There are many types of clients who have many types of needs - additionally, each of them have different levels of Magento knowledge. Some think that it’s a super smart and flexible tool that allows you to create advanced features in couple of hours, and others think that it’s very complex system, but it can handle anything you ever want it to. In reality, Magento is both a smart and complex system, but it does require experienced (and Certified) developers to get the most potential out of Magento. At Creatuity, we always listen to our clients about their needs and ideas, but additionally, we ask questions, propose alternatives, and deliver honest opinions about their ideas, even if it means telling a client something he or she may not want to hear. We believe that when a client hires us an expert, the client deserves nothing but the truth, sincerity, and expert Magento advice. Below, we’ll walk you through a real-world problem that we faced and how we dealt with this issue in comparison to how some other development firms may have approached this situation.

The Problem

A client came to us with the need to have a “super store” with over 2000 “sub-stores.” The idea was simple - there is an admin store and there are merchant sub-stores. Each sub-store would be able to sell products to their customers. Access to the site would be managed by the admin store and sub-stores should only have the possibility to edit only the price.

A Typical Approach

Many firms take a typical, easier approach to working with a client - if a client asks for it, then the firm will just do it with no questions asked. Usually, a firm does this when it has just a group of developers or outsourced development services. Setups like these don’t have much of a strong sense of leadership. A firm with this type of approach may have continued down the path of creating several thousand sub-stores without giving any thought to Magento best practices or looking out for the client’s best interests - these firms answer the question “What does the client want?” and not the question “What is in the client’s best interests?” In this example, an admin store with a couple or few sub-stores would work just fine, but having over two thousand stores would create a very poor performing result. Additionally, developers at a firm like this usually don’t act as a unified whole because of a lack of leadership or “team lead” developer, which results in an entire team of multiple developers being on different pages. Usually, the work on a bigger portion of a project would be split up between developers - when put together, conflicts and chaos are usually the result. Every individual developer likely has some unique idea of how to approach the problem, so the solution that is put together is likely unstable or isn’t what the client asked for originally, anyway. Overall, an approach like this usually results in the client’s requirements not being fulfilled or being fulfilled incorrectly. The client’s request may have been implemented, but the store may perform very slowly because of the need to process over 2000 store views. The client shouldn’t be held accountable for a lack of Magento knowledge if he or she hired a development firm to provide that type of insight. A firm like this doesn’t seek a partnership, but takes a more transactional approach to development. A partner should provide guidance that looks out for a client’s best interest instead of just adhering every request a client presents to the firm.

The Creatuity Way

As I mentioned above, we at Creatuity believe that a client comes to a development firm for expert advice. The main difference to our approach from the “typical” approach is:

what a client wants ≠ what a client needs

When our team of experts started working on this problem, our first question to the client was, “Why do you want this functionality? What are you wanting to achieve with this?” We ask these questions upfront to have a better idea of what a client is trying to solve and understand end goals - instead of just blindly implementing whatever a client asks, we do everything possible to obtain an understanding of the problem we’re looking to solve. As we analyzed the problem the client was trying to solve, we also discussed the problem as a team with solidified leadership to ensure that the entire team was working together to achieve the same goal. Along with our processes that are designed to analyze and document all aspects of a client’s needs, our cross-functional team of experts supported by project managers, Magento Certified Solution Specialist, Magento systems architect, and eCommerce experts were able to determine that the client’s proposed solution was not ideal due to performance issues, usability problems, and long-term cost efficiency (total cost of ownership). In this situation, the client wasn’t aware that to manage prices on the front-end, you also have to optimize indexers to guarantee that the most up-to-date information is on the front-end. Additionally, our in-house system administrator provided consultation on how to configure the server environment in order to ensure that the system runs smoothly. In summary, we always recommend to work with companies that ask many questions and do everything to understand the the big picture - these companies look out for the client’s best interests and will result a great quality product. In our particular example here, our client and our whole team worked together to deliver a system that fulfills the client’s needs, is a scalable solution, and can be extended or resold as a piece of top-notch technology. If you’re interested in learning more about our approach, shoot us an email at contact@creatuity.com or give us a call at the office at 214.810.5005.