Share | Client Review | Sunflower Lab

Share Client Review

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Client Review


Jan 19, 2018

Jared Young, Co-Founder, Share

Validated By
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review summary

A deep understanding of the latest technology and a deliberate but timely approach to development make Sunflower Lab a reliable partner. They provide valuable advice on scalability, and work collaboratively to build a product that aligned with the client’s business goals.

5/5

Schedule

5/5

Quality

5/5

Cost

5/5

Willing To Refer

5/5

Overall

Background


Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a co-founder and the head of product at a company called SHARE, which provides ride sharing solutions to communities.

Opportunity/Challenge


What challenge were you trying to address with Sunflower Lab?

We were looking to a group to assist in developing our MVP and market product for our rider application, driver application, and web portal.

Solution


What was the scope of their involvement?

Since the start of our engagement, we’ve completed an MVP for our web admin application, our rider application, and most recently an MVP for our driver application, which has an “attendance” feature that allows the driver to track who is going in and out of the vehicle. The web app was built using an Angular framework, and the mobile apps were built in Swift for iOS and Java for Android. I’ve served as a product manager for the project, and have worked closely with their developers while outlining our requirements for design, UX/UI, etc. Ronak [CEO & Co-Founder] provided substantive advice on the technologies we implemented, and offered insight on business decisions regarding the scaling process and which contracts to pursue in moving forward.

As far as feature requirements, the rider app had to enable users to make a profile, schedule rides, and provide data on the trip, e.g., driver location, estimated time, and any information on additional pick-ups. The driver app was very similar. We’re using Google API mapping tools for our live tracking component. The admin app allows us to create organizations/customers and oversee user roles and login credentials. We can also manually input route information to create specific rides or trips that riders can schedule. In moving forward, we’re looking to expand this piece of the project and include more complex mapping algorithms to create a more intelligent routing process.

What is the team composition?

I interact primarily with Ronak and Dhaval [COO, Sunflower Lab], who has served as our project lead. We also worked with Yash [CTO, Sunflower Lab] and several other designers/developers over the course of the project. There were usually about six developers working on the project at any given time, in addition to Ronak and Dhaval.

How did you come to work with Sunflower Lab?

They were referred to us by one of our VC investors.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve invested $100,000-$120,000 in the engagement so far, and the entire project will cost $200,000-$250,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in September of 2017 and we’re still currently working together.

Results & Feedback


What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We just finished building out the attendance feature, which will allow us to move forward with one of our larger clients. We’re planning on about 1,000 rides per week with this single client, so this is a huge win for us. We’ve just deployed it to the production environment, and will be submitting the mobile apps to the App Store and Google Play Store shortly.

How did Sunflower Lab perform from a project management standpoint?

We use Asana for task management, and I typically make scrum boards on Trello. They use Asana internally as well. We primarily use Slack for day-to-day communication, and I am in constant contact with Ronak and Dhaval.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They offer a hybrid development model between onshore and offshore developers, which is great for startups. It gives you the option to meet with developers that are local while saving on costs like you would with an offshore firm. Their communication has been great, including with the offshore developers that we’ve worked with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I would love to see a bit more transparency around the work being done. I know that they’re working hard, and it’s never been an issue of delivery. I would just like to have more insight into the progression of development. We communicate well and plan together, and then all the sudden we’ve hit our project timeline, met our budget, and completed our scope of work. This has been great, but the details in between are sometimes lost.

Advice for potential customers?

Know that you’ll be getting into business with a very honest and talented agency. Ronak is very passionate about the products he builds, and is always willing to work with the client to make sure that their business objectives will be accomplished. As a business owner, Ronak understands many different industries, but he is also a technologist. He knows how to implement the latest technologies and make the best product possible. Just be firm on your vision, and communicate it as clearly as possible. They’ll get it done.

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Town Money Saver Client Review

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Client Review


Jan 16, 2018

Tom Hofacre, Creative Director, Town Money Saver

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review summary

Their excellent communications skills and effective project management allowed for a productive and efficient collaborative environment. Despite most of their programmers being located elsewhere, the project lead’s local base and quick responses made the development process go smoothly.

5/5

Schedule

5/5

Quality

5/5

Cost

5/5

Willing To Refer

5/5

Overall

Background


Introduce your business and what you do there.

My company is Town Money Saver, which is a franchise-based direct mail advertising company. Our primary product is a coupon magazine that goes out to about 160 different communities in the Midwest, as well as a website and a mobile app—the latter of which was built by Sunflower— that complement our print product. Although my title is Creative Director, I am also heavily involved with the marketing of the company, and therefore worked closely on the overall look of the app.

