FileMaker developers for Eversfield Consultants – a case study
Eversfield Consultants, a UK-based company providing strategic interim management services to Private Finance Initiative (PFI), construction and property management organizations, hired developers from Multishoring to build its FileMaker custom app for property lifecycle management. As a result, the company was able to reduce its system development costs by half and to focus on its core business.
Eversfield provides strategic interim management services to PFI, construction and property management organizations. The company also offers asset condition surveying and life-cycle scheduling as well as cost management for businesses involved in long term asset management. Eversfield’s approach in this area is to make use of elemental data to build a bespoke profile of every building based on the asset condition.
Eversfield Consultants wanted to create a system to enhance property lifecycle management. The company specified detailed requirements to be met by that system and began the development work on its own. The system was to be built on the FileMaker platform as it was important that data could be entered into the app from mobile devices. They were to be used by Eversfield employees for evaluating the individual asset condition of real property in such sectors as Health, Education and Student Accommodation. However, it soon became apparent that the system development was taking much more time and was more difficult than the company expected.
“As we haven’t got a lot of experience with FileMaker, it was very time-consuming for us to prepare our application. For this reason we couldn’t focus on our core business. What’s worse, we weren’t happy with the performance of the app we created. Because of all that we began to consider hiring for this work a company specializing in FileMaker custom business solutions,” said Nick Woolcot, Director at Eversfield Consultants.
Eversfield turned to FileMaker for help in creating the system and was redirected to Multishoring, a Polish near-shore development provider. The company offers custom business solutions built using the FileMaker platform on a nearshoring and offshoring basis. Its services are available to both FileMaker Business Alliance members who require additional cost-effective developers and directly to FileMaker customers.
In the course of discussions Eversfield Consultants and Multishoring quickly agreed upon the terms of cooperation and began working on the project. All arrangements were made remotely, during meetings conducted via Skype (with a screen sharing option), and via email communications.
In the initial phase of the project there were two FileMaker developers involved in the work for Eversfield. Then this number decreased to just one developer. The project team also consisted of one graphics designer (for a few days) and the project manager (for a few hours per month). The team worked on the basis of a detailed requirements specification supplied by Eversfield. They also took advantage of FileMaker support when necessary.
“The hardest part of the project was the first few weeks when we needed a retrograde analysis of the existing solution. The project and the FileMaker database relationships had to be analyzed and we had to make appropriate modifications and tests to verify the proper operation of the app. We cooperated very strictly with our client to describe the existing relationships and to analyze the new version of the application,” said Andrzej Biesiekirski, CEO of Multishoring.
In the course of the project Multishoring’s FileMaker developers performed the following work:
- rewriting the entire system,
- redesigning the database and relationships in the database,
- redesigning the user interface and creating new interfaces,
- making it possible to edit the project, buildings, floors, rooms, and to copy at any level of a building/ floor/ room in the system,
- allowing the modification of the base components from the desktop application,
- allowing the generation of graphs and reports in the system,
- allowing the calculation of the budget for the project/ building by various parameters and for various periods (annual/ quarterly),
- allowing the generation of reports as PDF/ Excel files,
- developing a new graphic interface (colors and buttons).
The work was carried out using the project management web application Redmine. The work settlement was done using Multishoring’s internal system for settling working time.
The project brought a number of benefits to Eversfield Consultants. The most important of them include: the fast creation of the app, low development costs, clear cooperation terms and the ability to focus on the company’s core business.
Fast creation of the app
Entrusting Multishoring with the development of the system resulted in the fast creation of an app that fully satisfied Eversfield’s needs and expectations.
Reducing system development costs by half
Eversfield also managed to reduce its system development costs by half when compared to how much it would have cost if developed using UK-based FileMaker programmers.
Clear cooperation terms
Multishoring’s FileMaker developers worked on an hourly basis. They reported their work to the working time management system which made it very easy to control how much time a specific task took.
Ability to focus on the core business
By outsourcing the development of its app to an external company Eversfield freed most of its resources involved in the project so far, gaining the ability to focus on its core business.