Level 12

Principled People, Software that Works

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Level 12 brings an expert perspective to companies who need well-crafted, lasting solutions to their data and software challenges. We do this through invested partnerships, proven processes and frank, honest communication.

Leading software development service providers in Louisville, KY. We Specialize in building web applications, Robotic Process Automation, databases, data and reporting solutions, dashboards, integration, web portals. Located in the greater Louisville, KY area.

$150 - $199/hr
10 - 49
2009
Locations
United States
326 E Court Ave, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47130
812.285.8766

Focus Areas

Service Focus

30%
25%
15%
10%
10%
10%
  • Software Development
  • Robotic Process Automation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Mobile App Development
  • Cloud Computing Services

Client Focus

50%
40%
10%
  • Large Business
  • Medium Business
  • Small Business

Industry Focus

40%
30%
10%
10%
10%
  • Financial & Payments
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Healthcare & Medical

Level 12 Executive Interview

Royce Hall
Royce Hall
Director of Business Development
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Kindly share your feedback on how GoodFirms has been doing so far in increasing your visibility among potential clients.
GoodFirms has been a great resource for Level 12 so far. They make it easy to get client feedback and have already increased the number of potential clients going to our website. The platform is easy to use, and the GoodFirms team is very responsive to my needs.
Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
Level 12 is a full-service software development shop. We help businesses design and build vital software assets to handle complex data problems, automate repetitive processes, and bring new products to life.

I am the Director of Business Development at Level 12 and help business leaders figure out if custom software is the right fit for them and what those software products should look like.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
Level 12 is built upon two core principles: Quality software development, and Client Empathy. 
We started at Level 12 because we are passionate about building good software. There are lots of software developers and development shops out there. Still, many are more focused on making money than taking the time to build high quality, well-tested software. We want to change that. 
As passionate as we are about code quality, we are equally dedicated to Client Empathy – truly understanding our client's business needs so that as consultants we can give them the right advice, even if that advice is "custom software is not the right move for you." We pursue the betterment of our clients, not just a paycheck. We dig at our client's problem until we can own it and feel the rub that our client feels, and then tailor solutions to conquer those problems in an Agile fashion (delivering early and often).
What are your company's business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We are a small (think concentrated) in-house, on-shore development team. We hire developers who understand how to write high-quality code and how to consult with clients to reveal the best solutions. Our hiring process is designed to find the truly "gifted" developers to add to our software "special forces" team.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
We are both consultants and software engineers. Our value add is that we help our clients see the more foundational issues in the opportunities and problems they are trying to address with software. Many companies will jump right in and start writing code – but if they are not solving the right problems, even the best quality code will end in project failure. Practicing Client Empathy helps us avoid the most significant risk in software development – building the wrong thing. So from the very beginning of our engagements, even in the sales process, we help our clients and potential clients see at a deeper level what issues they are facing and uncover opportunities and questions they had not previously considered. We also provide project validation and engineering phases where we document for our clients what software solutions they need and even offer wireframe mockups that they can either pursue with other development teams or with us. It is hard for larger firms to do this well as they tend to hire faster with less emphasis on Client Empathy. As we like to say, we do not just code monkeys.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
We are capable of servicing almost every industry. Our most substantial clients have been in Fintech (Payment Processing/Merhcant Services in particular), Transportation/Logistics, Green Energy, Manufacturing, and Healthcare.
Nearly 100% of our clients are repeat clients.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
There are a few big questions we have to ask before setting the scope and timeline of a mobile app project.

First, do you even need a mobile app?  Many people want a mobile app because that is what we think of when we say "app," and it is refreshing to have something on the Google or Mac store. What people don't realize is that you have to start with a web app, then build out the mobile app for either Droid or Mac. If you want the app on both stores, you are building the project 3 times. Is this necessary? What is the demand for the app currently? How long will it take to pay back this investment? Would having a mobile-friendly web app that has an icon on your phone/device suit your needs (for 1/2 the cost)?