Opportunity/Challenge


What challenge were you trying to address with Sunflower Lab?

We already had a mobile app, but it was dated. Having just completed a rebranding campaign, we wanted to update the app’s look to be more inline with the re-brand, as well as adjust its functionality. I wasn’t with the company at the time, but the original app developer was located in India, and the distance made the process extremely arduous. When we began the process, it was important to find someone with the requisite skill set who was located close by.

Solution


What was the scope of their involvement?

They started by developing the iOS app and based the Android version off of that build, although both apps were mostly created during an overlapping time period. We were pleased by their initial work on the iOS version and approved the Android one as a result. I believe that they used the native development kits to build both apps. The iOS app did not have a dedicated version for the iPad in addition to the iPhone; they focused more on getting the scaling right.

They did a fair amount of work with our website developer, using an API to interface with our online database in order to find our advertisers based on location. The goal of the app was to allow the customer to check to see if Town Money Saver had any coupons or offers near their location, as well as to be able to input other locations to see what might be available elsewhere. It would then provide the customer with in-app details about the advertiser and directions for how to get to any given offer’s location. One feature that was heavily requested by our advertisers was that when customers redeem coupons digitally, the offer then be retired from within the app, to prevent multiple uses of single-use discounts.

We had a timeline in mind before we even began work on the apps. Town Money Saver has a big annual meeting to bring all of our franchises together, and the goal was to launch the app in time to be able to demonstrate it at the meeting, which Sunflower made possible.

What is the team composition?

Beyond the occasional brief email with developers, the only person with whom I had consistent contact was Ronak Patel [CEO, Sunflower Lab] himself, so I do not know the exact make-up of the team.

How did you come to work with Sunflower Lab?

We conducted significant online research that involved a variety of websites that rank app developers, although I do not remember which specific ones. (Clutch may have factored into our decision-making, but I cannot quite recall.) Within the higher-ranked dev shops we found, we then looked for one that was relatively local for us. Although a fair amount of Sunflower’s operation is in India, Ronak is located in Columbus [Ohio]. After a conversation with him about our needs and ascertaining that they had a lot of experience with the type of app that we needed, we decided to engage their services. Their location in Columbus was a big factor in our choosing to work with them.

How much have you invested with Sunflower Lab?

We have spent about $28,000 on the apps.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them around March of 2017 and the apps were launched in November of that year.

Results & Feedback


What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We do not yet have numbers in terms of app downloads, in part because we have not yet been as aggressive about promoting the apps as we should be. Our goal in the near future is to figure out the most effective way to push for more downloads and figure out how best to take advantage of some app-only features.

The biggest reaction we received was at the aforementioned meeting. Everybody loved the new look and the apps’ functionality; they gave us a lot of great feedback about Sunflower’s work. Additionally, a lot of our advertisers are now doing specific things just for the apps, which demonstrates how they have embraced it as a platform for their products.

How did Sunflower Lab perform from a project management standpoint?

Ronak was a very good point of contact; he came to our office a couple of times to kick off the project, and we had regular conference calls. He was always quick to respond when we needed something, and he was very clear about what he needed from us.

Sunflower collaborated smoothly with our website developer, which meant that we did not have to be too hands-on with that. I believe they used Crashlytics to roll out the different builds. Every time there was a new build, we would get an automated email telling us that it was ready for our review. We did a lot of communicating that way, which was very convenient and efficient. It allowed us to send them changes or requests almost as soon as a new build came out, and helped them to provide us with further updates even faster.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their communication in general was extremely impressive; we always felt like we knew the status of the project. I also appreciated the different types of communications tools that they used at any given stage, be it a phone call, an in person meeting, or a video call that allowed us to screen share. Also, despite their developers being located offshore, it felt like we were still working with a local, thanks to Ronak’s direct involvement.

I would definitely recommend Sunflower. Not only did they do what we asked of them, they also offered suggestions that we had not even considered, using their experience from past projects to steer us in the right direction. They ended up acting as a de facto consultant as well. We are probably going to continue to use them on projects in the future, either on a maintenance level or to further update our current apps. We were very happy with our collaboration. The combination of being both affordable and local to our area made them a great work partner.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The timing of the final touches on the apps prior to their release was a little lacking. It felt like they thought we were done and had then moved onto other projects, or as if our project had been put on a back-burner. It did not interfere with our deadline, but the end product wrap-up period could use some improvement.


