5 Nightmares to Avoid Before Outsourcing your Project

5 Nightmares to Avoid Before Outsourcing your Project

Outsourcing has become an increasingly popular trend, as more and more businesses become more cost and quality conscious especially for website and mobile app development. It is the process of transferring a company’s business to a foreign third party in place of an internal source. These third parties provide services, manufacture products, and perform duties at a lower cost and improve efficiency and productivity. Outsourcing has become a common movement for technological services that make it feasible for businesses to gain service and expertise that they would otherwise lack both financially and skill- wise.

It has transformed global business, with an estimated $100 billion spent on contracts a year. Offshoring allows companies to leverage a global knowledge base, enabling access to world- class capabilities. Companies also employ outsourcing to focus on core functions of the business while having details taken care of by outside experts.

A perfect example of this would be a business delegating application work to a third party to avoid the financial and work burden in- house, while the business focuses on marketing and advertising the new product. Sounds simple enough? Not quite. Sometimes in the desire to save money with the convincing lure of low- cost workers in places like India, China, and the Philippines, good implementation flies out the door.

One of the biggest outsourcing failures was by British Airways. After deciding to outsource their IT, the airline had six major IT failures in a 12- month period. 300,000 travelers were stranded with little- to- no information, sent home with no bags, and bused for hours to hotels to stay overnight. A couple even had to postpone their wedding, with their family/ wedding party scattered across Europe and unable to travel on their scheduled flights.

British Airways’ tech outage was due to its IT department being offshored to India as an attempt to save on labor costs.

British Airways GMB Union leader Mick Rix stated “This could have all been avoided. BA in 2016 made hundreds of dedicated and loyal IT staff redundant and outsourced the work to India. BA have made substantial profits in for a number of years, and many viewed the company’s actions of being just plain greedy.”

Like all business initiatives, outsourcing comes with risks. For example, finding a great e-commerce website designer sounds simple but not always easy. That’s why understanding what can go wrong is a great way to reduce your risk of losing time, money, and energy on a project. Companies who have experienced outsourcing nightmares have two things in common: lack of predisposition and lack of communication with the vendors.

Nightmare #1 Employees Disappearing

When someone slips up in your office, they are held accountable for their mistakes and the consequences that follow. However, because there is no way to hold overseas developers accountable, often times they disappear mid- project when things go wrong, leaving you with a big mess and no one to fix it.

When contracting outside providers to perform tasks, it is important to create an explicit contract to be signed by both sides. Drawing up a contract such as: the contractors receiving 25% of the cost upfront, another 25% upon sending substantial progress, and the remaining 50% when the project is complete and tested thoroughly is key to outsourcing.   

By laying the ground rules, it creates incentives for both parties to succeed in the project, thus eliminating the possibility of a developer ditching the unfinished task and running off with your money.

Nightmare #2: Delayed Delivery with a Product far from What You Asked For

Picture this:

You have an app in the iOS App store doing well. You want to bring the app to Android, so you outsource the project to Android app developers outside the county. Agreeing on a week deadline, you begin to advertise your future product. The week goes by and you’ve received nothing. When you contact them, the developer claims to have been sick and will deliver the app in 10 days.

15 days later, you finally receive the completed application from the offshoring team. You test the app, only to realize that the screen, features, and fonts looked nothing like the iOS code you sent.

Now you’ve lost time, money, and your marketing opportunity.

While it can be difficult to determine which vendors will avoid situations like this, paying for only a portion of the job in advance can provide incentives for the developers to produce the product on time and accurately. By doing this, you will also prevent losing the full payment for a project if it the vendor does not deliver what you asked for.

Another way to prevent delays is to create smaller milestones and check in with the developers every few weeks/ days, depending on how long the project is.

Nightmare #3: Poor Communication

Expectations for design and tasks can be lost through poor communication, presenting you with a product or service that you did not ask for. Outsourcing can turn into a game of telephone, where each person translates the project their own way.

Jeremy Schaedler, a business owner, learned that the best way to communicate with vendors is through written instructions and diagrams. Too much information is lost through verbal communication; “Outsourcing IT overseas is a great way to get quality programming talent at a fraction of the domestic cost, but getting a quality product depends on establishing a clear method of communication.”

