CMA found that outsourcing their website management to Capitol Tech Solutions, they were able to efficiently and cost effectively maintain and grow their digital presence.
When the California Medical Association’s in-house web developer left, they needed an effective solution to maintaining their large website and membership manage database.
The California Medical Association (CMA), a leading association representing physicians in the state of California, had to decide between hiring a new in-house web developer or outsourcing the duties of maintaining their new large, technically integrated and complex website. After being presented with the benefits of local outsourcing, CMA engaged Capitol Tech Solutions (CTS) to maintain their website and were able to realize these key benefits:
1. Increase their ROI
2. Increase their quality of service
3. Expanded position benefits beyond web development
4. Effective engagement with their members through ever expanding integrated website
Association needs a web developer to maintain website and database, but struggles to find the right fit.
After losing their in-house web developer, who worked with one 3rd party vendor for the creation of their website and another that designed the integrated membership management database, the CMA found itself searching for the expertise needed to fully utilize their new website. They needed to find someone with the ability to manage many integrated pieces including:
- eCommerce integrations through online store
- Membership Management
- Professional resources for Physicians throughout California
- Integrations with demands from various county chapters
The void created with the absence of an in-house web developer found the CMA staff facing the inability to modify or enhance their website as change requests began to come in from different internal departments. The CMA’s options were reduced to three options; having the company that developed the site make the modifications, resulting in high financial and time costs, hiring a new in-house developer, or outsourcing the work to a local firm with experience and expertise in web development.
Project Goals and Objectives
After meeting with the CMA, we determined their primary goal focused on providing a great user experience for their members with the ability for their in-house departments to easily make changes and updates to their site in the most cost effective and efficient way possible.
Considering Local Outsourcing vs In-house Developer
After meeting with and gaining a solid understanding the CMA's goals, our team set out to present a compelling case that detailed the benefits of locally outsourcing their digital needs. Internally, we brainstormed with all of the departments that would be involved, and were able to highlight six potential benefits:
1. Collaboration with peers
2. Improved communication through onsite access
3. Inherit well defined software processes of an established firm.
4. Ability to develop solutions to problems outside the normal scope of a web developer
5. Ability to adjust the scale of work based on job demand
6. Heightened job satisfaction through cultural fit
Collaboration with peers
A common problem in many creative endeavors comes from a person’s creativity stalling, leaving them with a feeling as if they are beating their head against the wall searching for answers with no answers in sight. To pass this creative block, an individual may search Google, post in online forms and wait for responses that can result in costly delays. However, in an outsourced environment, the same developer has peers he collaborates with and senior developers that can offer guidance and suggestions.
Improved communication through onsite access
Local outsourcing has the benefit of improved communications. When working with remote companies, issues need to be resolved over Web Ex without direct communication. Outsourcing locally allows our team to be in face to face meetings with CMA, clearly going through all requirements. If other team members need to be involved beyond the web developer, our senior staff can join meetings to facilitate higher level conversations and understanding of the issues.
Inherit well defined software processes of an established firm
At CTS, we are experts in the digital landscape, while CMA are experts in the medical field. By outsourcing their digital needs, CMA can inherit best practice software development procedures that makes their processes more efficient and effective, ultimately saving time for all parties involved.
Ability to develop solutions to problems outside the normal scope of a web developer
The web is a complex, constantly changing entity. While a web developer has expertise in creating functionality, they may not be the best graphic designer or may struggle on server-side setup that IT experts typically handle. Most importantly, anything on the website is a marketing resource, and a developer may not have the marketing skills required to optimize the site from a marketing standpoint. At CTS, our team includes individuals that are experts in each of these aspects, providing insight that results in a more effective digital solution.
Ability to adjust the scale of work based on job demand
With the sudden departure of their previous onsite consultant, CMA was experiencing a backlog of work. As with any developer hired, there is a learning curve on the systems that are being used. While initially there was a need for a full-time developer to learn the system, implement processes, catch up on outstanding work, and stabilize the processes of work, once accomplished CTS was able to scale down their involvement, resulting in time and money savings for CMA. Conversely, if a large project were to present itself, the contract can be ramped back up to support the additional development effort.
