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Quick Base Development: Build Internally or Outsource?

Quick Base… This is an exciting new tool that is very powerful. So what comes next? You and your team have been wrestling with this business problem for a while now and it’s just getting worse.

Frustrated Team

You’ve got paper and files all over the place, organically grown systems that are hanging together by a thread, and a staff working hard… but not together. You’ve finally had enough!

Not long afterward, with your whole team tasked with finding a solution, someone discovers the Quick Base platform. It’s not free, but also not crazy expensive like other enterprise solutions that’ve been considered. Quick Base seems just as powerful and definitely more flexible. “This could work!” is your thought.

And you are right! This could work! Quick Base is an amazing platform, and is highly recommended as a low-code, cloud-based solution for many businesses looking to automate a process, better manage the projects, tasks, people, and workflows associated with running a business. And unlike many other platforms, you don’t have to be a full stack developer or “IT Person” to build applications with it.

The challenge now is figuring out what to do and where to start with such a powerful and scalable platform. Should you hire a consultant for all or part of the work, or build your apps internally?

Turning a vision into reality

If you want to build internally, you would call yourself a “Citizen Developer”. Our good friends and partners at Quick Base actually coined the phrase “Citizen Developer” to identify the types of folks who are called upon within an organization to build out the apps and solutions your business needs. Sometimes building internally makes perfect sense, and other times it pays to hire a Quick Base Solution Provider (QSP) or consultant to build out your critical apps for you. In this brief article, our goal is to objectively help you make that decision for yourself.

So, here is a list of reasons you should build internally, following by a list of reasons to outsource all or part your Quick Base application development:

Why Build Internally?

  • You are big enough to have an internal development staff and that development staff has time and clear role priority to build your applications
  • You are building a simple application with few connections to other tables, systems, or applications
  • You consider trial and error learning the best way to learn
  • You like getting your hands dirty and doing things yourself
  • You want intimate knowledge of not only WHAT you are building but HOW it is being built
  • You are an expert in your business/industry, and don’t feel it’s possible to communicate critical details to a Quick Base Solution Provider
  • You enjoy learning new skills, even if that skill isn’t your core business competency
  • You don’t have a clear picture yet of what you are trying to build and want to just play with the platform a bit before moving forward
  • You need more time to discuss, prioritize, budget internally, and get your team aligned

If that list resonated with you, then you should try to go it alone. However, even if that’s the case, we’d recommending spending a little time and money with a consultant with actual application development experience to help you avoid some costly mistakes. VARC Solutions can be your mentor and guide in this area even if you want to do the bulk of your own development.

Now, if you read the list above and thought… “uh, I’m not so sure about this!”, then read on. There are some incredibly smart and compelling reasons to partner with a solution provider with a team of expert builders, ready to help build the solution you’ve been looking for.

Why Hire The Quick Base Experts?

  • You have a limited or non-existent internal development staff, or that staff is already maxed out with other priorities
  • You are needing to build a more complicated application, with lots of moving parts (for example, a CRM that integrates with your accounting system, a ticketing system that allows you to manage team and material resources, an inventory management system with realtime visibility across warehouses, teams, and departments, etc)
  • You realize that trial and error learning, which does work, is painfully slow and very expensive in the long run
  • You only have one shot to build a system that solves your needs and encourages quick adoption, and you can’t risk making a crucial mistake in the development or deployment
  • You want to steer the ship and drive strategic goals, but don’t have the time or energy to worry about the HOW behind the scenes
  • You have a good concept of what needs to be built, but you could use a consultant to help you with the vision and discover what’s possible
  • You feel that although your business or industry is pretty unique, you are smart and capable of breaking it down to a Quick Base Solution Provider who can take your vision and turn it into a reality
  • You prefer to focus your precious time and energy on your core competency, letting a Quick Base Solution Provider focus on theirs
  • You prefer to leverage a consultant who’s built many systems before and can help you strategically build a much better system
  • Your internal environment or organization structure has several factions and no internal champion or coordinator who can objectively work to solve the needs of all stakeholders
  • You need your system built quickly, efficiently, and at the lowest total cost possible, and realize partnering with an expert solution provider is the best way to do that
  • You are experiencing a hiring freeze, and understand that outsourcing finite work projects can keep you from inflating your long term payroll burden
  • You can’t afford to hire more staff or commit internal resources to a long term project, but you do have budget to outsource Quick Base development for only as long as needed
  • You realize that building a scalable system doesn’t happen by accident, and hiring the professionals will help you avoid very costly mistakes

Partner handshake

We hope at this point you are standing up and cheering, “That’s Right! Now that’s what I’ve been trying to tell everyone!”. If so, let’s be friends and chat! And best of all, this decision doesn’t need to be all or none, black or white. We’ve worked with all sorts of clients who’ve engaged with us on three levels:

Three Levels of Engagement with a Quick Base Solution Provider

  1. You do all or most of the work yourself, but consult with us at the beginning and key steps along the way. We’ll mentor you through the development process and share best practices.
  2. We work together to craft a vision and build a plan. You stay involved throughout the process but we do the heavy lifting and do what we do best….building user-centric, robust, scalable systems.
  3. We execute a phased approach together…as partners. We build phase 1 and your team starts using it. We coach your team to the point you can take over tweaks and maintenance. When you’re ready for more, we repeat this process with additional phases until the project is complete and your team is feeling confident. You can go it alone at this point, or continue to leverage our team for maintenance and changes as needed.

So, the choice is yours! There definitely ARE scenarios where building internally makes sense. However, when your business and reputation are on the line, the reasons to partner with a Quick Base Solution Provider quickly outweigh the alternatives.

At VARC Solutions, we simply want to help you be successful on the Quick Base platform so you can get back to running and growing your business.

To start a conversation with one of our expert Quick Base advisors, fill out the form below and let’s chat.

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