Bluen Sky Propane | Case Study | Sunflower Lab

Blue Sky Propane Client Review

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Client Review


Jan 10, 2018

Tim Donnell, General Partner, Blue Sky Propane

Validated By
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review summary

The app has been extremely well-received by users. The Sunflower Lab team were expert problem solvers, remaining diligent and communicative to ensure they provided the most cost-effective and timely solution.

5/5

Schedule

5/5

Quality

5/5

Cost

5/5

Willing To Refer

5/5

Overall

Background


Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a general partner at Blue Sky Propane, which is a gas delivery company.

Opportunity/Challenge


What challenge were you trying to address with Sunflower Lab?

We needed them to build us an interactive mobile iOS and Android application for our customers.

Solution


What was the scope of their involvement?

We used an Excel spreadsheet to lay out our idea for them. We then paid our back-office software provider to build an API and team up with Sunflower to build a custom-designed app with native software for our roughly 5,000 customers. At the same time, a different company was updating our website, so that served as a blueprint for the app’s design.

The key features for the app include enabling customers to submit orders, schedule refills, as well as see their account history and previous delivery history. They can add and remove credit cards and bank accounts for payments — our payment gateway is NMI. Customers can also get to-date fuel comparisons that tell them how many gallons of gas they used in one year versus another to assist them in gauging how much they should purchase in the future.

How did you come to work with Sunflower Lab?

We found them on Clutch. We searched the list of the top-rated application developers on the site, and Sunflower was among them. We chose three firms from that list at random to contact. With the first, we had a language barrier that made it difficult to communicate with one another. With the second, they never got back to us. Sunflower got back to us, and despite a slight language barrier, we decided to move forward with the partnership.

How much have you invested with Sunflower Lab?

We’ve invested between $43,000 to $45,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in August 2017. The app was supposed to go live on Dec. 1, 2017, but due to a some unforeseen issues, it ended up going live on Dec. 20, 2017. Since then, they’ve made minor fixes here and there, but their work on the app has been minimal.

Results & Feedback


What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Out of our 5,000 customers, only 200 have the app, so we’re still in the process of transitioning and acclimating our customers to it. But of the people who have it, they’ve expressed that they love it and are very thankful for it. We’re looking to get a better idea of customer feedback for the app in about six months from now.

How did Sunflower Lab perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re fantastic. We communicate primarily through phone and email, though we were able to have a face-to-face meeting with Yash. They’re very timely — there are plenty of days where we’d get a response to our email in 30 minutes or less. They were agreeable to doing things over and making changes where needed.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Everything was impressive. They go above and beyond to solve problems for us. For instance, they reached out to let us know we needed a loading page for our app. We came up with some ideas of the page and asked our web developer to put it together, but they were charging around $2,500 for the small animation we wanted. We told Yash and and he said, “Let me see what I can do about it.” Within one day, he came back with a design we loved, and it was only $100. That was terrific problem solving.

Are there any areas they could improve?

It’d be great to be able to use a formal program to track their progress and allows us to see how the app is being designed. It would allow the client a bit more control in the app’s aesthetics and structure.


Storopack Client Review

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Client Review


July 17, 2017

Tommy Moorman, Marketing Manager, StoroPack

Validated By
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review summary

The updated app has gotten a lot of positive feedback and has much easier navigation and functionality. Sunflower Lab is available 24/7 and was transparent and diligent. They are willing to give recommendations and suggestions, demonstrating a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

5/5

Schedule

5/5

Quality

5/5

Cost

5/5

Willing To Refer

5/5

Overall

Background


Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a manufacturing and service provider for the packaging industry and specialize in protective packaging. I run the marketing for North America.

Opportunity/Challenge


What challenges were you trying to address with Sunflower Lab?

We had a mobile app that was a little outdated and we were in the market for a new developer.

Solution


What was the scope of their involvement?

The app was pretty much a mobile site and it was outdated for the fact that it was a little slow and the updates were a little bit behind the times. What we wanted to do was improve the overall efficiency of the app. We felt it needed to be a lot quicker to respond and a little smaller in file size than what it was currently at. We also wanted to reduce the number of clicks to improve the experience of the user. The app is an outreach of our marketing department. It provides our internal sales team as well as our distributors/customers with the marketing material and product information to help drive sales and growth. The app is iOS native and the Android version will be rolled out by the end of the year. We’re going to add a few more features to give our sales teams as well as employees access to perform functions and processes that might be a little bit challenging to do on their computers.

