How did your relationship with Unified Infotech evolve?
We reached a service agreement that included their stated estimate of an 8- to 10-week timeline and a total cost around $20,000. We arranged the service agreement to include a two-week buffer, extending the timeline to 12 weeks, and my company would be absolved from paying for any services that fell beyond that window. After our two-week discovery phase, Unified Infotech reported that the cost would be closer to $40,000 and the project would take four months to complete.
While discussing the drastic deviations from their original estimate, they cited a more extensive scope of the work. However, much of the information they brought forth was well-documented in the materials I provided after transferring the project from the first developer. For example, they tried to generate mobile builds, discover bugs, and put the database schema together, but it appears that they overlooked much of what I initially presented to them. We were unable to resolve our dispute, and I asked them to perform no additional work.
Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.
We had no reason to believe that our timeline would change as much as it did. We expected to work with them and complete the product. In coordination with that, we arranged meetings with clients so that we could demonstrate the app. We set deadlines with those clients based on the timeline we received from Unified Infotech. However, because of their oversight, our entire project was delayed, and it reflected poorly on us when we were unable to keep these appointments with clients.
How was project management handled?
I do not believe they had worthwhile communication between their U.S.-based project manager and their India-based project manager. The former didn’t expect there to be many changes in the estimates, but this was not wholly discussed with the latter. The communication with the project manager in India was not well-documented. Their staff is a friendly group to work with despite the challenges we faced.
In what specific areas can they improve?
They could be more transparent and honest with their clients. I don’t believe they fulfilled their role as developers. We were looking for a team we could be confident in, but their actions made it difficult to trust them.
What advice do you have for clients with similar needs to yours?
Put the money in escrow rather than paying up front to ensure that they deliver on their promises.