, we have never looked anywhere else. I would never consider another company. This is how much we believe in them.

How much have you invested with Sembit?

We’ve spent between $130,000 and $150,000 per year with Sembit. I meet with Sembit’s CEO on an annual basis, we make a projection and I sign a contract with him. We always leave room for exceeding that amount. His estimate has been right on the money for the past number of years, unless something comes up during the process.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in May 2011, and the work is ongoing. They have done solid work for us since then.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

They have never disappointed us with their timeliness. Our urgencies have always been Sembit’s urgencies.

They have a sufficient number of programmers. There are two of them that are very dedicated to most, if not all, of our work. We are a clinical laboratory with an expected error rate of zero, so everything is staged in a QA environment for days, or even weeks. We run hundreds and hundreds of cases to ensure that nothing fell into a glitch. If there’s something that doesn’t work, we don’t go to production until everything has been debugged, and they have been on top of that.

The impact of that in the clinical lab is significant. One of the reasons I didn’t go to buy an off-the-shelf lab information system was because the problem with those, at least from my 30 years of experience in this field, is that when they want to sell you, they are fabulous; but once they are sold, you are on their time, not the other way around. The patient population that we serve is such that we really must have real-time help. That’s why I chose Sembit, and I spent the time and the resources to make it this way.

I would say that we are very satisfied. I wouldn’t rate them below 95%. Personally, 100%. The 5% is for the fact that nobody is perfect. We have never heard any of our clients complaining. If they want to request a change, they actually directly communicate with one of Sembit’s programmers. We have received very positive feedback.

How did Sembit perform from a project management standpoint?

They come on-site and listen precisely, look at what we do and hear our process flow, and then that’s all they need. They move on. They develop based on what they understood. They run it by us, and it’s always good. They put it in a QA environment and we go on a quality assurance path of validating, and then we go to product. If there are still things that need to be adjusted, it’s an immediate adjustment. We communicate primarily by email and phone if necessary. They have been very, very responsive. Sometimes I catch them on the weekends, believe it or not. They are very attentive.

What did you find most impressive about Sembit?

They are super smart. If somebody can get our field, more power to them. They are smarter and more attentive than anybody else that I have ever worked with.

Are there any areas Sembit could improve?

They have been so responsive to any need of this laboratory, but I also firmly believe everybody can always work to go above and beyond. Nothing comes to mind. It has been a perfect relationship for a number of years of reciprocity and respect for the field that we are in. They recognize that.

5.0
Overall Score They are not only a very trustworthy company in terms of their accuracy, precision and brightness, but they are also fundamentally very good people to work with. They are very sincere human beings, and that’s wonderful.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We’ve never had to ask them twice about a deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    For the amount of work they do for us and the speed at which it’s done, even on odd hours, I think they have reserved a very good rate for us for so many years.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’ve met and exceeded my expectations, especially as an outside firm that really isn’t obliged to carry my mission the way that I carry it. But that’s the level of comfort they’ve provided us.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    100%

Custom CMS Implementation for University Giving Site

“They built a completely custom CMS that would have been hard to replicate on Drupal or another platform.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sembit worked with an internal web designer to develop a bespoke online fundraising system and improve the UI/UX of the existing website. They continue to update and add new features to the CMS.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,001 Employees
 
Santa Barbara, California
Matt Perko
Senior Web Designer, University of California, Santa Barbara
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The custom site is engaging and user-friendly, and has attracted many new donors, all of which can attributed to Sembit’s expertise. They provided smooth project management and helped get buy-in from key internal stakeholders, highlighting their ability to collaborate with nontechnical staff.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a senior web designer within the office of public affairs and communication for the University of California, Santa Barbara. Our office is the central marketing facility for the entire university. I was also the project designer for the website.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sembit?

Most universities have a website that allows people to make online donations. At that time, we had a very rudimentary website. It was necessary to update it, streamline the process, and make it more engaging. Our overall goal was not necessarily to raise more money—it was to connect with more donors. We wanted to turn our site into a storytelling platform that gave reasons why someone would want to donate to our university. We wanted to provide a good user experience so that people can connect with the specific fund that they are passionate about.

