Merce Select

Small manufacturing company
  • Summary

    Industry Manufacturing, small scale industry

    Client Secure identity card manufacturing company

    Requirement Management and maintenance of computing infrastructure and business applications

  • Our team

    Initial engagement We engaged with the customer for the first time in 2006 when we built a comprehensive application for them to automate their card manufacturing process (refer refer case study of project). Once this application was put into production and accepted by the customer, there was a need for ongoing maintenance and extensions. There was also a need for services to maintain the software infrastructure, e.g. database management system configuration and replication, OS configuration and maintenance, etc.

    Current engagement We have a fixed-price contract for system and application maintenance and support, with a fixed fee per quarter. Since the contract size is very small, we have arrived at a fixed-fee structure instead of a pure T&M structure (where billing is proportional to person-hours in the timesheet).

    Our responsibilities here include any changes or maintenance to the application. Most changes are driven by changes in the upstream processes, i.e. the customers of the card manufacturing unit. Some changes are driven by changes in their internal processes. Our responsibilities also include complete support for the software infrastructure components. For instance, if the hardware of their primary server crashes and is repaired, our team works 24x7 to get OS and all software re-installed and operational. Therefore, the work volume is variable, but our commitment extends to 24x7 support in the event of production crises. We have one one application developer assigned full-time to the account, and other resources are brought in when needed, specially for software design, business analysis, production system support, etc. The full-time engineer works at our premises and makes periodic customer visits.

    We do not manage or support any business application provided by any other vendor. All systems we support have been set up by our engineers.

    This customer engagement is an outsourced-team contract but has a billing structure different from the ones we usually follow for T&M teams or staff augmentation teams. The billing here is a fixed amount per quarter, along the lines of software product support contracts. Fees are re-negotiated every 2 years. This is an unusual model for software support and maintenance for us, but is very effective for contracts where total exposure of commitment can be capped and the customer relationship is strong.