In the summer of 2006, Summit Publishing was at a dire crossroads with regards to its aging flagship Web sites, Packworld.com and Automationworld.com. A few months earlier, Summit had fired a Web development vendor after they spent 14 months (and tens of thousands of dollars of Summit's money) on the Web sites and had nothing to show for it. Summit had spent the summer in talks with another well-known Web development company that specialized in publishing, only to get stuck with a sizable bill for "consulting", which consisted of making painfully obvious recommendations.
Meanwhile, Summit had hired M29 to work on a small back-end spot technology integration project. After that project went well, and against the backdrop of the other vendor failures, Summit asked M29 to quote the Packworld.com and AutomationWorld.com redesign project. The quote came in competitive and M29 agreed to a stringent time table for completing the projects. M29 recommended a well-known, well-supported open-source CMS, and the project proceeded forward with Summit’s approval. To Summit's amazement, M29 not only beat the deadlines and stuck to their word on the capped billing, but M29 also met the early incentive deadline. AutomationWorld.com was developed from start to finish in seven weeks, and Packworld.com, which required some additional functionality, was live three weeks later. Summit gladly remitted the incentive payment. "It's the best money I've ever spent," says David Newcorn, one of Summit's VP/eMedia.
A test of M29's flexibility came when the Packworld.com site was launched and Summit's biggest Web advertiser was unhappy with their new treatment on the home page and was threatening to pull all their business. Summit quickly conferred with M29 and a plan was hatched to rip up the home page and completely redesign the top half – all of which was completed in 8 hours from when the advertiser first complained. The advertiser was delighted and so was Summit.
"This to me was completely new," says Newcorn. "Our previous vendor would have hemmed and hawed and complained that we keep changing our minds, and the conversation would have devolved into whose fault it is. It's no one's fault. Requirements change. Deal with it!" And M29 did. Summit has gone on to use M29 for many other Web development projects, and finds M29 more cost-effective and more nimble than hiring in-house developers.