One of the challenges was we’d ended our relationship with our current developer that was going to expire on June 1st which was in the terms of the contract. When we started interviewing companies, a lot of the companies could tell us what we wanted to hear which was they could quickly develop this and launch it by June 1st. With Sunflower Lab we really felt like that was doable. We had a lot more confidence in them. We had it available June 1st on the market but didn’t officially announce it until the end of June. These guys were able to quickly move and adapt to what was currently built to improve and then get it restructured with more efficiency than what it was currently operating at the time. The project was completed quickly.

How did you come to work with Sunflower Lab?

We actually did some searches on Google, came across Clutch, and was able to narrow down a handle full of searches just by going through that directory. We were able to find that Sunflower specialized in mobile app development, therefore, we could find a vendor to fit our needs. We interviewed four companies and brought three in. For us, it was about accountability. We knew by going through this directory that anyone that was listed specialized in mobile applications. We felt confident that whatever company we brought in was going to fit the expertise that we needed. We really hit it off with Sunflower Lab versus some of the other companies.

How much have you invested with Sunflower Lab?

We spent $25,000+ on the iOS version of the app.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in April 2017, and the relationship is ongoing. We’ve already rolled out the next phase so the recent mobile app development has launched. That new version went out at the end of June, and right now we’re in discussions on new developments within the app.

Results & Feedback


Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We don’t have any metrics that we can share because we just launched the new version of the app a few weeks ago. I’ve actually got a meeting with my contact coming up where we’re going to review how many downloads and who’s opening the apps and how long they’re on it. I go back to how swiftly they were able to move and adapt to what we currently had in place in order to transition things smoothly and quickly implement and launch.

One of the favorite functions for users was when the app needed to be updated, it automatically did so in the background of the phones. It wasn’t a requirement for them to delete an app and then go back to a store and download the new version. They just had to open the app and it would update. They didn’t have to even process an update or push that notification. For them, it was an experience that was shocking in a positive way. Users said it was much easier to navigate and the functionality seems more simple. The feedback that I got was extremely positive and I’m still continuing to get good feedback as far as some of the push notifications and some of the efficiency improvements about its functionality.

How did Sunflower Lab perform from a project management standpoint?

Communication is key in most projects and they out performed my expectations. We had a weekly call and one of the benefits with Sunflower is it’s a company that is operational 24/7. We constantly had support even after hours. During times when we’re not working, we’d get back in the office and some of the issues would be corrected by the time we got there. That was refreshing compared to what we were used to in the past. If they asked for something over the weekend and I was able to get it to them, they would quickly respond with another request. They seemed to want to get that information or that content so that they could work on it to attack the project. They were pretty diligent with their work. Another example would be even after a meeting, if there was a slight bit of confusion with what exactly I was requesting, I would get a call pretty quickly after the meeting from either the owner/partner or the project manager to dive in a little bit deeper on the details.

We used Trello which allowed us to monitor the project scope as they were working on small projects versus large scale throughout the whole entire process. We could see live updates. We could communicate and interact with the developers instantly if we needed to in order to maybe support any questions they have or if we have a question for them. I thought that made the whole project a lot more visible. I had one key contact below the owner of the company or one of the partners and we met every Monday. He would be my contact if I had a question about something or if I needed to address something with him, and I could call him directly.

What did you find most impressive about Sunflower Lab?

They don’t hesitate to make recommendations on what they think would be the best course of action for the finished product. They certainly will provide that input whether you like it or not and I appreciate that because to me it’s an open forum. We value their input. They’re experts in the industry, so we rely on their input. I was also impressed with their communication. I have to say with my previous developer, communication was lacking and there was a lot of disconnect. With Sunflower there was none of that. There was no confusion, and if there ever was, they definitely made sure to answer any confusion at the time so it could be cleared up quickly.

Are there any areas Sunflower Lab could improve?

They probably know better what they would need to improve. From my side, the client side, I don’t see an area at this time.


Tcetra Client Review

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Client Review


May 08, 2017

Zaid Hussein, Product Owner, T-Cetra

Validated By
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review summary

The robust system now supports up to 25,000 merchants, many of which have multiple account holders. Sunflower Lab’s broad skill set, cost-effectiveness, and eagerness to improve productivity continue to expedite their collaborative projects.

5/5

Schedule

5/5

Quality

5/5

Cost

5/5

Willing To Refer

5/5

Overall

Background


Introduce your business and what you do there.

