We at Cleveland Consulting believe that the company developing your software shouldn’t just be a vendor; it should be a partner. We are one of an elite group of developers who have achieved Partner Level status with FileMaker Inc. Our custom software helps mid-sized business and work-groups within larger companies track their processes, manage resources, and improve efficiency.
In the manufacturing sector, we’ve built quality control software to monitor the complex and critical attributes of wire used in pacemaker leads. We developed the only platform independent quality assurance management system for radiation treatment systems. We’ve helped two of the country’s largest steel mills improve their OSHA compliance reporting. Our software is assisting a school district manage their curriculum development process and helping a think tank make headway on issues of democracy and nuclear nonproliferation. We have built quality assurance systems for one of the worlds largest pharmaceutical firms and the worlds largest medical physics group.
We don’t undertake this work lightly.
We are serving and satisfying the most demanding of FileMaker’s customers. We respond to our customers’ requests with changes and new applications using the latest remote access technologies.
We are helping to redefine the experience of owning software.
Product Development Philosophy
Our CEO has spoken in the past at the a driven Pause on Error un-conference in 2010 and at the FileMaker Developer Conference about product development, sharing a few of the lessons we’ve learned over the years. A few of those lessons are below as they are relevant not only to our product development but also to our custom development philosophy.
If it doesn’t benefit the end product, or makes your life easier but hurts the end product, don’t do it. The Matt’s Big Breakfast rule.
There is a restaurant in the Phoenix area, called Matt’s Big Breakfast, and the owner, Matt, doesn’t use a freezer or a microwave. Why, because they only make his life easier, they don’t improve the product. We feel the same way about our development. We should make our development and product decisions with the product in mind, not how easy it makes it for us as developers.
Even though the customer may not be as technically advanced as you, everyone knows quality when they see it. The Snap-On principle.
You could use any number of products to highlight this principle, but I still remember the first time I used a Snap-on wrench. It was a box end wrench, had no moving parts, but I could still tell by the heft and feel it was far superior to any tool I owned. I knew nothing about metallurgy or tool and die manufacturer, but I could still tell. Software is the same way.
The only deadline is quality. The J. P. Gallo wine principle.
They had a slogan for years on TV: “We will sell no wine before its time.” That should hold true for business solutions as well. We’ve all seen the cost of releasing a product for marketing deadlines and not quality deadlines. Deadlines matter, but not at the cost of quality.
The bigger your toolbox, the better your solution. The rock climbers rule.
The old catch-phrase “Give someone a hammer and everything starts to look like a nail” applies here. We believe that to build a solution with only one tool is limiting your ability to be creative. That is why so many of our solutions use plugins or associated technologies.
You only build it once, but you support it forever. Build it for improvements and corrections.
All solutions need to be built with growth in mind, but this is more true for products than custom solutions, because the product needs to be built for the modifications of many more users.
A great, long term product is built for four phases. It is built to be bought, deployed, revised and replaced. And every consumer knows it, at least subconsciously.
The guys at 37 Signals wrote a book, called Getting Real. In it they deal with these concepts and many more, and we agree with a lot of what they have to say on this subject. If a customer is not comfortable with their ability to easily make transitions, they have a right to be less comfortable with the solution.
Find out about the executive team here.
If you have any questions about any of our services please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.