Could you share any statistics, metrics or user feedback from this engagement?
Again, because we're a private company, I'm not comfortable giving you any real statistics from our business or operations. I can tell you that they were very orderly. At the end of each day, they would report to us by email their status report. We'd wake up with their report, we'd get a midday report, which was the end of their day, and it'd usually be filled with questions for each one of our departments. I was very pleased with the workflow that we established, and I never had problems with the quality of Trust Sourcing's work.
What distinguishes Trust Sourcing from other providers?
We had originally started with another company. We would send them pictures of what we wanted, and they built it, but they never gave us any input. When we switched to Trust Sourcing, we'd come up with an idea and send it to them. A day later, we'd get this phone call from them offering suggestions on how to do it differently. About 90 percent of the time they did that, they were right on with their suggestions. The added value that came from Trust Sourcing was their ability to look at something and make it better, drawing on their collective experience. We weren't paying them for that type of advice. It ended up just being part of the package, kind of a bonus.
We tried developing a chain of microsites for cheap, and we decided to outsource the job to an Indian company. It turned out to be a disaster. Trust Sourcing went ahead and rebuilt each of the microsites for us.
The only reason we went to the other company to begin with was because it was slightly cheaper, and we didn't want to wait for Trust Sourcing to be able to pick up the project. We assumed everybody was going to treat us like Trust Sourcing, but that was not the case.
In hindsight, are there areas in which they could improve, or things you might do differently?
The 10-hour time difference between us isn't really Trust Sourcing's problem because we choose to be here. There are times when you get frustrated because you want something done right away. We've woken them up at three in the morning, and they've done stuff, or they've stayed in the office all night long to accommodate us on a launch or a new publication. It took us a long time to get used to the time difference. In the end, the cost of using a team at Trust Sourcing was cheaper than me hiring a top-level one-man developer in Los Angeles.
Our screw up as a company was that they would send us questions, and we wouldn't respond for two or three days. We weren't thinking about the fact that they were sitting there waiting for us to answer before they could to the next thing. We were actually more of a hindrance to our own productivity in the beginning than they were.
What advice, if any, would you give a future client of theirs?
Have your requirements straight when you send them to Trust Sourcing. They trained us to give specific directions, and we all got better as we gave them better information. What we learned was, the tighter requirements we gave them, the more things picked up.