T-Cetra is a technology company linking wireless carriers, merchants, and mass distributors together in order to support activation and prepaid solutions through indirect mobile channels. We’ve launched our VidaPay portal, which is the large brand we use for differentiating our products and services, including cell phone activation, domestic and international prepaid wireless airtime, and seamless long-distance and domestic bill-payment solutions. I am a product owner for the company. I document software requirements and work directly with developers in an iterative process to bring forth products of value to the business.

Opportunity/Challenge


What challenge were you trying to address with Sunflower Lab?

They were originally brought in to help us with our mobile application. We wanted to build a more robust app which could support payment processing on iOS and Android.

Solution


What was the scope of their involvement?

Sunflower Labs was crucial in kicking-off our payment app project. They continue to work closely with our internal team any time we have troubleshooting issues. The app is available on iOS and Android and serves the same purpose as our web portal, providing dealers with merchant locations and payment processing for prepaid cell phone activations, airtime top-ups, or any billable products we offer.

They’ve helped design our web application and have also assisted in our internal project management process. Sunflower Labs also provided assistance with our existing street terminals.

They’ve helped build the layout for our marketplace. The portal offers products to dealers, including headsets, phones, and things of this nature. Sunflower Labs created the user interface for it, and it has become a thriving product. We’re continually developing on top of the framework built by Sunflower Labs.

We work directly with Ronak [Patel], their CEO, who assigns tasks and manages the Sunflower team from the outside. If we have a project for which we decide to outsource them, Ronak will take part in our remote meetings and coordinate tasks on their side. I’m not quite sure how many resources from Sunflower Labs’ side we’ve used, but they’re never short on team members.

They’ve always been on top of everything during calls and meetings. I can’t think of a project where Sunflower Labs didn’t deliver what we needed in time. Many of our engagements have been done in combination with our developers. For example, Sunflower Labs may create the user interface, while our middleware team will be responsible for all plugins and controls.

How did you come to work with Sunflower Lab?

Our CIO was responsible for sourcing Sunflower Lab.

How much have you invested with Sunflower Lab?

The cost of Sunflower Labs’ work has been around $380,000–$450,000. That number is probably rising.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Sunflower Labs in March or April of 2016. We continue to outsource them for certain projects, but I haven’t been involved with Sunflower Labs as of late.

Results & Feedback


Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

When we bring in Sunflower Labs, our projects get completed a lot faster. This is due to resource allocation, of course. Using their team on bigger projects has definitely proven to be a successful method of delivering things on time.

I couldn’t give a precise estimate of cost savings, but we would not have been outsourcing to Sunflower Labs if the savings weren’t immense. We don’t compromise good work for money internally, though, especially in this industry.

We have a number of users—anywhere from 18,000–25,000 merchants in our system. Many of those accounts can have 1–20 people using them.

How did Sunflower Lab perform from a project management standpoint?

We have run into an internal issue since losing a couple of project managers in a short period of time. Sunflower Labs assisted us with a couple of internal projects, having a member of their team come in for early meetings.

We’re based in Columbus, Ohio and have worked with Sunflower Labs on-site for our project management needs. When we outsource them for development, those will most likely be remote tasks.

We use Team Foundation Server internally. Ronak helps us manage the process in-house; for the projects that his team is called out on, they will have access to our system. We have continuous updates on a daily basis around what is taking place and any blockers which need to be taken care of.

What did you find most impressive about Sunflower Lab?

Everything I’ve worked on with Sunflower Labs has met the timeline. They’ve saved us money during those processes, and I’m very happy with the quality of work.

Are there any areas Sunflower Lab could improve?

I don’t have any suggestions, except doing research and trying to find Sunflower Labs. I don’t know if they’re well-marketed in the US.


Groove Dance Competition Client Review

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Client Review


Oct, 10 2016

Daniel DeFranco, CEO of Groove Dance Competition

Validated By
Clutch
review summary

The client is most grateful for the outside perspective Sunflower brings to the company's business processes and their availability. Also of note is Sunflower's ability to navigate the client's priorities and preferences without much guidance.

4.5/5

Schedule

5/5

Quality

5/5

Cost

5/5

Willing To Refer

5/5

Overall

Background


Introduce your business and what you do there.

Groove Productions is an event production company. We produce events in the dance industry all over the United States. They include competitions, conventions, and workshops. We’re one of the larger firms in our industry and we’re growing rapidly. We’re going on our sixth year of business.

I’m the Chief Executive Officer.

Opportunity/Challenge


What challenge were you trying to address with Sunflower Lab?

