We are very happy when customers say that our product has helped them become better and bears fruit – Interview with Wezom
Techreviewer spoke with Wezom, web and mobile development company from Ukraine. The interview is a part of a series on web development. Learn more about Wezom on their Techreviewer profile.
Please, introduce yourself and your company. What does your company specialize in?
My name is Sergey Guzenko, CEO of the IT company Wezom.
We are engaged in the development of custom solutions and help to digitalize the business. We specialize in the development of solutions for e-Commerce, Logistics, Real Estate and help manufacturers switch to the D2C model.
Who is your ideal client? What industries, regions or types of businesses are you focusing on?
If we talk about e-Commerce clients, these are companies that are doing the second or third project, they already know how online trading works, they have established business processes, they understand that they need a proven company with great experience, high expertise, and discipline.
In logistics, we like to work with companies that have a clear organizational structure, established business processes, but these companies are forced to transform, look towards optimization, cost reduction, and automation, they create custom software to keep pace with the times and remain competitive.
And if we are talking about Real Estate, these are large developers and construction corporations that create infrastructures for managing their real estate objects.
What makes you different from competitors? What are your main competitive advantages?
First of all, we are distinguished by the experience, the company has been on the market for over 20 years, during this time we have collected many cases: we have working examples of large complex solutions that we can show.
And we managed to become experts: we understand how it works, we made millions of mistakes for our money and the money of previous clients, thus we will save the money of current clients. Due to this, the development time is reduced: we already know what to do, and what not, so we achieve the result faster than those who do it for the first time.
It is financially profitable to work with us, and there are several reasons for that: first, we write in Laravel (in PHP), which is much cheaper than any other technology, but at the same time it is reliable; the second - due to the office in the region (the main staff of developers is here), the cost is lower. Yes, Ukrainian outsourcing is not the cheapest option on the world market, but the most profitable in terms of price-quality ratio.
Communication at a high level: we work on Agile, with one- or two-week sprints, respectively, our clients are constantly aware of how things are going on the project. And to smooth out the time difference, we transfer project managers to the customers' time zone. Thus, we are always in touch, and the deadlines are not delayed due to the impossibility of discussing further actions.
What is your company’s core business model – outsourcing or outstuffing? Do you work with subcontractors? Why do you think such a model brings additional value to your business and your clients?
Outsourcing. 20 years ago, we started as a small team that made custom websites in a rented apartment. Gradually, we have grown into a whole IT company, but our principles have remained unchanged. We love what we do, our passion is the result of the client, we are passionate about it and strive to do everything as best as possible. After all, it is teamwork that is the basis of capitalization in the modern world. So we have assembled a team of like-minded people, for whom joint work and the effectiveness of the project are in the first place. And this, by the way, is also one of our competitive advantages. Therefore, we do not sell employees to outstaff, we bring much more value as a whole.
And it is much cheaper for clients to pay us and shift the responsibility onto us. Employees, quality, deadlines are our problems, and we are responsible for this with contracts, penalties, and reputation.
Collecting and maintaining a team is what we have been doing for 20 years. If you are interested in repeating this path, albeit faster - in 10 years, you will nevertheless lose 10 years. Outsourcing is an international practice, long ago everyone proved that it is much cheaper, easier, better, more reliable, more efficient, and faster.
No, as a rule we don’t work with subcontractors.
How has COVID-19 affected your company? How has it changed your processes? What challenges has the pandemic added to you and your team daily work?
We have added massive remote work experience. We had remote employees, as the company grew and we took on the staff regardless of the city of residence. But these were very few. Due to the pandemic, the entire staff had to be transferred to remote work. Organized remote work of employees, provided them with equipment so that the quality of work would not suffer. This is a new, rather interesting experience for us.
We had to intensify work with personnel. Since now everyone has switched to remote work, the whole world has become our competitor. So we started to pay even more attention to the internal HR-brand of the company.
We often practice personal meetings between the client and the team, they need to see who is working on their product. Now it became more difficult, we had to disinfect the office every time to prepare it for the client's meeting. Some have tried to avoid such events, but we insist that customers come to production, and we try to provide a safe environment for this. If clients still refuse, we conduct video tours of the office and introduce them to the team via ZOOM.
And the pandemic has become a stimulus for a strong boost of the team. Customers are in a rush, pay a lot, and want a great product.
We regularly conduct assessments for employees to understand where our weaknesses are and to work on them. Those who are unable to improve - leave the team. The rest advance and form a new level.
How has the pandemic affected your clients?
Negatively, of course. It is felt that the business is sinking, we do not see a business that orders some solutions from us and enjoys profits. 80% of our clients are medium-sized businesses that now have to change a lot. Solvency has fallen, and this is felt.
Has COVID-19 influenced your marketing strategies? What are the main channels you use to promote your services now?
It made us expand our consciousness and look at ourselves from all sides, to understand where we can be most useful to our clients.
Our clients in the US mostly come on recommendation, and we traveled regularly to meet in person and discuss all the details. Of course, in 2020 we were unable to travel to the United States due to the pandemic.
We have just started an active promotion to the western market, so we are testing all possible channels: directories, paid ads, SEO.
Projects & Clients
What are the key factors that you consider when making a project estimation and proposal for a new client? Please, describe your process when you get contacted by a new potential client.
When a potential client contacts us, the first thing we do is analyze the request for compliance with our specialization. We then review the available documentation and prepare questions for the client.
The next stage is a ZOOM call with the client, where we find out detailed information about the current business processes and IT solutions that are used in the company, as well as - the weak points that these solutions have.
We analyze and ask questions about the goals and tasks that the project will perform for the business.
We clarify whether the client studied ready-made solutions, whether there were any attempts to implement them.
We agree on the requirements for deadlines, budgets, and implementation technologies.
Based on the data obtained, we prepare a transformation concept in the form of a mindmap and a backlog with references and demonstrate it to the client.
When the client and the team have synchronized the vision of the future IT solution, the team prepares a project estimate. At this stage, we take into account the terms of implementation, the necessary human resources, and the project budget.
After the assessment, we prepare an individual offer for the client. We prefer to present our offer in person, but we also allow online meetings.
What are the top challenges you and your team face in the software development process most often and how do you deal with them?
The most significant problem is the time gap, about 8 hours in time. We transfer teams at the time of customers to provide convenient communication for the client. Because of this, managers and management of the company often have to work overtime.
What are the criteria for the success of a software development project?
We check compliance with requirements, absence of bugs, adaptability - we guarantee the technical quality of the product. But its success is determined by positive changes in the results of the client's business: increased awareness, sales, conversions, acceleration, and simplification of some processes due to their automation.
We are very happy when customers say that our product has helped them become better and bears fruit.
The final product must solve certain problems and help the business. We always strive to make the product even better, for this we try to completely immerse ourselves in the client's business, to understand its processes and tasks. And in the process, we offer solutions that can help improve an existing or future project.
From your experience, what are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?
Keep your word, do everything efficiently, slightly exceed their expectations, show expertise, sometimes argue, sometimes defend your opinion, sometimes refuse, offer solutions to some problems or tasks, preferably several options. And the main thing is to be a partner.
How do you assess the role of research agencies like Techreviewer in bridging the gap between clients and service providers?
As the client said at the last call: "why do you have 12 reviews, and everything about web development, only two about mobile development?" We had to explain why.
They have weight, unquestionably.