Building engineering partnerships that truly add value

Retailers are rightly very discerning when it comes to engaging with professional services partners.

Access to the relevant skills and a deep understanding of the retail sector should be the primary criteria when selecting a partner. It’s these factors that underpin the successful partnerships; the ones that ensure the outcomes deliver value for retailers and - in turn - to their consumers.

At the heart of the relationship with a Professional Services partners for Engineering is access to the relevant skillsets.

There’s undoubtedly a greater need for more multi-skilled teams involved in projects with retail clients than previously required. It’s no longer about just having developers. Today’s retailers need access to a broad range of skills – with engineers that provide expertise in a range of specialisms, from architects and designers to full stack developers, testers, automation and deployment skills.

Retailers are looking for skillsets not just for today but also for the future. In a multi-year partnership, a retailer might require a team that augments with their in-house team. Alternatively, engineering specialists must also be able to deliver a separate workstream alongside in-house activity.

Today’s demands of the CIOs & CTOs are certainly not going to be the same next year, or even next week for that matter.

 

Flexibility boosts client capabilities

Retailers are demanding flexibility in the provision of engineering services. It could be the case that a client engages a team of six engineers, but some months later requires an extra tester to be added, while a developer is taken off. It’s important that the service provision can flex to accommodate such changes. Also, to rapidly scale-up teams, avoiding the needs to go out into the market looking for extra engineers.

At PMC for a major UK transport agency, by way of an example, we initially put in just three people nine years ago, and now the number stands at 60 people spread across the UK and India, who are involved in various projects and services.

For PMC customers, our operating model of IT specialists in both India and the UK eliminates the skills-sourcing challenges of cost - and sometimes scarcity – faced by retailers.

Our customers value our commercial model, which makes it easy for them to budget projects.

A customer might agree to spend a fixed amount over three years but over this time they can flex up or down the resources and skills they require. There could be a team of 10 assigned to a three-year contract but additional resources for an extra project can quickly be made available, giving them 20 engineers for a six-month period.

 

Ongoing engagement strengthens partnership

Monthly service reviews, project tracking and trend analysis are the bread and butter of engineering services provision. True partnership also requires engagement and communication at all stages. Openness, honesty – and no surprises! Rather than simply delivering what’s asked for, expect your engineering partner to sometimes challenge the plan. At PMC this might come from either our UK-based team or our engineers in India, and is possible because of the strong, trusted, and transparent partnership we build with our customers.

Our approach is one of shared success. It is very much about joint ownership of projects and ensuring the best outcomes can be delivered without any surprises along the way.

It’s not simply about implementing software to deliver a box-ticking outcome but is based on thoroughly understanding a client’s business, its customer and operator journeys, and delivering an outcome that truly adds value to everyone involved.

If you’re not getting that from your current engineering partner, maybe give PMC a call!

Steve Smart, Professional Services Director, PMC Retail

Steve’s role as Director of Professional Services at PMC covers the full Project delivery lifecycle, from advising our customers on IT strategic consultancy and selection processes to delivering highly skilled project and service capabilities in Project Management, Business Analysis, Development, Testing and Automation arenas. With over two decades of experience in this sector, Steve’s understanding of the complexities of IT in the Retail environment underpins all aspects of ensuring our customers achieve successful outcomes from complex projects and services.

Steve Smart, Professional Services Director, PMC Retail

Steve’s role as Director of Professional Services at PMC covers the full Project delivery lifecycle, from advising our customers on IT strategic consultancy and selection processes to delivering highly skilled project and service capabilities in Project Management, Business Analysis, Development, Testing and Automation arenas. With over two decades of experience in this sector, Steve’s understanding of the complexities of IT in the Retail environment underpins all aspects of ensuring our customers achieve successful outcomes from complex projects and services.