Heightened job satisfaction through cultural fit
People prefer to be around like-minded individuals, and software developers are no different. By being around other developers in the out sourced company, there is a higher likelihood of overall job satisfaction and stability. Being the only person who does a role at a firm can isolate an individual and cause for a higher employee turnover rate. Our team of developers is tightknit, and by keeping the group together, we have increased stability for our clients.
Local Outsourcing benefits outweigh costs of in-house web developer
After outlining the benefits of local outsourcing to the CMA, we proposed a solution that would benefit both parties through optimizing their website experience.
Provide one primary development resource dedicated to the CMA team, with backend support from our staff.
Work onsite at the client 2 days a week.
Backend staff will support graphical work, IT infrastructure issues, and also support for vacation time or after hoursâ€™ migrations/emergencies
Six-month progress meetings with upper level management to identify process enhancements and improvements.
Provide one primary development resource dedicated to the CMA team, with backend support from our staff
The CMA staff already had a single point of contact for the marketing department, so we felt that an account manager on our side would be redundant. We opted to assign a single web developer to this project. He would work directly with the CMA team on the tasks and issues that arise. But we would still have weekly meetings with our team members to address any potential issues, pain points, and roadblocks that popped up preventing us from completing the development tasks quickly and efficiently.
Work onsite at the client 2 days a week
Having our developers locally onsite at CMA removes common communication barriers with remote outsourcing firms. The benefit of being local, in Sacramento less than a mile away from the CMA offices, allows our developers to be onsite for that important client interaction. Things pop up throughout the day, and our team can be onsite to resolves issues instantly by being in their office. At the same time, having three days a week in our office gives the developer the chance to reach out to peers regarding development issues.
Backend staff will support graphical work, IT infrastructure issues, and also support for vacation time or after hours’ migrations/emergencies
Many Web Developers are great programmers, but don’t have the graphic design skills. And vise-versa, a web designer might be able to layout content beautifully on a page, but doesn’t have the technical background to implement integrated solutions. So, we take a team approach to a web development solution and have our designers on staff available to assist with any graphic detail that is outside of the capabilities of our developers. This goes with IT staff of SQL developers to solve complex issues. Having that backend support and additional skill set included in the contract for a set of hours a month allows our team to provide a complete solution to the client.
Six-month progress meetings with upper level management to identify process enhancements and improvements
We want to assure that our team is doing a great job. Since we don’t have project managers on staff, we rely on communication between our management team and CMA’s on a regular basis to adjust the contract as necessary, improve processes, and make sure we are achieving the goals set forth by the client.
With these four critical pieces in place for our web development team, we presented the contract to the CMA. Not only did it address their stated goals, but offered them a more complete solution than bringing on an in-house developer.
CMA continues to engage with Capitol Tech Solutions for their web development needs
We engaged with the CMA for over 3 years supporting their web environment. The initial contract was only a year, CMA choose to renew the engagement due their ability to meet the stated goals. With the second year, we were able to reduce the number of hours based on the work load, saving the CMA money while still maintaining their strong web presence. Our developer engaged our web designers on a regular basis to provide graphics, CSS, and reviews of graphical work. That allowed him to deliver functional and elegant solutions consistently for CMA.
Halfway through the second year, they embarked on an app project that our team was able to support by ramping the contract back up, integrating our designers and app developers, and supporting their needs to reach out to their members. In the 3rd year, as they planned to transition to a new website, we vastly ramped down the contract. We still support their existing needs, saving them costs by not requiring a full-time developer, yet are able to maintain, support, and enhance the existing site during the migration process.
Overall, the project has been a huge success. They were able to continue to enhance their users experience on their website by proving new tools in a cost-effective manner, all while keeping costs low and getting a great Return on Investment for their website development needs. If you’re business is having the same debate of internal web designer or developer vs a local outsource, contact Capitol Tech Solutions Business Development specialist today to learn more about how locally outsourcing to experts is a great investment for you.
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