FullStack Labs

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Valley CAN

The Review


Please describe your organization.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. We do air quality and carbon reduction programs in California. We serve about 12,000 customers a year, and we're doing about 4,000 smog repairs. We'll do more than 1,000 down payments for vehicle replacements. Our budget is somewhere between $10 million and $15 million per year.


What challenge were you trying to address with FullStack Labs?

We have a huge need for what we call data automation – to take a process that was totally paper-based and start to automate that. Our low income customer base does not use technology. We've never used technology as there's never been a real appreciation on a technology side for the challenges with dealing with low income, often undocumented farm workers mainly.

We started working with Salesforce getting our data back-end in shape. We talked to FullStack Labs. They really showed a good understanding of what we were doing and have been adapting our needs throughout, and have come up with some great cheap solutions.

I think just above all, they are working within our limitations and are customizing to our needs, which is how all this has worked. Their attitude toward our needs is their greatest value in making all this work.


Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

They're doing hardware work, adapting hardware for our needs. They've been able to open our printer, copier and scanner equipment and started using that to do barcode scanning and OCR [optical character recognition] stuff that is customized to our needs. They are starting the process of adapting tablets to our needs, adding the ability to store and scan driver's licenses to pull the information that we need digitally very easily from the paperwork that our customers have. They're packing this hardware in a way that makes it usable for some unpredictable circumstances.

They have developed an app and are continuing to expand that as our custom intake app. All the back-end programming to decode barcodes and to decode vehicle identification numbers – it's a 14 or 15-digit number where each digit means something. They've been able to break that open and populate a lot of our stuff. Based on the VIN, they can do an automatic query to some online database and get more data back. Building in the logic to continually make qualification judgments for customers based on the responses that are populated into the app. They're growing that farther and farther out so that we can qualify customers for more benefits.

It's significant what they're up to. I think it ought to get a lot of recognition once we're fully done and launched. It's already delivering many benefits. The cheap integration they've done has been huge.

How did you come to work with FullStack Labs?

We found them through Hacker Lab, a nonprofit in Sacramento. They recommended the guys to help with our data analysis.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

About 1200 hours.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've gotten through the first phase. They have excelled in automating our data acquisition at events for vehicles. It works well. They've solved all our wireless and a bunch of other stuff. We're just at the point where we're pivoting into stage two, which is going to be moving from cars to households, and getting the app up on tablets; getting a lot more fields ready with everything.


Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

In our little world of vehicle emissions, carbon reduction, there's never been any tech associated with it for 10 years. The most advanced technology we use at our events was developed in 1997. This is a significant thing within our world of environmental improvement, field work to do environmental programs. This is the goal we've had for 10 years. The California Air Resources Board has seen the app working. They've seen the VINs being decoded, and the barcoding we're doing at events off vehicle registration paperwork.

If FullStack Labs hadn't performed as well, we would not be in the position to expand our program. This is instrumental to our entire strategy, and we are totally on track. I couldn't say enough about how they've enabled us to pursue our goals.

How did FullStack Labs perform from a project management standpoint?

It's great. Their managers have been engaged throughout. The whole project management staffing, matching team to task has been fantastic. All their staff is very committed. I'm very aware of how much bureaucracy there is in the tech world, and we've gotten nothing but solutions. I am totally happy with their approach to everything, their integrity, honesty, the whole thing. It's great.

What distinguishes FullStack Labs from other providers?

We were never told that what we were doing was going to be too difficult. I think part of the reason they were willing to engage was because of where they were located in Sacramento. I'm extremely happy with how they've approached this as a problem to solve. They've delivered solutions. It's been a very straightforward process, very understandable. I've never had a concern about them. This has been the rare time where I'm actually 100 percent satisfied with the performance of a contractor.

Is there anything FullStack Labs could have improved or done differently?

Within the limitations that we put on them – no.

FullStack Labs is currently adapting hardware and implementing OCR and barcode scanning as part of a Salesforce data automation project. The team also developed an app in the first phase of this project.

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Project Category


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Project Duration

2016 - Ongoing

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Project Size

1,201 Hours

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The Reviewer
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Tom Knox, Executive Director
Valley CAN
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Sacramento, California
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Engagements start at $75,000.

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