Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Our overall site metrics are better than they used to be. Some of the things that Think It First worked on, like the interactive map, have become major parts of our website. They also worked on the appearance of the pages for the individual due-paying members. The membership department has said that the members were happy with the new appearance of those pages when we launched them. One of the things we do measure is meeting planners who submit RFPs for potential meetings or conventions in the city. The meeting planner RFP for the online submissions are up much higher than they were before the redesign.
How did Think It First perform from a project management standpoint?
Think It First has performed extremely well from a project management standpoint, and we’ve been happy with what they’ve done for us over the years. I’ve had a good working relationship with their team. They’re responsive, and they make suggestions and recommendations while also listening to ours. If we’re recommending something that they think doesn't make sense, they will tell us the reasons why it might not work. If we end up saying, “I understand what you're saying, but we want to go with it anyway,” they will go ahead and do what we’ve asked. They’re the type of organization that wants to help you do the right thing and make sure you're not making any mistakes they could fix in advance. They also understand that we’re the client, and in the end, we should get what we ask for. In the end, they have always delivered what we ask for.
Think It First does our overall web maintenance as well as the development and larger features. The primary team we work with at Think It First probably consists of three people: Joe, Jamie, and John. They occasionally bring in one or two other people, but for the most part, Joe is my regular contact. The team size has stayed pretty constant. I think that Think It First has hired more people since we started working with them. The people who are occasionally brought in are just for short periods of time.
For more than three years, I have had weekly calls with Joe to go over what’s coming up and where the project stands. I ever need to jump on a call at any other time, he’s always available. I also correspond regularly with Joe via email, probably once a day or more. There may be a couple of days where I don't send an email, and then something comes up, and we’ll send emails back and forth several times in a single day. It’s rare that I don't get a response quickly, and if that happens in regard to something I think is more important, I can usually extend my email beyond Joe to Jamie and John, and one of those two will almost always be available. I've also gone to their office to meet with them in person for longer-term discussions, and they’ve come into our offices more than a handful of times to present ideas and go over things with me and my managers.
Think It First does a good job of managing expectations and being sure you know what you're getting. They don't over-promise, and they do things methodically. They have done a good job of giving me estimates that they almost always stick to, which is not always the case with companies. If something goes a little higher than expected, it’s never been an issue. If an issue does come up, they offer options to make sure we get the best solution that fits our desires and budget. We’re kept well-informed along the way; there’s never been a surprise while working with Think It First.
What did you find most impressive about Think It First?
I don't know if there’s one thing that is most impressive about Think It First. I appreciate the relationship we’ve built and knowing that they’re consistently going to answer our questions and solve our problems, whatever they may be. I may ask Think It First if they can help with certain areas of the website that they have barely touched, and they’ll do the research, figure it out, and make it happen. At the same time, they’re an organization that doesn't just sit back and wait for things either. They look at the site and look at how it can improve, make suggestions and recommendations, and get things on the roadmap for us to handle down the line. They’re both reactive and proactive in the best possible way.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Think It First?
Think It First is an excellent company to work with. They have managed everything we’ve thrown at them in an excellent manner, and I would absolutely recommend them.