The Fuel Advantage at Work

We believe that Fuel clients have an advantage over their competitors, as they hold complete control of what they build, and when

Most of the time, our Clients work with us as a strategic partner for planned augmentation of their software development teams, or for that on-demand and scalable boost in capacity when they need to be more flexible for less predictable projects. We work closely with them to understand the particular demands of their business, and hand pick a select few teams from our curated network to partner with them on digital projects.

However, our Clients do not always have the luxury of strategic plans being perfectly executed and there are stressful periods when plans go sideways. As Mike Tyson famously once said, “Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth.”

So, written into the DNA of Fuel, is an understanding that “life happens” and even the best laid plans don’t always work out perfectly.  In fact, they seldom do.  When our Clients hit those bumps in the road, they know not to panic.  Fuel is there to provide a partner team to plug the gap so that development hardly misses a beat.

Life doesn’t stop, so why should your development?

What follows are some real-life, practical examples of ways in which we have helped our customers maintain their growth and pace of development, despite the challenges (planned and unplanned) of running a high-performing tech company. 

Illustration of the Fuel Advantage at Work over a few years in the life of a Client.

Client has a successful Series-A fund raise

As soon as the celebrations die down, the pressure is on and it’s a race to get to the next product release milestone and round of fundraising.  In a large city in the Pacific North-West, there is huge competition for experienced developers, so filling those permanent positions in the core development team can sometimes be a slow process. 

Challenge 1: Steep growth with funding

Fuel is briefed by the Client on the required tech stack competencies, preferred timezone overlap for a remote partner team and desired price range. Within a week, the Client is reviewing our shortlist of 5 teams and narrowing that down to a selection of 3 that they will interview via video conferencing before making their final selection.  In a little over 2 weeks, contracting and commercial terms are in place and Fuel is facilitating a “preparation for success” period between the Client and their new partner team as all of the necessary housekeeping items are taken care of that will lay the groundwork for successful outcomes.

The new partner team of 6 developers comes from a top software agency in Eastern Europe and have worked together for many, many projects and have already found their high-performance synergies.  They have a mix of seniority and experience and are optimised for quality, speed and cost-effectiveness.  They quickly get up to speed with the Client’s new product module and are working closely with the core in-house team to bring the project to a successful delivery on time within the 4 month deadline.  

This backup resourcing capability has given HR enough time to play catch up and recruit permanent employees who are phased in with a handover during the last month.

Client closes that big account with a large corporate

After chasing a large corporate account for the better part of a year, the Client was able to take Fuel off standby and press GO on a pre-readied, remote development team that had experience with customer integrations in this specific industry vertical - a fantastic match.

Challenge 2: Fluctuating development demands

Our Client was expecting a fluctuating and unpredictable demand on his developers for this customization and integration work on the new account.  There would be a lot of pressure up front to get some simpler modules up and working quickly, but a tolerance for more time to be taken with the more complex systems.  The anticipated workload would require up to 9 developers at most, but eventually would settle down to a baseload of about 3 or 4 developers, which our Client would ultimately place as permanent hires.  

Fuel worked closely with both the Client and the partner team to flex resources up and down as demands required over a lengthy integration project spanning 8 months. After this period, the account settled into a steady and predictable pattern that the Client could confidently resource for on a permanent basis.  The partner team has deep knowledge of the integrated systems and steps in from time to time to boost developer capacity when needed.

A few developers quit in quick succession

A reality in this industry is that developers like a broad and varied diet of software projects and experiences, and as happens to even the biggest and best companies, a few core developers resigned at short notice, leaving a significant hole for our Client to manage.

Challenge 3: Sudden resignations

Faced with either missing delivery deadlines on key projects, or stalling new product feature releases, our Client chose to contact Fuel to quickly arrange a relatively small team on a short-term contract to carry the load, while they sought full-time replacements.  Crisis averted.

Utilising the full development budget before year-end

A responsibility that most VPs of Engineering have to juggle is managing their annual development budgets.  They have to fight for their budget at the start of each year, and face criticism if they overspend and if they underspend!  An underspent budget makes it that much harder to motivate for additional funding in the new year.

As a result, what we frequently see from our Clients in the last quarter of the year is a drive to make the best use of any anticipated surplus budget by deploying a remote team to burn through non-critical technical backlogs or debt that has accrued throughout the year.

Challenge 4: Maximizing development budgets

In the illustrated example, the Client was fortunate enough to have a significant budget to deplete and had a short but intense engagement with a large remote team from South Africa that spent the last two months of the year clearing a large portion of the backlog and mowing through Jira tickets.

Take advantage of Fuel

Fuel is your on-demand platform of vetted development teams, ready to power the execution of your critical project initiatives. 

As the name says, we can be the fuel for your tech business.  Tell us what vehicle you’re driving and how far you want to get, and we will take care of the rest - ensuring that you never run out of gasoline when you need it most.  Schedule your delivery with us in advance, or give us a call when you’re stuck on the side of the road.  We’re passionate about really understanding our customers and helping them thrive.

If any of the examples that we’ve illustrated sound familiar and you’d like to learn more, please get in touch here.  We’d love to hear from you!

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