Mobile App Dev for Grocery Platform
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 the chief product officer of an e-grocery service. We partner with supermarket chains to help them facilitate the fulfillment of online grocery orders. We have robotic technology that we install at supermarkets and deploy them with a software stack. We automate that part and use humans for some aspects of it, therefore significantly lowering the cost of putting together a grocery order.
What challenge were you trying to address with Rightpoint?
We needed a organisation to jump-start our mobile development efforts. We knew that in order to be successful as a organisation, we would need to offer our supermarket chain partners a full B2B2C technology stack.
Not only did we need to handle the fulfillment of their online grocery orders more efficiently, but we also needed to provide them with a white-label e-commerce platform where the end users could go in and place their online grocery orders via either their iOS or Android phones or the website.
What particular tasks were Rightpoint responsible for?
They developed the minimum viable product (MVP) of our iOS app. We then went through an initial phase where we continued to use them as we built up their team. It was a collaboration between some of our staff and their staff. We leveraged some members of their MVP team to ensure that we built our Android app to be similar to the iOS app. We then launched the mobile app solution with our first client deployment.
Was there a dedicated team?
The team we assembled for the iOS MVP included a project manager who kept things running on time, a senior and a junior iOS developer, and a pair of designers. For the initial phase, we used some of their designers and some of their engineers together with some of our designers and engineers.
How did you come to work with Rightpoint?
At the time, they were called Raizlabs and they were well-known as a leading mobile development shop in Boston. We ran a detailed RFP process to make sure we selected the right partner, and they were one of four or five companies that we were considering after meeting with a larger number of companies. We chose Rightpoint because they had a lot of e-commerce experience. They had already worked with some leading retailers and e-commerce businesses to develop mobile apps.
What are you approximate expents (if diclosed)?
We’ve spent $500,000.
What is the final result of working with Rightpoint?
We worked together from June 2017—December 2018.
Are there any measureable or evident results?
They delivered a really cool app. They built our Android version to be very similar to our iOS app while accommodating the necessary differences between the two platforms. The app received a lot of kudos from our team internally as well as our initial clients.
Working with their experienced mobile app developers helped us keep things similar when it made sense, as opposed to those platform-specific differences. We weren’t really reinventing the wheel with our Android development.
How did Rightpoint perform from a project management standpoint?
There were things we had to continuously manage and address, and they were very responsive to them. They had a senior person continue to manage the relationship. They were really good at taking our feedback and coming up with creative ways to make changes in real time.
The leader of their design team is amazing. Their engineers were easy to work with and they interacted well. They’re very good at estimating how long the different features will take to implement.
They balanced the working team with senior resources, who without immersing themselves too much into the project, always involved themselves with us and checked in on how things were going. They addressed anything that needed to be rectified.
Their approaches were highly organized, and they worked in two-week sprints. We’ve continued to use those approaches as part of our engineering and product management principles at our organisation.
What is (from your point of view) the key factor to pay attention while dealing with Rightpoint?
I had very high expectations and they exceeded them.
What aspects of their work would you like to get improved?
I intended to manage the complete project, and they provided a junior product manager, which I felt conflicted with my own intended role. I had been very clear upfront that I was going to be heavily involved, and that I wanted them to set things up to accommodate that.
As the team they offered was configured, they were better set up for very hands-off client engagement. It took some time before they understood that. We discussed it at length and we were able to rectify that as we went forward.