Today we are going to talk about hiring a remote SuiteCommerce consultant.
There is no doubt that the cloud is transforming the way we work for good. This shift is already tangible—by 2020, 50% of the U.S. workforce will be remote—and research shows it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Employees report that they are happier and more productive when telecommuting and companies are saving over $11,000 per employee when letting them work remotely.
So, the jury is out on this one. Enabling employees to work from home is a boon because it increases productivity and decreases costs.
What if your Netsuite SuiteCommerce consultants were also remote?
It’s true that, in some areas, remote consulting is not possible, e.g. physical security consulting. However, in other areas, it can be the most efficient and cost-effective choice, e.g. SuiteCommerce consulting and development.
The reasoning here is pretty straightforward: Netsuite is in the cloud. So, your remote SuiteCommerce consultant can also be in the cloud. All they have to do is log in to the platform and work their magic. Communication can be done online, via Skype and email, or through the phone.
Now, if the word “remote” tends to make you feel uneasy, please give us a few moments to explain why this is not only possible but also much more feasible than traditional SuiteCommerce consulting engagements.
Four powerful reasons to opt for a cloud-based SCA consultant
Reason #1: More value for money
In traditional consultant-client relationships, your SCA expert would work in a specific company office or commute between locations when necessary.
If your SuiteCommerce consultant is on-site, one way or another, you are paying for:
- Travel expenses. These vary greatly but they might easily get in the range of a few thousand dollars for just one week worth of work.
- Cost of inactivity. Many consultants bill for “unproductive time”—the hours they spend commuting. They do this because they could otherwise be spending this time working on a client project. It is fair but it’s also an added cost for you.
- Cost of bureaucracy. Imagine you need to patch a tire. When working with a large team of consultants, you will not only pay the person who knows how to patch the tire and has the tools. You will also pay for a dozen of meetings where the team will decide what materials to use and exactly how to patch the tire. By contrast, a remote SuiteCommerce consultant can afford to do all this by themselves (or with a very small team) and they don’t even need to rent an office.
- Accommodation. It depends on the location but you’d probably need to budget $120/night to be on the safe side.
- Office space. You typically need 225 to 250 square feet per employee and you also need to have furniture for their office space which costs about $2,000.
- IT equipment. Even though PC prices have dropped lately, you are looking at at least $1,000+ for a computer, $500 to several thousand for software and $250 to $300 initially per telephone handset.
When you draw the line, it’s clear that you have to pay $2,000 – $5,000 on top of the $125 – $200 hourly fee to have your SuiteCommerce consultant work on site.
Alternatively, if you decide to hire a remote SuiteCommerce consultant (developer) on payroll, you’ll have to invest at least $130,000 to cover their salary. This is not factoring in benefits. Unless you do need someone full time, this won’t be very feasible.
Compare both of these options with a remote cloud-based Netsuite consultant. There are no travel expenses, accommodation costs or office space costs. There aren’t even IT equipment costs because the consultant uses their own hardware and software. You sign a proper B2B contract that binds your consultant legally.
For example, when using our SCA consulting and development services, you only pay a fixed hourly fee in the range of $100-$150.
Reason #2: Higher productivity
According to industry insiders, the average on-site consultant starts working on a project… around 11 AM and typically calls it a day around 11 PM. They only get a few small chunks of productive time per day. The rest is traveling — plane tickets and taxi fares your company is paying for — rushing around the offices for client and stakeholder meetings and responding to emails. Of course, meetings are necessary but having to be physically present takes more time and effort than doing it online.
The biggest consequence of this kind of schedule is low productivity. Research shows that when a knowledge worker spends more than 60 hours at the job, their performance decreases by as much as 25%. (Source)
By contrast, in a two-year study conducted by Stanford, researchers found that working from home results in more productive hours per day and fewer sick days. That’s why remote SuiteCommerce consultants and developers can enjoy higher productivity.
In our experience, this is true. Working online allows us to save a lot of time which helps us be more productive. Besides taking back the hours we’d spend commuting, we also optimize communication using online project management tools like Jira. With Jira, the client can track project status in real time and add comments as needed. In addition, we also do online meetings but mostly to consult the client and help them make non-technical decisions.
Reason #3: Same Level Of Accountability
If you’re dealing with an established online SuiteCommerce development and consulting firm, you can get the same level of accountability as you would from your on-premises consultant.
For example, at CreationByte, we provide weekly reports to our clients so that they can always know how their project is moving. We also offer email and Skype support for any questions that may arise.
Of course, accountability varies between service providers and this is something that needs to be researched when hiring a SCA expert — remotely or not.
Reason #4: Same Level Of Reliability
“What happens when the remote SuiteCommerce consultant doesn’t perform, or worse, breaks our website?”
This is a question that many business leaders ask and, unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. You have to ask the firm’s representative and do your own independent research.
The reality is that having a SuiteCommerce consultant or developer in your office doesn’t make them more reliable and it doesn’t guarantee that they won’t break your website. What it does is simply give a false feeling of control.
So, it’s safe to say that an on-site consultant doesn’t equal “reliable” and a remote Netsuite consultant doesn’t equal “unreliable”. Then, how can you assess the reliability of your future contractors?
You have to look into what they are offering and ask about guarantees.
For example, at CreationByte, we have two ways to protect you from the worst-case scenario:
- Balanced testing policy. We test all SCA customizations in a sandbox to make sure everything works as designed.
- General liability insurance up to 1 Million U.S. dollars. This is just to be certain that our clients are protected no matter what.
How to hire a SuiteCommerce consultant or developer remotely (and get the best results)
- Ask for references. If you have any doubts about the quality of their work, simply ask to be referred to 3 previous clients.
- Check for guarantees. Ask them what happens if your website breaks. Ask them how they can guarantee reliability.
- Establish communication guidelines. When working in the cloud, communication is crucial. Tell your SuiteCommmerce services provider what you expect and ask them how and how often they will communicate with you.
- Put them to the test. Ask them to do a very small low-risk project to get a feel for what it would be like to work together in the long term. See how quickly they respond and how reliable they are.
- Use an escrow service. To lower the risk even more, you can use websites like Upwork. The platform guarantees that you will get what you need because it keeps the money until the work is done up to spec.
Still not convinced?
Here are some of the concerns other business leaders have.
“What if I need my consultant to visit the company HQ?”
If this is a concern, ask the Netsuite consultant whether they can provide on-site service. For example, we do 99% of our work remotely but when it is necessary to meet with a client tête-à-tête, we appoint local consultants.
“Do any of the big organizations do this?”
Yes! As a remote SuiteCommerce consulting and development team, we’ve served organizations like Gofer Parts and the Helen Keller Institute. So, there is no reason why it won’t work for you.
Working remotely is very common today because it leads to happier employees and it helps companies cut costs. Just like the average office employee can work at their home office, so can your Netsuite consultant. As a result, they will be more productive and you will reduce operating costs without diminishing quality.
Our experience shows that remote SuiteCommerce consultants can offer the same of level of accountability and reliability as local consultants. Research shows there is no reason to believe that a remote Netsuite service would be less valuable than the same service performed in your company offices.