Another way to communicate with developers better is to continuously communicate with everyone involved, making it a team exchange rather than a single interchange. Making good communication a top priority while outsourcing can save you future headaches and complications.

Nightmare #4: Rushing in Without Proper Due Diligence

Research is key when selecting an outsourcing company. Many businesses assume that there is a “one size fits all” for outsourcing developers, creating a big problem when the developers either do not have a good reputation or they do not have the expertise to complete tasks. For example, an expert iOS app developer has different skills from an Android developer or a web development company. Be sure the service and skills that what you are looking for lines up with those of the vendor. Ask the outsourcing company to send samples and references to contact past customers, before rushing into a contract.

Nightmare #5: Setting Unrealistic Expectations

While outsourcing is a great way to save time and money, greed sometimes comes into play. Some businesses decide to outsource and forget to keep realistic expectations in check. It’s easy to get carried away when a vendor seems to be able to do it all for you. When anticipations are high, you run the risk of receiving an inferior product or service when initial perception doesn’t match the reality.  

To avoid this, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Dream big but set sustainable and shorter goals. Don’t expect too much of your vendor and plan out goals and expectations. Give it time- time is key to success and you don’t want your developer to cut corners.

Takeaway:

Here at SYNERGY, we understand the risks of outsourcing. We have a strong team that works with various companies and have created a great track record. We eliminate failures, by creating a process that includes:

  • Allocating a dedicated team lead for the project
  • Constant communication
  • Frequent project updates

Here is the  4- step process on building a product:

  1. Design
  2. Prototype
  3. Develop
  4. Testing & Launch

The dark side of outsourcing may scare you off, but if done correctly and carefully, it can benefit your business and help cut costs. Outsourcing failures are quite common but can be avoided, leaving your business with more time and energy to focus on core business processes. 

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How Much Do Apps Actually Cost to Build? What Do I Have to Do to Create One?

How Much Do Apps Actually Cost to Build? What Do I Have to Do to Create One?

“Hi, How Much Will My App Cost to Create?”

A commonly asked question but an answer that few know.  Mobile applications are starting to become more popular than traditional websites. Apps are vital to today’s world. Without them, a PC is just a typewriter, and a smartphone or tablet is just a device with a glass screen.

Apps now make up 50% of all mobile data by volume. People spend 89% of mobile media time on apps, compared to a mere 11% on browsers. Users find apps quicker and more convenient, with a wireless internet connection not always required while on the application because they store data locally on the device. Location- based apps such as Twitter and Tinder are very popular right now, riding the new wave of innovation.

Web Designer

These days everyone wants to join in on the modern day success stories: get rich quick and become the next creator of Uber or Whatsapp. Apps seem to be a simple thing: you think of a brilliant idea, create the app, and it goes viral and you become rich. However, it is not so simple.

With this new frenzy on apps, many entrepreneurs have visions of creating their own.

“Can you give me a ball -park amount for cost and timing?”

A question on every visionary’s mind but a difficult question to answer. With that said, when estimating prices, the cost is determined by three factors: the breadth of the work to be done, the time it will take, and the budget. It is also determined by whether or not you want to create an iOS app or Android (Android is more expensive). Our advice is to start with an iOS app developer and once you become more experienced and your app gains traction, move onto Android app development.

In most cases, the budget is fixed. However, many do not know the extent of money that they will need in order to bring their ideas to reality. Uber cost around 100- 500k for their two apps and the dashboard for the company owner to monitor everything on the app. Twitter cost around 40- 60k in a span of 3-6 months.

Read on to find out exactly what you have to do and how much it will cost to create your app.

Phases of App Building:

Defining Business Rules

In this phase, you find your team. To make things simpler, it is better to work with one company because this is a very interactive phase. When looking for people to develop your app, it important to find a web and app development team who has previously completed a full life cycle of app building.  In this phase, you will lay out your visions and needs for the future app. Be very specific when laying out what your app should be able to do- this way it will be easier for the developer to understand exactly what you want.

For example, Uber needed two apps; one for the customer, and one for the driver. This was determined in this first phase. Of course, more demand for the app means more costs so the budget will also be determined.

