While we were deciding what is the best outsourcing option for us we went through meetings with different companies. From what I have observed during that process we can categorize the outsourcing options in below different categories
- Small Scale
- Medium Scale
- Large Scale
- Individual Free Lancer
Our elimination process worked in the following way -> Because we needed a fast turn around time we had to eliminate a couple of small scale companies as they could not start on the project right away. Some of the individual free lancer were available to start right away and were reasonable too – but the issue came down to they not being able to support our need for a design team. And once they would take up another project we were worried about the support we would get from them even after the project was over.
Now we were left with 2 options – Large Scale and Medium Scale companies. For a large scale company we were a small client and I was not sure if they would move around resources if they get some request from some of their regular big clients. And the last thing I wanted during the execution was change of the person in the middle of project.
Once we had narrowed down our search to Medium scale companies we met with a few of them and chose the one who had mostly work with US client and knew how quality mattered. Also influencing our decision was the communication and trust we got built up while meeting. They were ready to sign the NDA and they were able to provide the timeline and broken down hour structure for the project. And I am very happy to say they really were able to stuck to the timeline and deliver milestones along the way! They were also able to support us even after beta launch which was one of the most important thing for us.
Of course during the project we did come across quite a few things that you would need to keep in mind while working with an outsourcing company – and we will be covering those within the next few posts.
When you are trying to base the beginning of your completely new project on outsourcing – it becomes very important to choose the right outsourcing company. You have to take few things into consideration,
1. Which model are you looking for:
Usually there are 3 different models that outsourcing companies follow:
- Fixed Price
- Per Hour rate
- Per Month rate for individual developer
You can also get in touch with a freelancer to get your work done but I think you have to be extra careful in choosing the right candidate.
2. Do you have a scope of work defined and with what accuracy level
3. Do you have a basic design defined or you would need help on that as well
Going over the above questions in our case, we wanted to know in advance how much money we will be spending – so we were looking for a fixed price model. And because we needed some help with designing as well – we eliminated the individual freelancers. At this point we were looking for a company who can execute our extremely well defined SOW into a reality. Just as a side note the SOW or scope of work is the most important thing in deciding what model you want to go for. If you don’t have a well defined model or if you are still working on it as your project is getting execute I think per hour rate or per month rate for individual developer is a good idea.
The third criteria in choosing the right outsourcing company for us was a break down on timeline and pricing. We had quite few people coming up with a price for the project but no defined timeline, or milestone and pricing and we did not want that – we wanted someone who can give us exact timeline with milestone and payment plans defined. So now at this point our 4 criteria were:
- Fixed Price Model
- A company with an internal design team
- A company who can give us well defined timeline pricing model and dates for milestone
- NDA – it is always in your interest to get the NDA when you are working with an outsourcing company
Because we have connections back in India – we started to look for the company from here in the city that we have lived most our life. We got in touch with the few of those as well. And as we were going through and getting familiar to the process I formed the idea of “HeliDigiZen” – a consulting company who would get you in touch with the right outsourcing company for your needs. But more on that in the next post.
Coming back to the issue in hand – we were having hard time figuring out a few facts and choosing the company so we decided to actually go down to India and meet with few of them to pick the right company for us. And I think that paid off big time. I think meeting the companies in person gave us a much better idea about their employees, their setup, their professionalism and helped us build the trust and communication channels the way we wanted! And that boosted the idea of “HeliDigiZen” further – as I though many of the companies would want to have someone in US to get in touch with so that they can trust an outsourcing partner better and don’t need to deal with timezone differences.
We will go over our experience in meeting with different companies in the next post. But for this one we did go with the company which met all three of our criteria. It was difficult and we did not close the deal until the last day we had to leave but we were able to find the right company!