We had a patchwork of software and websites, and different applications we were using for different things that were really primitive and not integrated whatsoever. We worked with Sunflower Lab a lot, and we’re actually still working with them to integrate almost all of our systems. Some of them are for registering people for our events; some of them are front-end websites for marketing; some of them are onsite local software that we use for scoring and administering onsite event criteria and things we need to get done at the event. We’ve been working with them on that process for the last year and a half. They started working with us on our mobile app in January of 2015, and when they started working on our full integration, we dropped our previous web developer and a few other people and we pushed everything under the Sunflower umbrella.

Solution


What was the scope of their involvement?

They developed for us first our mobile app on iOS as well as Android. The release of that was delayed because we actually were attempting to integrate it into an older system. As we started going through the process, we realized this wasn’t practical and instead we rebuilt the system with Sunflower Lab. That process got held off not by anything that had to do with Sunflower, but just an internal decision we had to make for efficiency, for the future of our company, and what was going to be most viable for us.

We then built our registration system, which is just a site that allows us to collect data from our clients, allows them to register for our events, pay for our events, and view their results and their documentation before and after our events. It’s also a staff management platform for us that allows us to give all of our employees their own login so they can see their information for what events they’re working, their travel details, and all that kind of stuff. That’s all built on the .NET platform. It’s integrated with everything else that we have.

The next big system that we’re working on right now is a local system that allows us to check in our entries at our event, to score our events, and to check people in onsite; they register online, and we check them in at our events. That syncs with our online application as well as our mobile application. That’s the part we’re on right now, synchronizing the local process that we have going on at our events with the online process before and after for registration and then delivering post-event content.

I would say 20% of what they did for us was client-facing; our client-facing website as well as our mobile app. Everything else is operational and for human resources. Our employees all have their logins. That’s how we track their medical benefits and their salaries. Through that portal, employees receive their documentation and our administrative team keeps track of some client data as well as employee scheduling, travel, etc. We tried a few integrations along the way, and in the end, most of what we did was completely custom because we had such specific needs.

How did you come to work with Sunflower Lab?

I found them online. I was doing some comparison shopping and some review reading. It was a site that compared some developers in the Northeast to work on a mobile app. That’s specifically what I was looking for, mobile app development. Yash [Patel, Director] had some great reviews. They were in our area, so he offered to come meet up with me. We met for lunch and we talked a little bit about what we were interested in doing. We got along well, so we moved forward with just the mobile app, and then once we were really satisfied with that, we moved on to the rest of the project.

How much have you invested with Sunflower Lab?

We have spent $180,000 to $250,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

It has been ongoing since January 2015.

Results & Feedback


Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We certainly have saved a lot of administrative time. We’ve grown a lot while we’ve been developing these tools, and we very much tried to develop something we would require in the future and not just something that our current needs required. We probably avoided hiring two or three more full-time admins because of the system that they have developed. Our old systems were very redundant, very inconsistent, and required a lot of human knowledge. Now, we’ve cut so much of that out and our errors have gone down significantly.

We used to track the hours the billing department spent chasing people down for money. We were much smaller then and they were spending between 15 and 25 hours a week just tracking people down for bills trying to receive payments. Sunflower developed an automated email system for us that basically just harasses people with reminders until they get their bills paid before the event. If it’s the day before the event, they’re getting an email to remind them that they have to pay their bill or they won’t be able to attend the event every two hours. I think our billing department reported less than one hour a week this year for trying to capture payments, so that’s been huge. It a great feeling to not have to chase your clients down for money. That’s been a huge success story.

How did Sunflower Lab perform from a project management standpoint?

The two owners of the company are primarily involved in sales, and they oversee the projects in a very light capacity. They assign a project manager to your team. I have been dealing with just the one project manager. Occasionally, my sales rep will come in or the owner of the company will come in just to check in on things, or if there is a complex issue that involves multiple integrations, he’ll chime in a little bit as well. They’ve designated one form of communication; for us it was Slack, but they offered all different forms of communication. That was pretty much chosen at my preference.

We have two developers working on our project. I don’t communicate with them at all. I’m just dealing with the project manager and he’s great. He’s super accessible at almost all times. Anytime we have a major issue, it’s usually resolved within 24 hours. They’re overseas. The sales reps are in the US and the project manager and the developers are all in India, but we worked out pretty well. He usually works till about two in the afternoon our time, which is great. The workflow has been really good.

What did you find most impressive about Sunflower Lab?

