Honesty, integrity and ethics have been Libertas Technologies' foundational principles since our inception in 2001, and our team has a long track record that clearly and consistently demonstrates the application of these principles in the software applications, web applications and mobile applications that we build.
We are deeply committed to our clients and every action we take on their behalf is squarely focused on their success and prosperity. We approach all business from a long-term perspective, seeking to build mutually beneficial, synergistic relationships and we understand that without the continued success of our clients, our business would fail. We live by the Golden Rule, treating each client as we want to be treated, and demanding the same from our employees and contractors.
We believe that our clients agree:
"I appreciate your honesty and integrity on both a business and personal level. In every situation, you delivered what you said you would on schedule and at the budget specified. This kind of service seems to be increasingly hard to find in this day and age. It's a breath of fresh air."
John Dreves, Impact Services.
"We look forward to working with you on many future projects and would be happy to recommend your firm to anyone looking for a knowledgeable and trustworthy technology vendor."
Emily Sandul, Intrinzic Marketing & Design
The principles of honesty, integrity and ethics are particularly important in the software development industry. Many small and medium sized businesses without their own Information Technology (IT) staff are taken advantage of by unscrupulous vendors who prey on their client's lack of understanding of technology to sell them products and services that are not a good fit, are completely unnecessary, and/or are substantially overpriced. In many cases, clients spend significant amounts of money only to end up with applications that are partially complete, require significant rework, are unused, do not meet their needs, or are completely scrapped.
Unfortunately, in the custom software development industry, there are several dubious practices that are frequently used to woo customers who are all too often left high and dry by vendors more interested in closing a deal than satisfying their customers.
For example, vendors pitch a development project on a time and materials (T&M) basis with a low estimate. Then, while the project is in progress, they require the customer to continue to pay for work that is clearly in the original scope. Libertas warns customers of this practice and seek to provide a fixed cost proposal for all projects to ensure the best possible protection for customers. While we will work on a T&M basis, we actively seek to avoid it to ensure that our clients have a clear and complete understanding of what we have agreed to perform and how much it will cost. As written by one of our clients:
"In fact, I was quite surprised that I was not charged for "every little thing" - something I became used to (and quite annoyed of)."
John Thorne, Automotive Events
Another disreputable practice is to build applications that are inflexible and difficult to change, ensuring that future changes require advanced programming skills. This tactic helps to ensure that the vendor creates an on-going revenue stream and locks the client into working with them as it is then too costly and time consuming to switch vendors. We continually strive to build each application using a modular, self-service architecture that allows the customer to maintain the application without the need to continually employ our services, ensuring the best return on investment for our clients. As stated by one of our clients:
"You helped us develop realistic goals and expectations and offered suggestions and advice that helped us keep our costs to reasonable levels."
Kathy Schroerlucke, NKU
An additional tactic is to have senior consultants sell a project based on their experience and skills but use junior level or novice developers to perform the actual work, which often leads to projects that are not completed on time or on budget, if completed at all. When project delays and overages occur because of the lack of skill and experience, these vendors expect the client to pay additional fees to complete the project. At this point, the client usually has little recourse because of their existing investment in the project. As a small company, our principals are personally involved in every project, either as the technical architect, lead developer, or project manager (or possibly all of these roles), in order to ensure the projects are completed on time and budget and that our customers are completely satisfied with the final product. We try to structure our payment schedule so that a minimum of 25 percent of the total project cost is not due until the project is complete and the customer formally accepts the application. In the rare event that a project takes more time than anticipated, clients are informed and are never charged additional fees. As quoted by one of our clients:
"Despite our ever changing scope and requirements, you still managed to deliver a superior product, on-time and on-budget."
Jeffery DuManior, Indalex
Because of their involvement in the sales and production processes on each project, our principals ensure that all Libertas Technologies employees and contractors never employ any of the aforementioned tactics and certify that our client commitments are met. We have never and will never sell clients services they don't need nor will we ever bill clients for services that are not clearly agreed upon as part of the original proposal, or are clearly defined in a change request document that requires a signature by the client and one of the Libertas principals. As stated by one of our clients:
"I have found David to be very straightforward and honest in approach both on the business and personal level. Most of all, he has a great work ethic and adheres to the old fashioned values of actually doing what he has proposed to do in the time frame and cost frame in which he originally proposed. I enthusiastically endorse David Hatter and Libertas for what ever computer programming solutions you may need."
Stephen Kidd, Better Living
To further ensure that clients are only billed for actual services rendered, each consultant is required to track their time and report it weekly to their project manager.
Again, we are committed to doing what we say we'll do and we believe that the following excerpt from one of the many client testimonial letters we have received says it better than we ever could:
"The website you built and donated is simply amazing! Thank you so much."
Steven Wrinn, University Press of Kentucky.