We choose to address this issue precisely because none of our competitors do. Over the course of our founder's 16 years in the software development and IT service industries he has seen all kinds of ethics, both good and bad. More often than not though, ethics have been lacking on the vendor's side of the fence. This is yet another area where JPL Coding prides itself on being different. We don't just talk about ethics, we practice them in our dealings with clients.
Do you have an example?
Because of ethical constraints, we are unable to share any specific examples. We can however give you a general overview of a type of scenario that we have run into more than once and go over how we handle it. In some client/vendor relationships, especially long running ones, there is a tendency to get comfortable, sometimes too comfortable with the situation. In other words, a client may continue to pay a vendor for services that they no longer require. Here at JPL Coding we are always evaluating our relationships and the status of our projects with clients in an effort to identify and capitalize on all opportunities to increase their return on investment. So as you can imagine when a situation like this arises, it does not make us very happy.
Why? Aren't you making money and isn't that what this is all about?
Yes in that situation we are making money. The problem is that the client begins to receive a diminishing return on their investment with JPL Coding and that is a scenario that we wish to avoid at all costs. We are not in business solely to make money, though frankly that is a primary goal. We are also in business to provide value to our clients by enhancing and streamlining their business processes using any IT related skills and resources available to us. We are not in business to con people and take advantage of them by wielding technical terms as if they were weapons. We are in business to provide our clients with practical and viable solutions. When the day comes that we no longer feel that we can provide them the same level of return on investment, we take a step back and work with the client to renegotiate our relationship.
Renegotiate? What exactly do you mean?
Well we have had clients that ask for and pay for a consistent amount of our time from week to week. Once the business need that drives this time commitment has been resolved, JPL Coding then takes a step back and figures out if continuing this arrangement is appropriate. Sometimes it is as there are other business needs that need to be addressed. Sometimes however it's best for a client to move JPL Coding from a week to week arrangement to a retainer type of arrangement. Sometimes it's best to simply charge them by the hour for any support they need going forward after the fact on a monthly basis and leave it at that. We are flexible insomuch as the situation demands it.
Is this doublespeak that means you are just dumping clients willy nilly?
Not at all. In fact so long as JPL Coding has existed, we have only completely severed ties with a single client and that was over billing related issues. This is a situation that we wish to avoid at all costs however. It is in nobody's best interest to cut loose in the middle of a project that involves implementing IT services or writing and implementing custom code. Though on the other hand, if the agreed upon terms of payment are not met, then yes we will tend to take issue with that in short order.