Case Study: Outsourced Product Development – Part 4

Continuing the series ‘Choosing The Right Outsourced Product Development Partner‘ we bring you the 4th and the final part of the series –

Case Study – Outsourced Product Development – Part 4

To illustrate the significance of product outsourcing partnership in current outsourcing scenario GoodWorksLabs and S.T.Dupont case study provides some good insights.

GoodWorksLabs is a new-age global software lab with strong know-how to solve software related business problems and building world-class products and apps.  S.T.Dupont is a Paris based super-luxury retail brand, which provides lighters, pens, wallets, watches, cigarettes and fragrances.

S.T. Dupont’s know-how in traditional luxury retail is unmatchable. With the time, the need of going electronic and mobile became significant for the company. The company had a problem to be solved. They needed,

  • A superior in-store iPad application that showcases all their products and helps them engage with their customers in their stores.
  • A technology that will scale across their stores globally, used by their headquarters, store managers and clients giving them personalized shopping experience.


GoodWorkLabs team was entrusted with the responsibility of solving these business issues for S.T.Dupont. Clearly, S.T.Dupont was not looking for an outsourced partner who develops the application as per the requirements given by the company. They were looking for an outsourced partner who understands their business, their culture, their clients and their business problems to come up with a world-class solution that represents their high-end brand. Because of this alliance,

  1. Company received the technical expertise of GoodWorkLabs in the domain where it had no expertise (i.e. technology, mobile apps, user-experience and UI)
  2. GoodWorkLabs created an easy-to-use and beautiful iPad application keeping the brand design guidelines in mind.
  3. GoodWorkLabs achieved this by developing the product iteratively using Agile software development (SCRUM) and Extreme Programming, working alongside ST Dupont’s team.
  4. GoodWorkLabs successfully created personalized shopping experience for consumers of S.T.Dupont brand. The essence of brand was intact in the new application.
  5. GoodWorkLabs also made sure that within the organization this technology change is adopted smoothly. Hence, application was equally focused towards backend staff, as it was towards customers.

“Brilliant team and superior product delivery! GoodWorkLABS built our in-store mobile app that powers our stores worldwide”
– Megha Malgatti, Corporate Strategy, ST Dupont, Paris.

For consultations on how to choose a right product-outsourcing partner, do get in touch with GoodWorkLabs at


You can access the complete series here –

Series: Choosing The Right Outsourced Product Development Partner – Part 1

Strategic Advantage of the Outsourcing Partner – Part 2

Does your product outsourcing partner meet your Fit and Trust criteria? – Part 3

Strategic Advantage of the Outsourcing Partner – Part 2

In continuation of our Series ‘Choosing The Right Outsourced Product Development Partner – Part 1‘, here’s the Part 2 where we will try to understand what is the strategic advantage one should seek before choosing an outsourced-product-development partner.


Part 2 – 

Today, if I am outsourcing a function of my business I am looking forward to reap much greater benefits than the cost advantages. I want “Strategic Advantage” out of my outsourcing partners. What do I mean by “Strategic Advantage”? As a modern business when I think about Outsourcing Partners, I am thinking about all of the following aspects and many more depending on my business context.

  • Will the partner bring the product, markets, and technology know-how related knowledge on table? Especially, knowledge related to the domains where I possess limited understanding.
  • Will I be strongly positioned against the competition after this partnership?
  • What is the labor cost arbitrage? How much can I save while keeping my quality and time line goals intact?
  • Does this partner understand user-experience and creating beautiful yet meaningful user interfaces?
  • Can I change or enhance my requirements mid-way when the partner is building my product with minimal impact?
  • Am I improving my supply chain through this partnership?
  • Will this partnership help me enter new markets?
  • Will I be able to pacify factors like geographic recessions, seasonality in product life cycle, etc.?
  • Will this partnership help me innovate and stay ahead in market?
  • Will this partner provide great tech support, maintenance and enhancements in our growth phase?

When you outsource a function of your business, especially a product, you are not deploying tasks. You are letting an outside organization enter into your overall vision of how you want to grow.  You have to trust them enough to be a part of your value delivery system.

Undoubtedly, in outsourcing a lot rides on the partner you choose to develop the outsourced product.

Choosing a Right Outsourcing Partner:

Clearly there are two major yardsticks to choose the right outsourcing partner: Fit and Trust. No partnership can be formed without the foundation of trust and you also need a partner who fits your outsourcing related business objectives and philosophies.

In the next part, we will get into a detailed analysis of Fit and Trust factors. Read Part 3 here.


Series: Choosing The Right Outsourced Product Development Partner – Part 1

We are glad to publish a short series on ‘Choosing The Right Outsourced Product Development Partner‘ which will act as a guide in helping companies, entrepreneurs and individuals choose product dev partners wisely. It will also be published as a whitepaper shortly.

Part 1.


It may have started as a cost saving business proposition, but outsourcing today is a business decision that requires profound strategic thinking.  A research by Harvard Business Review estimates offshore centers can deliver an additional 4-6x value above labor arbitrage[i]. This means besides cost advantage due to lower wages, there are several other advantages for the companies opting for outsourcing. Obviously, the value multiplier for these advantages depends on how smartly the outsourcing related decisions are made and implemented. One of the most critical decisions in outsourcing related matters, especially for building software and mobile products / apps, would be that of choosing a right partner for outsourced product development.

Choice of partners for developing outsourced products has always been one of the most critical outsourcing related decisions for the companies. If the partner fails to deliver the product quite as per the expectations, the development of the product has to be reassigned to the in house unit or re-outsource to yet another product development partner, resulting in loss of time and opportunity, and increased costs. Therefore, choice of a partner becomes a critical decision for the companies.

Let’s consider a couple of scenarios to understand how the outsourcing over the years has changed and how it is impacting the role of outsourced product development partners.

Consider scenario 1. This is a typical traditional outsourcing arrangement, where objective is no more than to save time and cost.  For example, an IT company outsourcing one of its current function to another IT company with the objective of saving cost and time. In this arrangement the company outsourcing the product possesses good knowledge of outsourced function and hence it has,

  • More clarity on time lines required for the project
  • Clarity on processes and know-how the partner should possess
  • A system to review the work in-process by partner and closer quality checks

In a nutshell in this arrangement companies have greater governance over the partners.

Now consider scenario 2. This is a modern outsourcing scenario where objective for outsourcing is business problem-solving. As a company, in this sort of outsourcing requirement, you will first segregate all the business functions, identify the function(s) in which you lack expertise or managerial bandwidth and outsource that function(s). You will rely on your partner to solve this functional business problem for you. In this arrangement,

  • Outsource partner is provided with a business problem and not product specification. Product specification are developed in collaboration
  • There is high reliance on partner to come up with innovative suggestions.
  • Partner is expected to have flexibility to accommodate changed requirements.
  • Partner must align itself to other business functions.

Though partner selection is critical in both the scenarios, clearly in scenario 2 partner selection is backbone of entire outsourcing arrangement and success of the business. Scenario 2 requires greater amount of trust in partner at lower level of governance.

In the next part, we will evaluate the questions and attribute a business needs to consider before outsourcing the end-to-end development of a product.


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