Dedicated Development Center: Becoming an Inseparable Part of the Whole

  • Long-term partnership by the dedicated team scheme
  • Technology consulting and knowledge sharing
  • Commercial websites co-development and support
  • BI-enabled engine implementation
  • Corporate CRM maintenance
Expertise
Mobility
Verticals
Manufacturing
Retail

Large-scale manufacturing enterprise specializing on full-cycle production of high quality yet affordable furniture hires Iflexion to extend the IT pool with external sources

Calendar
8
Duration
Months
Gears
29
Efforts
Person-months

Context

Our Customer is a large-scale manufacturing enterprise specializing on full-cycle production of high quality yet affordable furniture. To promote the company’s online presence, provide for e-commerce distribution and improve production workflows management by means of supporting software tools, the Customer set up an internal IT department.

The in-house team developed three full-fledged e-commerce websites oriented towards different business lines and a CRM-like corporate system consolidating all departments and employees in single workspace. However, in a while the Customer decided to extend the IT pool with external sources for the 3 reasons:

  • Lack of appropriate IT-specialists nearby. The company’s headquarters were located far away from metropolises, so it was difficult to hire enough employees of the required qualification.
  • Necessity for the domain specific expertise. Specializing on full-cycle furniture production and distribution, the company had little to do with IT. They needed a competent and experienced dedicated team to strengthen the in-house team.
  • Rapid business growth and never-ending expansion generated the need for augmenting the IT department with extra workforce. 

Partner Selection

To select the best-fit supplier, the Customer launched tender outlining strict requirements for the engagement. The list of criteria for evaluation embraced:

  • Experience and keen practices of collaboration by the dedicated team scheme
  • The relevant technology expertise and extended portfolio of similar projects
  • Possibility of on-site presence on demand
  • Operational efficiency and flexibility

Corresponding to the set criteria, Iflexion was shortlisted together with another software development company. The Customer started with a pilot project to verify the potential partners’ technology and operational expertise.

Having organized on-site trip to our development center, Iflexion demonstrated the current Scrum-based development processes, peculiarities of internal collaboration and communication in the course of the development. Seeing Iflexion’s maturity with their own eyes, the Customer engaged us for long-term collaboration.

Ambitious Objectives

Iflexion set up a full-time dedicated software development team aimed to provide technology consulting and development assistance to the Customer’s in-house team. The project scope embraced 3 major directions:

  • Websites’ maintenance & improvement. Allocated on separate domains, the sites possess complex feature sets, including advanced e-commerce modules.
  • Corporate system support and maintenance. A major part of the project consisted in enhancement and day-to-day support of the company’s enterprise system. Keeping all business-related information (orders, customers, products, documentation) in one place, the system plays a vital role in workflows’ centralization and unification among the geographically dispersed employees.
  • BI-enabled design center. Along with current systems’ support, Iflexion was also engaged in a strategic development of an online design planner, providing customers with flexible customization tools, from modifying furniture color and shape to objects’ arrangement to fit to exact room measurements. According to the Customer’s idea, users would be able to save and print 2D or 3D design projects and pick them up in the store, getting final planning advice and assistance from the staff.

In the course of the project, our specialists applied long-standing technology expertise of web and mobile development, including PHP, JavaScript and Python for websites and enterprise system enhancement, and iOS – for mobile apps development.

Team Structure

People working together effectively are the foundation of any successful project. Recognizing this fact, Iflexion assigned clear roles and responsibilities to each person in the project, both from the Customer and Iflexion sides. These two communities worked very closely together in order to break down possible communication barriers and reach proper synergy.

As presented on the scheme above, the efficient collaboration framework for this engagement rested on synergy of development teams guided by team leads; technology CTO, technical coordinators and tech leads responsible for technical planning and review and resource and account managers providing overall strategic direction and handling budgeting and staffing issues.

Divided into 3 teams in correspondence with the project scope, Iflexion’s engagement has been gradually increasing:

Development Methodology

Considering the project’s specifics, the Customer chose Scrum development methodology based on iterative and incremental software product build-up. Led by a Scrum coach on the Customer’s side and backed up by a project manager on our side, the development process falls into 3-week sprints, each following the scheme:

Flexible approach to customer relationship building enabled our team to become an intrinsic part of the company’s IT department. Working over the same piece of code, the unified team never stops communicating, holding every-day video conferences and organizing regular on-site business trips.

Additionally, every newcomer joining the team comes to the UK office for active knowledge transfer and faster adaptation to the project.

Perceptions

Despite being successful in the core business activity, the Customer were extremely conservative and firm about IT workflows organization.

Iflexion was the first company they asked outsourcing services from, so we conducted solid education work before the collaboration started. Our team depicted the fundamentals of the dedicate center model to the Customer and suggested comprehensive and mutually beneficial cooperation patterns.

Result

Thanks to in-depth technology and methodology expertise, Iflexion managed to establish strong long-term relationship with a giant of the UK and USA furniture manufacturing market. Progressive dynamics of Iflexion’s team growth and recommendation of our services to a sister company by the Customer indicates their complete satisfaction with our input.

However, the foremost achievement for Iflexion is the fact of becoming an inherent part of their company, rather than a third-party service provider.

Screenshots

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