- Web Dev for Import/Export Software Company Business Case
Working on a multi-year project, they are upgrading and developing the main software systems to go to the web using Angular 2.0, SignalR, and Angular 5.0. Many projects are planned for the coming year.
“Kaizen delivered superior programming, and two of the applications they developed are in beta testing with customers now. Their nimble team quickly learned new technologies and demonstrated tenacious enthusiasm to find solutions for every problem. The team is engaged and eager to help.”
Buffalo, NY, USA
- Worth noting
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m the director of technology at a company that writes a software called SmartBorder. It facilitates international trade between the U.S. and Canada and around the world. We’re owned by a Canadian company, Livingston International, which uses our software. We also sell the software for their import processes.
What challenge were you trying to address with Kaizen Softworks?
We needed development help.
What was the scope of their involvement?
We started with Google Angular 2.0 to upgrade all of our flagship product’s main systems to go to the web. This is a multi-year project. So far, we’ve completed the customer profile systems and our export software. We’re almost completed with our import and security filing for ships coming into port that have to report to the government what they’re bringing in for security reasons. They also used Microsoft SignalR and Google Angular 5.0. They’ve stayed up to date and upgraded as things have been evolving. We still manage our backend with Web API, but they integrate within our API that we give them.
We have them lined up with maybe 15 other projects until next year.
What is the team composition?
We have four developers and one designer.
How did you come to work with Kaizen Softworks?
It happened over a few years. My software development manager was looking for different firms. They contacted him with a cold call. We’ve been looking in different areas of the world because the prices were better per developer. We found them, vetted them, and watched them grow for a few years. Fabian [CEO, Kaizen Softworks] came here to Buffalo and we talked about strategy and how they manage things in Uruguay. We gave them money for three programmers and a small prototype, and they did the prototype really well. We considered that to be sufficient and gave them more business.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent $200,000–$999,999. We’re planning to spend a few hundred thousand dollars more with them this year.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in February 2017 and the work is ongoing.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We have two applications that are in beta right now with some customers. We have to train the rest of our customer base. There are still some changes we have to make, but I’m really happy with the results. They’re hungry programmers that do a really good job.
How did Kaizen Softworks perform from a project management standpoint?
We do most of the project management because I have my own private manager. We’ve used them as consulting resources. We use Jira for managing our user stories and bugs. When we’re slow on project management, they pick it up and start working with us. They do a good job. We also use TFS online as well. We’re probably going to be moving to GitHub soon. We have daily meetings which are efficient.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They learned two brand new technologies that they’ve never worked with before. They were able to ramp up quickly because their people are very smart. They have done a much better job than I would have internally with my people. For the web tech stuff, their people are younger, really into it, and they’re very hungry. They’ve found a solution for everything I’ve thrown at them; they’ve never said they can’t do it. I’m really satisfied. I’ve been in this business for a long time. If I had this team 10 years ago, I’d be in a much different situation right now. I really like them.
Are there any areas they could improve?
If they had a project manager and handled that more formally throughout the company, that would be a helpful service.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Having daily meetings is so important. Also, have a well-defined backlog for your user stories and your bugs. Have demo meetings every two weeks at the end of every sprint so you can review all the work that’s been done. Save the feedback for the end of the project. Let them do their work with a vision of fixing it up and cleaning it up later. Visibility and understanding on both sides are imperative.
SmartBorder is a software company that needed to move from client-server technology to web systems. Kaizen offered skilled resources as well as compatible time zones that worked very well with our US development team. With the latest Google Angular technology being used, we’re happy to be leading the industry with our newly upgraded trade systems.
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- About Us
We are a nearshore consulting tech shop focused on collaboration. We deliver quality software aligned to your business needs. Since 2014 we have been working for USA small to midsize companies in several industries using the latest Microsoft and Open Source technologies to enable their digital transformation.