Frontend Dev for Dealer Management System
Please find below a summary covering project details and feedback. The essential facts are kept as they are, confidential information is amended.
A quick introduction on the buyer’s organisation
I’m a technology program manager at CDK Global. We’re a leader in automating business process for auto dealerships, providing a variety of solutions. We have a big presence in the US and globally. My particular program involves development of a new product that represents a modernization of the dealer management system.
What challenge were you trying to address with EMERGE?
We have a new application that we',re fast getting into the market and wanted to fast-track usability improvements for our clients. We identified a number of critical usability issues and contracted with EMERGE to help us remedy those issues.
What particular tasks were EMERGE responsible for?
EMERGE is refactoring and improving a number of application components. EMERGE is leveling the user experience across our application, enabling a consistent experience. They utilize specifications from our UX team and product managers to implement better versions of our components for reuse. They demo new functionality to our stakeholders for feedback and approval.
Was there a dedicated team?
Our main point of contact',s Julian (Co-Founder, COO, and CTO, EMERGE). We also work with Mandi (Producer, EMERGE) who’s our project manager as well as Django (Director of Technology and Principal Solutions Architect, EMERGE).
How did you come to work with EMERGE?
We found a list of local Portland vendors that had expertise in frontend work but some of the vendors also had backend expertise. EMERGE was one of the vendors that had end-to-end expertise. I screened a number of service providers with the same criteria utilizing our frontend developers in the interviews. We screened them on criteria such as an ability to work with us, the maturity of their process and experiencesets, and technical expertise with toolsets that we use. EMERGE scored at the top.
What are you approximate expents (if diclosed)?
We’ve spent around $600,000 with EMERGE.
What is the final result of working with EMERGE?
The project began in mid-October 2019 and will be concluding in early 2020.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We’re satisfied with their work, which is really high-quality. They have really good code quality. As our development managers and developers review their code, I hear a lot of compliments about its quality. Their team manages the workload professionally.
How did EMERGE perform from a project management standpoint?
They work hand-in-hand with our team members and come on-website to get good traction occasionally. Their team works in our environments and with our tools. We use JIRA and they maintain their own JIRA project. We also use Confluence. Their team created a confluence page that’s integrated with JIRA to outline all of their work and track progress. It’s a nice way to share the progress and work on requirements with them. We also use Slack for quick interaction. They’re responsive and professional. Their team manages their work carefully so it’s well organized.
What is (from your point of view) the key factor to pay attention while dealing with EMERGE?
Aside from the quality of their work, I’m impressed that they',re able to change course. As we brought them on, we foisted several challenges on them. We didn’t have our environment ready for them, so that was delayed. Some of the early requirements that we gave them weren’t ready and there were some requirements that were inaccurate. Their team rolled with it. They’re positive and always looking to satisfy the client. Their team continues to deliver reliably and with a strong sense of client orientation.
What aspects of their work would you like to get improved?
I’m struggling to come up with something for them to improve. They’ve done a good job in this regard, but I encourage them to continue to reach out to our developers and product managers to make sure that their work isn’t slowed down by a lack of requirements.
Do you have any advice for potential clients?
This goes for anybody: Make sure that your requirements are well-ordered and well-vetted before entering a statement of work. Also, make sure that all stakeholders including development teams, product managers, and architects are onboard with requirements.