3 Outsourcing Models to Understand Before You Choose a Company
Before you start looking for the best software development company in Mexico, you should understand the 3 general models outsourcing falls into. A combination of these 3 models will get you to the specific model you need to get the work done.
The first model is based on the location of where the work will be done. There are 4 variations:
- On-site – when a company outsources a developer that will come to your office to work.
- Onshore – when you are outsourcing development to a company in the same country as you.
- Nearshore – when you are outsourcing to a company in a country with the same or similar time zone (outsourcing to Mexico falls into this category).
- Offshore – when you are outsourcing to a distant country with very different time zones.
Then, it’s based on the relationship you will have with the company, i.e. who is primarily responsible for the work being done.
- Staff augmentation – you lease developers to assist with your (typically internal) projects. You, as the client, are primarily responsible for running the team and finishing the project.
- Project teams – when you hire an independent team to get a project done from start to finish. It is the development companies responsibility to make sure the software is developed in accordance with your instructions.
Finally, there are usually two ways you can pay the outsourcing company:
- Time and material-based – where you pay an hourly rate depending on the time the developers spend on your project and on the resources used.
- Fixed – where you pay an agreed-upon flat rate for the entire project.
Consider these three general models and combine them until you find one that works best for you.
7 Tips for Choosing the Best Outsourcing Company
Now that you know what kind of business relationship you want with the company you’ll outsource development to, it’s time for choosing the best company. So here are 6 tips that can help you decide which software development company in Mexico to hire.
- Does the Company Provide the Type of Services You Need?
- Referrals, Reputation, Portfolio
The first step is finding out what type of services the company can offer you, but we’re not talking about their technical capabilities here. Rather, we are talking about whether they fit the relationship framework you need.
So, do you need a dedicated team that will create software from scratch with minimal input from you? Do you need to lease just one developer to fill a skill gap you have in your company? Or maybe you need a hybrid of the two? Naturally, any software development company that doesn’t provide the services you need must be disregarded.
Once you’re through with step 1, it’s time to gauge the quality of services the company provides. The best way is to get a referral from someone you trust. However, we will assume you are reading this article because nobody referred you to a company, so you need to find this information yourself – which leads us to their reputation.
To find out what kind of reputation the company has, check the following:
- The company’s website
- Their social media
- Their ratings on independent review platforms
Most companies will try to promote themselves, which means that they will put up client reviews and comments on their website and social media. However, you’ll likely find only the positive comments on their website. See what their clients say about them on their website and compare it to the comments on social media.
Comments and reviews on social media platforms are much harder to curate than on a website, so that information is more valid. Once you’ve done that, do the same but on independent review platforms.
Independent platforms also tend to curate comments, but only if they find them intentionally inaccurate or malicious – not just because they are negative. Compare the three and if they show more or less the same thing, you can reasonably estimate what kind of reputation the company has.
However, a company’s overall reputation is just the starting point. You also need to check out their portfolio. You can see exactly what kind of projects the company worked on from its portfolio, so you can gauge whether they have experience with projects like yours. If they do and you are satisfied with their reputation, it’s on to step 3.
Step 3 is crucial if you want to get the best software possible. Software development is a very large tech field and no developer can know everything. Thus, if you can hire developers that specialize in what you need, you should do it. In practice, you likely won’t be able to find a team of developers with all the specializations you need if you’re working on a large project.
However, you can still get the foundation. If you need to build custom software, then the team must include at least one back-end programmer. If you’re building a mobile app, you need a dev that specializes in mobile apps. If you want to transfer your data to the cloud, you likely need a cloud architect, etc. In short, the more specialized developers you hire, the better.
Software development is an ever-evolving field and some companies may stick to old, outgrown practices. If you are personally tech savvy, ask them about the tech they use for development. If you are not, do you have an in-house developer that can give some tips?
You can even consider hiring a one-time tech consultant to help you. Mind you, we are not arguing that everything new is better. We are, however, saying that software development companies need to keep up with the times to provide the best services possible.
Who will take care of the maintenance of and potential updates to the software once it is completed? If you have in-house developers that can take care of it or plan to hire some, then it’s fine.
We are only stressing this because post-development support is not standard practice for all software development companies in Mexico. Thus, you need to be very clear in your contract about what services you’re getting.
Yes, you can always hire other developers to take care of it, but will they have the necessary knowledge if it's custom software? You can also make a new contract with the company that built the software for post-development support. So, there are definitely solutions, but you need to consider the costs upfront and budget for them.
Once the previous 4 steps are completed, it’s time for 2 key practical concerns. The first one is – where is the company located? As we are specifically discussing software development companies in Mexico, this is not an issue because the time zones of Mexico and the US align.
However, if you are outsourcing development to a company with different time zones, this needs to be a consideration. At which time will you communicate? Will the developers you hire have different working hours to align with yours? Are you willing to change your working hours? These are all practical considerations that need to be dealt with before you hire an outside development company.
Finally, we get to the reason most people outsource development to Mexico – the costs. You know how much you are willing to pay, so there’s not much to discuss here. Most companies will give you an estimate of how much their services will cost. If they are unwilling to do so, then, naturally, you should be very skeptical about hiring them.
More importantly – the cheapest solution is not necessarily the best one. You should think about how much you will pay to get functional software. In case you hire the cheapest company and it turns out the software doesn’t do what you need it to, you’ll need to pay more to fix it. And this can increase your cost over what you would have paid a more expensive company to get it right the first time.
You Can Outsource Development to Other Countries, Too
In case none of the software development companies from Mexico meet your criteria, you can also hire companies from other LATAM countries, or even further away. Below, you can find similar lists of the best software development companies in other countries. So take your time and find a company you can partner with.