Project Description

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Traditional outsourcing is in my opinion a model that does not work anymore. Maybe it works if you have very specified projects and a more ad-hoc approach to development; but really that is not how most companies today are doing IT development.

Simon Westh Henriksen
CTO | TripX Travel AB

TripX has grown tenfold in revenue, all powered by the tech built by the team.

The Challenge – Company growth making their own team a necessity

The Solution – A small team of 3 developers in North Macedonia

Result – A value-aligned team of trust and honesty

In 2013, TripX was growing at a rapid pace, and even with a traditional outsourcing setup in Malta, their resources were scarce, and needed expansion in order for TripX to keep up with the competition from other companies causing TripX to lose developers. They realized that planning and implementing something resembling their own team and resources would be the way forward if the right partner was found.

“For me, it was super important that we had our own team, so I could build up know-how. Also, team culture, have the employees be part of TripX. It was also important that we worked with a partner that had the same values, had transparency; I’m getting approached every week by sourcing companies, people trying to make quick bucks, so it’s super important to find the right partner that shares your values, communicates well, has a transparent setup in terms of pricing model, and what they are doing,” Simon Westh Henriksen, CTO of TripX, says while highlighting that finding a partner where you feel prioritized is crucial.

Challenge of inclusion
Moving away from their traditional outsourcing setup in Malta, TripX was looking at a variety of different companies, especially companies offering Ukraine as a nearshore location. At the time, many of the sourcing companies were too large for TripX to feel included and cared for, as they required a team of three developers: “My advice to anyone looking for an insourcing/outsourcing solution, is to find the right partner; that understands what you want to do and understands your culture. Then put in the time up front, to build your team; my recommendation is to spend a lot of time to find a really good team lead, that’s what we did. It was not easy to find the right guy, but it has been absolutely crucial to our success, and it has meant I could focus on other things, than micromanaging the team,” Simon Westh Henriksen recommends, stressing that finding a team-lead that you trust is another crucial factor for success.

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In 2016, TripX onboarded with INSCALE, starting small with a team of 3 developers in the heart of North Macedonia; Skopje: “The main challenge of scaling our team has been finding the right candidates, and finding the candidates that had the right skills, especially with modern technologies, cloud architecture, React etc. I think by chance I stumbled into INSCALE; and had a meeting here in Copenhagen at first, and then in Skopje, and it just felt right. We were getting attention, we shared the same values, we felt Macedonia was a really great place to start at that time,” Simon Westh Henriksen says, while emphasizing how a culture fit is key when hiring candidates, and how the culture of North Macedonia being similar to Scandinavia, alongside the English proficiency of North Macedonia being of a high level, made the location a great choice for TripX: “I think INSCALE did a great job of trying to match the culture of our company with the actual candidates. We found a lot of candidates that had a lot of experience, the right skills, but the culture was just not a fit; and that was really important and the key because it makes it so much easier to onboard, and the whole communication just work smoothly,” he says.

Strong correspondence
Since then, the partnership between TripX and INSCALE has grown to 5 developers. Along the way, the communication between TripX and the team in North Macedonia has remained strong and has become the foundation for the long-term success of TripX: “Spend time finding the right team members, spend time and socialize with them, so you get to know them, and make sure they trust you, so they always tell you the truth. Make sure that you establish a really strong connection with the team lead down there, because he’s basically your extended arm in the place, and there needs to be 100% trust, honesty and alignment with your values if you want long term success,” Simon Westh Henriksen says, while underlining that involving the team-lead, making the individual part of the journey and hiring process, makes you certain of the value correspondence between the team and your company.

The partnership between TripX and INSCALE has resulted in a long-term solution of a development team in North Macedonia, where the developers were handpicked based on their connection to TripX values: “The main outcomes of scaling our development team, was an increase growth of TripX in general, whilst we have been working with the team in Macedonia. TripX has grown tenfold in revenue, all powered by the tech built be the team, so that was of course the main thing,” Simon Westh Henriksen says, while emphasizing that the micromanaging that he experienced working with traditional outsourcing has turned towards being able to focus on other company aspects: “My role as CTO has developed from being very micro-managing on the project level, to being able to move back a little bit and be more involved in other business things, because we have a team lead down there, that has been growing with the team, and taken over a lot of my previous tasks, and that has been a really nice thing to see and feel, and has helped TripX to grow as well,” he says, underlining how keeping domain knowledge and the same team members is crucial for TripX as a business.

Micromanaging being outdated
“Traditional outsourcing is in my opinion a model that does not work anymore. Maybe it works if you have very specified projects and a more ad-hoc approach to development; but really that is not how most companies today are doing IT development. We needed to have our own team; the IT team is half of the employees & staff at TripX, and it’s crucial for our business. There’s no way we could just rely on some outsourcing partner, you have to have the knowledge and the same team members, being able to build up a team is super important if you want to be productive,” Simon Westh Henriksen explains.

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Developers
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Technologies:
C#
ASP.NET
.Net Core
React
Kubernetes
Azure
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Years with INSCALE
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