Nearshoring in practice

Everyone knows the benefits of nearshore software development in Eastern Europe: well-trained specialists are widely available, labor costs are significantly lower and the communication lines are much shorter than farshoring in the Far East. But how does it work? Product Owner Erik Holleboom tells how nearshoring is made successful at his customer ASML.

What is your role in nearshoring?

My role is what we call at Strypes the 'product owner'. I am fulltime present at ASML and technically responsible. I discuss projects with the client and translate those into requirements which I can deposit at our office in Bulgaria. Throughout the entire project I am both contact for the customer as for my colleague who guides the developers in Bulgaria.

What is the most important success factor?

My constant presence at ASML, I think is essential for the success of nearshoring. There is no language barrier in discussions to overcome and I am always available for contact and intermediary. At the same time, I have daily mail and phone contact with my Bulgarian colleagues and about once a month I fly to Sofia. If necessary, our technicians also come to the Netherlands. It runs very smoothly. There is no visa requirement and is only two hours flying. Another important point is that I involve our developers in Sofia as early as possible in the projects. In this way the work process proceeds as efficiently as possible.

How many people and how many projects are involved?

We have discovered that the ideal working ratio is one product owner guiding five to ten people in Bulgaria. At this moment I am working parallel on several projects. That is a nice challenge because it involves very different kind of projects. For instance, we are working on projects to expand existing code, development of new tools but also migration projects, such as migrating code to a new OS.

What is typically 'Strypes' to your way of working?

We try to work as close as possible with the customer. Our projects are often high-tech, which means that they often need to be adjusted to get to the desired end result. We work on a black-box way (purely delivering the desired result), but also according to the whiteboard principle. This means that we develop in a very open way in collaboration with the client. So the word 'near' in 'nearshoring' has an extra meaning at Strypes.