9 practical advices when choosing software development supplier
Do not have plenty of partners for the same thing
Some of our partners decided to have 5-10 suppliers for subcontracting of software development. They ask all of them for a price for a certain project, then they choose usually the cheapest and here you go. Theoretically that is a great approach. In practice in most cases it does not work because of:
- many points of contacts on partner side
- different way of working
- different tools used by supplier
- keeping relations is harder as you need to talk to, meet negotiate with much more people
- you lose too much time on comparing offers and choosing the best, but at the end usually you are focused on price which is not the best
At the end in many cases they stay only with with us or choose another company, but soon or later they do not use that model
Right size – not too big, not too small
Generally it is important that a company you want to work with has enough people to be able to handle your projects, but at the same time to deliver a personal service. Perfect software development company should have the resources to cope with unexpected problems as well as treat your project as an important one. Too big company will not treat you seriously sometimes to small will not be able to to deliver you as flexible approach as you need.
Trust and transparency
In every relationship, even a business relation, the mutual trust and transparency between parters is crucial to achieve successful output. When things like costs, communication and rules of cooperation are established on the very beginning of any contract it definitely builds the trust. If there is no trust sooner or later partnership will not work. Don’t you have the same experience from the past?
Atmosphere in the company
Theoretically it should not influence the cooperation, but in fact the atmoshpere in the workplace has a strong impact on how the projects flows. Just think about the helpful developers forming great team, which communicates flawlessly and if passionate about what they do. The segregation of duties is much easier and the final product is better when it comes from team that really do care about it. How to do it easy? Visit their FB page which is usually not for B2B clients. Here you have our FB page.
Check the software provider's credentials and references from previous customers
When evaluating software vendors and technology partners look into their background. It is even worth a quick call to previous client of a given company. You can call and ask about the communication, transparency, deadlines, quality and othe issues that are of your interest. It does not necessarily have to be references from clients from your country. If it is company from abroad, it concerns equally all of the countries.
Technical Management – with Business Skills
Managers, which used to be developers previously, but gained strong communication and business skills are perfect in software development industry. As developers they know what is feasible and how the overall project could look like. As business people they know how to make the deal beneficial for both sides of a contract. They are able to ask the right questions of customers early in the design process, which makes the proposals more accurate.
An extremely straightforward policy on Intellectual Property Rights like:
- source code
is one of the most important factors to consider while choosing appropriate software developer. At least all the ‘rights’ should be assigned to the customer when the final payment is made. However, companies sometimes try to retain copyright and later come back to charge “licence fees”. The same is with so called ‘additional fees’ and provisions that allow the vendor to increase fees during the course of the contract - and see if there are provisions that would allow you to get out of a contract after six months or a year if the system is not working for you.
In the era of the Internet the location shouldn’t play a key role. Really? Software development not always require all the developers to be in same room. However, there are projects that need the face-to-face discussion especially on some projects phases. It is obviously easier when you and your IT team are 1-2 hour flight than 12h one. Being in the same or neighbouring time zone does make a difference.
Don't forget the cultural fit
It tends to be omitted by choosing your software developer. Many enterpreneurs decide to outsource in India, Taiwan or China only because it is cheaper. In fact it is, but usually the quality is lower, because of:
- cultural differences
- different time zone
- language differences
The development often takes much more time and money than initially set. The problems and obstacles cannot be faced at once because of time zone. It is much more comfortable to have the developer in your own time zone, speaking international languages like English or German in a proficient, not only communicative way.