To answer this challenge, we were looking to build a database site with a content management system. We didn’t have any specific requirements but were leaning towards Drupal. Our needs were quite specific and would have required modifying a standard content management system extensively. It ended up being quite complicated on the backend.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The site was built between January and April 2016. We started the negotiations with Sembit around four months prior to this. The university system is typically slow to get started on these projects since there are many internal moving parts, chains of approval, and so on. We knew that we’d be going with Sembit; it was just a matter of getting the contract signed.

Once we got the go signal, I provided Sembit with a skeleton of how we wanted things to work. The main developer was able to implement my design directly from Illustrator files. We figured out the design early on, but many of the functionalities were not specified. We ended up building a custom form for people to donate. It featured a lot of custom information and if-then cases.

We went back and forth over several meetings on the functionality of the CMS, especially about the best way to structure it for a nontechnical user. We have nontechnical staff who administer both the content and the various funds. They needed to update blog posts and create stories with a hero image, body text, and inline graphics. Each post also had a sidebar with the specific funds that are relevant to that particular article.

There were many areas where something could potentially go wrong, so Sembit built a two-part system. This allowed us to preview the content and check it for errors before publishing. We also kept a record within the system of who edited the site, who published specific articles, and so on. Sembit provided multiple usernames and accounts along with other critical functionalities. They made it easy for us to have a hierarchy of editors and administrators managing the site.

The site was finally launched in November 2016. We’ve had a slow transition process since this is new territory for the university. UC Santa Barbara has 75 sub-departments, each with its own funds and donation pages. All of those pages were linked to the previous site. We spent the last year helping people redesign and reconfigure their sites in order to take advantage of the new page. There was also a huge marketing component which went along with this. We’ve been working on that aspect more slowly.

We’ve also identified a number of functionalities that we didn’t originally intend to develop. We maintained the original scope, but we also started a second scope on a parallel path. We have many phase-two and phase-three ideas for the site.

How did you come to work with Sembit?

We reached out to a number of different firms and got prices that were outside of our ballpark. I had worked with Sembit in the past for a furniture company, so I threw their name into the mix. Based on my previous experience, I knew that Sembit’s custom work would be a good fit for us. Sembit also excelled at providing custom solutions, so I was comfortable recommending them.

During our initial conversation, we were told that Sembit doesn’t provide Drupal work. However, they do focus on custom content management systems. It gave us something to consider since we were getting bids outside of our range for Drupal work. Besides the budget, I also took into consideration that Sembit had a smaller, more hands-on team. I only had 3–5 people in my core team, so we were a good match.

How much have you invested with Sembit?

For the initial phase, we paid around $50,000 for Sembit’s work. We’ve signed agreements for additional functionalities.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’re in contact with Sembit to this day, and we are keeping them on retainer.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The new website has definitely opened people’s minds. The feedback on campus has been overwhelmingly positive, both for the design and what it represents. While we weren’t looking at monetary value, I’m sure that we’ve had a 50% increase year over year in online donations. Our main goal was finding new donors, and the site has definitely been a success.

From a nontechnical standpoint, people are seeing the value of the site. We’re a bit decentralized, so we didn’t impose that people adopt the new site. However, people from other sub-departments now want to provide content and be featured on the storytelling engine. They definitely want to take advantage of the new form and the ease with which people can donate to the university.

Sembit’s resources were very responsive and were always available for a conference call. This was new territory for our team, so it was important to have a weekly call. I felt that I could give them a call or contact them on Skype at any time, even for the slightest questions. It felt like we were their only client, which was nice. It also helped that Sembit’s team was patient with us. They were really good at listening, figuring out exactly what we were trying to do, and providing the best way to do it. I’m well-versed in developing a website, but Sembit was a good ally in explaining to the rest of my team what was and what wasn’t possible.

How did Sembit perform from a project management standpoint?

It was a seamless and collaborative process. We made it clear from the start that we didn’t have the capacity to do project management. They assigned a project manager who took a look at the overarching project. We just gave a timeline, and they were very helpful in pushing us to make decisions.

What did you find most impressive about Sembit?