I’ll give our project manager an idea and he’ll ask me why, and he’ll walk me through the logic of why that’s the way I wanted to do it. Then he’ll basically say, “Okay, have we thought of it this way? Could we approach it with a different logic?” He’ll come at it from another angle, and sometimes that third-party perspective of somebody who’s not super embedded in your business can maybe give you a better way of doing things. They’ve been really good at not only helping automate and streamline our current processes, but they have also been really good at affecting our processes and giving us ideas as to how we could work better. That’s been really valuable.

By the same token, once in a while I have things that I don’t quite have the time to get into the details of, and if I need it executed quickly, they’ll do it. They’re super responsive as well. I would say those would be the two major things that Sunflower does well: looking at our processes not just from a development angle but from a business point of view, and two would be just an incredible responsiveness. When we do need something and we need it quick, it’s usually not an issue.

Are there any areas Sunflower Lab could improve?

Yash could probably use a full-time billing company that did his own billing. Sometimes he’ll forget to send me a bill one month and I’ll get two the next month. It’s not really a big deal; it doesn’t bother me. I’m sure he could use some help administratively, but it’s never been a problem for us.


Vigor workouts Client Review

Clutch

Client Review


Oct, 17 2016

Waren Claiborne, COO of Vigor Workouts

Validated By
Clutch
review summary

The launched app excelled in beta testing, and Sunflower Lab is already working on new features for the next release. The development team’s honesty, accessibility, and service ensure trust from non-technical experts.

4.5/5

Schedule

5/5

Quality

5/5

Cost

5/5

Willing To Refer

5/5

Overall

Background


Introduce your business and what you do there.

Vigor Workouts started out as a website where we used a survey and video system to record people’s physical assessments. From that information, we would create monthly tailored workout plans for that person. I’m the COO. I manage all the personal trainers on staff.

Opportunity/Challenge


What challenge were you trying to address with Sunflower Lab?

We wanted to create an integrated members’ website and an app.

Solution


What was the scope of their involvement?

We needed an app that was able to communicate with the website so the user could get the same information from either one. We needed a messaging feature to be able to communicate. Parts of the app have graphing and areas where the user can input their own information that will then integrate into the graph automatically. We needed to have access to the platform so that our employees could upload exercises to our library. I am new to the coding world, but they were great at explaining things.

How did you come to work with Sunflower Lab?

Our CEO found them. We were trying to find someone who could do what we needed and stay within our budget. Many companies were charging $250,000 just to get started, which was not feasible for us as a startup. One of the companies that we looked at that was too expensive for us referred us to Sunflower Lab. They seemed very confident that they could do what we wanted. We looked at some of their work, and it seemed like they were a fit for us. We had a few conversations over the phone with them, and everything seemed to fall into place.

How much have you invested with Sunflower Lab?

We have spent approximately $100,000 on our relationship with Sunflower Lab.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have been working with them for two years, and the work is ongoing.

Results & Feedback


Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I can’t speak to it yet because we’ve only done testing with the first launch and we didn’t do a mass one because we didn’t want to deter people from using the app until it was flushed out and all the details were in there.

The first system where we would do assessments over the internet and provide exercises was the beta testing in personal training. We plan to fully launch the app in May because we’re waiting on certifications to be able to branch into physical therapy, which was our goal from the beginning. Our CEO is a Doctorate of Physical Therapy student at USC, and he has to do an internship, so we’ve been working on presentations of our product for the company where he works. Before we got the presentation ready, they did a Google search on him and found links to what we were doing. They’re trying to work with us to switch what they have in their system over to ours because they checked the app out, and they like it much more than other products already available in the field.

How did Sunflower Lab perform from a project management standpoint?

We had been using a system called Basecamp within our own company, but when we started with Sunflower, they introduced us to Slack, and we now use that for all of our communication. They also use Google Documents so that we are all able to edit the same page at the same time. Any updates are loaded on Google Docs Spreadsheets, and we can add comments and questions.

What did you find most impressive about Sunflower Lab?

They are very honest, which is why I keep using them. I’ve never felt like I’ve been taken advantage of. Every conversation we’ve had has been very open and frank, which is very important for someone like me who is non-technical.

Are there any areas Sunflower Lab could improve?

In the very beginning, there was a slight language barrier because the owner and a lot of the employees are Indian. Within the first week, I was able to get used to how they communicated, and everything was fine after that.


Metro DC Government Client Review

Clutch

Client Review


Oct, 13 2016

Heidi Bonnaffon, Sr. Planner, MWCOG

Validated By
Clutch
review summary

Determining the scope took longer than expected, but once the coding began, Sunflower Lab put in extra effort to accommodate the client's needs. Their communication and project management processes could be more sophisticated and efficient.