Designing

This phase is to design the layout and logo for the app. This is very important as having an appealing and sleek design can make or break your product. You can organize your designs on Photoshop to customize your app and show them to the developer.

Web Development Company

Prototyping/ Creating a Flow

Now you have created the app, and are playing around with the general layout to test the designs. This early sample of your product can test the concept of the app that you are trying to produce.

Coding

After evaluating your designs through the prototype, you will create 3 versions of your app on a milestone basis to perfect it:

Alpha Version: This is the very first version of your app. This part has a few key features to see how the app is going to work. For example, for Uber, this version would be tracking the car.

Beta Version: This second version is more advanced. This version will be able to be tested by other users outside of the developing company. For Uber, this phase would test if the customer can actually pay for the ride and if the driver can take the money from the customer.

Final Version: This is the final version of the app. By testing the full app you have created, it will avoid launching an app with bugs and help improve the software. One thing to keep in mind is to use a team that can configure servers and keeps everything (like your customers’ information) secure. The last thing you want is to have private information such as credit card numbers leaked.

Launching

Congrats! The day is finally here- you’ve now created your first app. Host your app on Amazon web services as it is the standard and most secure host. Make sure you have a marketing strategy to notify the world about your great app.

Lastly, the rule of thumb is that when you’re creating an app, you need to budget for at least 3-5 months to build. On average, app development should have a 50- 100k budget with some leeway for more spending.

Example Costs of Popular Apps:

Based on market research, these are the costs to create these apps based on their feature functions. The more complex the features are added to means more coding and more testing that needs to be done, causing it to be more expensive and time-consuming.

How Much it Would Cost to Build an App like Facebook:

The Facebook app is available for both iOS and Android devices, allowing users to add friends, message, post statuses, add/ manage their profile, access their newsfeed, posting pictures, “places”, etc. In addition, the app allows users to share photo stories with their friends (similar to Snapchat) with fun filters/ effects that disappear after 24 hours. The estimated cost to build the Facebook app for both Android and iOS would be $100,000 – $250,000.

How Much it Would Cost to Build an App like Yelp: 

The Yelp app is available for both iOS and Android devices. This app has features to provide restaurant goers with authentic reviews from previous customers. Customers can write & read reviews, post photos & ratings, read menus, get directions, and bookmark restaurants for future trips. The estimated cost to build the app for both Android and iOS would be $65,455- $168,000

How Much it Would Cost to Build an App like Instagram:

The Instagram app for iOS and Android allows users to connect with their friends and follow interests. Features include picture posting, liking pictures, commenting, following other users, live story, direct messaging, etc. The Instagram app has many more features than their website, which only allows users to comment, like, and follow others, making their app their main platform.  The estimated cost to build the app for both Android and iOS would be $46,000- $67,000.

How Much it Would Cost to Build an App like Uber: 

Uber can be used on both iOS and Android, but there is a plot- twist that many do not know. There are two Uber apps; one for the customer (that many are familiar with) and an app for the driver. The user app enables riders to use their location to find drivers nearby and communicate with them in order to catch their ride. The app easily lets customers pay the driver through the app, making it convenient and hassle- free. The driver’s app allows them to find their rider and coordinate with other riders nearby for their “UberPool” feature. Both apps have a rating feature which can be helpful when finding drivers/ picking up customers. Because Uber has two apps, it cost more money and time to build, so this is something to factor in The estimated cost to build the app for both Android and iOS would be $95,000- $150,000

Takeaway:

Here at SYNERGY Consulting, we believe in fair pricing and are very transparent based on our milestones and deliverables. Don’t be scared away by these pricings; we want to work with businesses who have a realistic view of how long it takes to test and launch an app. There is tremendous complexity when it comes to app building- especially when it comes to the Android and iOS platforms- because they are very different. Mastering the coding of an app is very important so it doesn’t crash; one of the reasons why customers delete them. The best way to get a complete pricing from any development firm is to make sure that you define your feature list, your user base (customers vs. admin), wireframes and flow chart (even if they are drawn by hand) to give the app development company a precise idea of what the app is expected to do.

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