The Birth of a Custom Software Feature

One thing I have never liked is using software that mostly meets my needs, but not quite. I shouldn't have to change the way I think to get my job done.

At AuctionMethod we strive to make sure our customers never have to live with that kind of a limitation.  We recognize that as a company grows, its needs will evolve, and we have set ourselves up so that our auction platform can evolve with them. 

When our customers ask if their site can be changed in some way, the answer is never "no".

We field each request carefully with the following basic steps:Untitled_Infographic.png

  1. We make sure we understand what they are asking for and how it fits in with their other needs.
  2. We determine if the existing options available in the software can be changed to meet their needs.
  3. If the site can't can't already be made to do what they want, we offer to make it do that - no reasonable requests have ever been turned down.
  4. If they decide to go ahead with the change, we write up a description of the project for their approval.
  5. Then we set our development team to work on the new feature.
  6. Once the feature is made, our QA team goes to work, trying their best to break the new feature in our test environment.
  7. Once the testing is complete we, integrate it on the customers' site and our QA team goes over it again.
  8. We then provide the appropriate staff with any necessary training to make sure they are comfortable with the new feature.
  9. It is a pretty rigorous process up to that point but sometimes small bugs do slip by.  So we monitor the use of the new feature until the staff has had plenty of experience with it in a real-world setting before we call the project complete.  If issues come up we deal with them immediately. 

We have made many hundreds of new features and modifications using this process, to help our customers do their work more efficiently.  You would think that with all of our customers being auctioneers there couldn't possibly be that many different options needed.  But the number of practices that can be different between two different auction companies is amazing and number of innovative ideas our customers can come up with because they know we will support them is equally amazing.  

Our ability to work quickly with innovations our customers come up with is one of the things that makes the job of developing this platform so interesting.  And one of the main reasons we are able to do this so successfully is that we take an active interest in knowing how each and every one of our customers operates.  So when they ask us for a custom feature they are not asking a stranger, they are asking someone who is already part of their team. 

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