4/5

Schedule

3.5/5

Quality

4/5

Cost

3.5/5

Willing To Refer

3.5/5

Overall

Background


Introduce your business and what you do there.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is a non-profit organization of the local governments surrounding the District of Columbia, so it's DC and the surrounding suburban cities and counties in Maryland and Virginia. We have a variety of regional planning efforts with regards to the environment, transportation, homeland security, and so on.

My area is the environment department, and specifically water resources. One of our programs is called the Community Engagement Campaign. It's a committee formed of water and wastewater utilities in our region that are doing public outreach and messaging about the safety of tap water and promoting drinking tap water, and also about addressing wastewater issues.

I am an environmental planner.

Opportunity/Challenge


What challenge were you trying to address with Sunflower Lab?

They devised a phone call. We partnered with this organization called TapIt in New York. TapIt in New York was the organization who chose to go with Sunflower Labs and create a mobile app. Our region's TapIt program is built off the national TapIt program, which has signed up businesses and government agencies and so on that want to provide reusable water bottles and access to refilling stations to the public. The public can come into a business or restaurant and refill their bottle and they're not expected or obligated to buy anything.

What we wanted was a phone app for the public to go on this app and locate businesses where they can go and fill up their water bottles. If someone is out biking or running and they're thirsty, they can pull up their app and see that they can go, for example, to this restaurant here on the corner.

TapIt was started in New York and they started working with Sunflower Lab. Then, TapIt dissolved and we took over the program for our region and called it TapIt Metro DC. We needed to revise the phone app to make it local only to our region and to fix it because we needed to load locations and everything from our backend. That's where our partnership with Sunflower started, revising the app to be Version 2.0.

Solution


What was the scope of their involvement?

They had to do coding for the app. It's a GPS-based app, so it has to be able to pull in latitude and longitude locations for all of our businesses that we're partnering with. The app is available on iOS and Android.

Before the 2.0 revision, you couldn't search by a business name, by neighborhood, or section of the city and find what's right around you. It used to be that it was only for where you are in the here and now, based on the location on your phone. We wanted to be able to search anywhere, for instance, “well I'm going to be heading off to Silver Spring, Maryland, what is there? If I'm on a long bike ride, can I fill my bottle there?” We wanted people to be able to look ahead and search by location and business name, so we added those features to the app. It took some doing but it works now.

How much have you invested with Sunflower Lab?

Around $4,200.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project was from February 2015 to June 2015. The project is complete.

Results & Feedback


Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The best reference would just be the reviews we've received of the app. There haven't been a lot. I don't know what the stats are in terms of how many people have downloaded it. What happens is that it's kind of a seasonal app where in the summer people would download it, but often they don't keep it on their phone. That's not really a reflection on Sunflower, that's more the utility of our app overall to people.

Most of the reviews were positive and said it worked well. The first version, when it was initially designed for New York, had a lot reports of it crashing on people, and there were very poor reviews. That's why we said we needed to revise it and make it a more robust and user-friendly app. Now, the reviews have been pretty positive from the few that we've received.

How did Sunflower Lab perform from a project management standpoint?

Our organization always operates with purchase orders including full details of the task and the costs. That took a few months’ work out in writing. It wasn't very efficient actually. That was communicated via email. Most of the time, we communicated via email until it got to the point when we received the beta version. We tested it and we'd find some bugs, and then we'd communicate that over the phone. We'd often take a screenshot of how the app was appearing on our phone because I have an Android and another person at work has an iPhone, so we were able to send then screenshots from both versions. Then we'd have to communicate over the phone quite a bit to straighten out the bugs.

What did you find most impressive about Sunflower Lab?

They did understand what our upgrade needs were and they put in more time than they were originally contracted for because they stuck it out, to make sure it was working the way we needed it to. I would say what distinguishes them is their ability to continue to work at designing a product until we were happy with it in the end.

Are there any areas Sunflower Lab could improve?

I think they were new to dealing with organizations like ours that demand written-out paperwork before work begins. Their invoicing went very smoothly but the initial contract was a little challenging. Having a really good system of contracting would be one way to improve.

Initially, I would say they were dragging their heels a little to have some phone conversations. There's basically two people in the business. We initially worked with one person but then we were referred to a second person, and he was very responsive and helpful. He was the actual designer, I think. When we started spelling out some of the initial bugs, just in the beta version, he was able to understand what we were talking about and address them.

In the end, they were effective but it took a little while to get there.

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