Most of the other developers I’ve worked with were limited to canned content management systems like WordPress, Drupal or Sitefinity. The advantage with Sembit was that they built a completely custom CMS that would have been hard to replicate on Drupal or another platform. It was built specifically for us. When someone logs into it, everything will be geared towards exactly what we want to happen. I’ve seen many Drupal instances that required a lot of prior knowledge on the side of the user. On our site, a nontechnical person simply needs to log in, go to the funds category, and edit the description of a fund. Everything is neatly organized. Sembit also added a skin to the CMS that is similar to our main site. It’s familiar and follows our visual identity. People really feel that they’re logging into a UC Santa Barbara system.

Are there any areas Sembit could improve?

Getting the site implemented on our server was a challenge, but it was partially the university’s fault. In some instances, we were working with outdated technology, including the server version. There were also some things that were easier to handle in person, but that is the nature of a long-distance relationship. One of the attractive things about the local companies we were looking at was having face-to-face meetings and a potentially better site hand-off. These are the only things that come to mind.

4.5
Overall Score The price and level of customization were quite helpful. I appreciated how well Sembit listened to us. They were a true partner in creating the site.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Sembit was very flexible in scheduling meetings. They were available at times that were good for us, rather than for them. They did a great job of following up on our deliverables.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    By far, they’re the cheapest vendor on our list. We were very happy with Sembit’s price.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality of the site was top-notch and above what we expected. However, I feel that a perfect score is an almost unattainable rating.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Bringing them to UC Santa Barbara was my first referral. We’re still working work with Sembit.

Workflow System Implementation for Health Plan Company

"Sembit’s collaborative style is impressive, and they learn really fast."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sembit helped develop a workflow web tool for internal use. Their focus was on improving efficiency and ease of access of a database used across several departments.

The Reviewer
 
500-1,001 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Senior Sales Administration Manager, Health Plan Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sembit is generous in sharing their expertise and best practices. Their work has saved time and replaced some inefficient practices in several departments. They are highly collaborative, and the understand challenges quickly. They’re pleasant to work with, and are always available and responsive.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the senior manager of sales administration, which supports the infrastructure tools and systems for the sales division of a health plan company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sembit?

We were trying to create an online routing tool that goes across the organization and shows an audit trail of who’s touched or changed a document, so Sembit created a workflow tool for use across the organization.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sembit first sat down with us and did a quick discovery session where they tried to understand our business needs. We told them some of our pain points, and they made suggestions and recommendations for how we could make some of those improvements in phase one. We had been working off an old Excel spreadsheet, and Sembit was working to turn that into a web-based tool for us. They would say, “This is an easy lift. Not only can we replace what you're doing, but we can improve it somewhat.” They were good about sharing best practices and adding improvements during the replacement and upgrading phase.

How did you come to work with Sembit?

Sembit was doing some contract work with our IT department, so we learned about them that way. Our IT department gave them a high recommendation, because they were fast and reasonably priced.

How much have you invested with Sembit?

I think it was only about $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I think we started working with Sembit in February 2014, and our work is ongoing. We have them on a small contract for improvements.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

With the new system, we’re able to more easily identify errors, and we’re able to use the information that’s in the database for purposes that we didn't design it for, so we found multiple purposes for this data. We also were able to eliminate an entire spreadsheet, which was reducing duplicate entry for all of our new business, which was pretty significant. At minimum, their system was able to eliminate 1 to 3 months of work annually.

How did Sembit perform from a project management standpoint?

The guys at Sembit are amazing. They work and understand challenges quickly, their style is very collaborative, and they’re willing to offer up best practices. They’re not arrogant. I’ve worked with a lot of vendors—I’ve had a lot of time on the planet—and I can say that Sembit’s team is very collaborative. We’ve done some in-person meetings, and we’ve also used phone and Skype to stay in touch. Sembit was also available to be in-person at some testing sessions, which was helpful. I’ve mostly been in touch with one person, but I always find that that person has a backup; these guys have gotten back to me at 7 o’clock at night.

What did you find most impressive about Sembit?

Sembit’s collaborative style is impressive, and they learn really fast. They’re really bright.

Are there any areas Sembit could improve?

I can't think of anything Sembit could improve.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were on time, and they met their deliverable dates.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Sembit is a really good bang for the buck.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I’d give them a 5. They’ve been great, and I’ve never rolled out a project faster than this.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    The only reason I wouldn't want to recommend Sembit is because then they might not be available for us.