Second, you have to ask what features are necessary. We made a video where we compare making a tank to making a milk truck (posted on our GoodFirms profile) that explains this pretty well. Often people come to us with a scope of work that amounts to a tank. But when we start asking, "do you actually need the treads and armour," it turns out that a lot of those feature requests people just thought sounded cool. We have to ask, what is the most important feature - if you only had "x" this project would be a success. Let's start building that, and as we get user feedback, make additional features, so we end up with something that meets the user's needs exactly. You thought you needed a tank, but when the project is over, you end up with a milk truck that meets your real needs.

Once we have figured out what are the essential parts of the project, then we can start to define timelines.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
A lot of the applications we build are for internal use, so our work tends to be more on the backend and database side of things. If the backend doesn't function well for these apps, having a nicer UI/UX is not going to be of much value. To truly answer this question, though, we would have to go back to Client Empathy – what is most famous for the client. Is the project a UI/UX update, then we will spend most of the time on the front end. Is the project automating bookkeeping and accounting, then it is going to be mostly backend work. It all depends on the needs of the client.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
What are your key objectives? What is your target audience? What devices do they use? We tailor our solutions to the needs of our clients, so there is no right or wrong platform per se. We are platform agnostic. We look at each opportunity on its own merit and guide our clients towards the solution that makes the most sense for them (even if that doesn't include us).
Which platform do you suggest your clients, to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
Most of the time, we start by asking if a mobile app is going to serve their needs. Many projects can be executed just as well at a fraction of the cost with a web app. Especially if you are operating on a "build it and they will come" mentality, it can pay big dividends to start small and prove the concept before biting of the expense of building a mobile app (which has to start some web app development anyway). If we are building a mobile app, we have to ask what is going to serve the client's users the best. Are they mostly Droid or iOS users? If it is an internal app to the business, what devices do you stock your employees with? Asking the right questions about key functionality (and budget) helps guide us to which platform is appropriate for the project.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
There is no right or wrong answer, it all depends on the need of the clients. If the majority of their users are Mac users, then iOS may make more sense. If they are droid users, that may make more sense. Many of our projects end up being hybrid web apps because this approach gives you much bang for your buck. It is a lower cost of entry than doing a mobile app from the start, especially if you are trying to prove an idea for the first time and don't have a subscriber client list yet.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
The key factor is what features the client needs. The more features, and the more platforms the client wants to be on, the more coding work and complexity are added to the project. Complexity plays a large role in the price estimation as well. Complexity adds to price exponentially, not logarithmically. The more complex a project is the more potential for unforeseeable hurdles that not only take much time but a lot of skill and thought to resolve. We often start simple, with an MVP that we can deliver quickly and will provide the essential functions of the app, then we build out additional features in an iterative fashion.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions etc.)
We try to keep payment easy and reasonable to our clients by billing for time and materials. Software is fundamentally a discovery process, so it is tough from the start of a project to define exactly what the scope (and therefore price) will be. Our clients often get into a project and say, "our business needs have changed, and we need "xyz" now." Billing by the hour allows us to adjust quickly without getting into price and contract wars with our clients. Fixed cost contracts structurally put us at odd with our clients – we would get more profit by blasting through work with less emphasis on quality or concern for the evolving needs of the client. Billing by the hour allows us to adapt to the actual needs of our clients. 
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
We are pretty flexible. Typically our projects are between $20k and $250k, although we have done larger and smaller.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2019?
Our smallest project in 2019 was about $2k documenting an API (this was a loss-leader project). On the high side, we had a couple of projects around the $250k mark.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients, enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
It depends on the needs and vision of the client. We have built a couple of SaaS products that have a tiered monthly subscription model. Another client is going to use the app we built to sell franchises. Another uses our app for wagering and doesn't need a subscription service. Our advice and software tailoring is all dependent on the needs of the client.

Level 12 Clients & Portfolios

Merchant Residuals System Overhaul
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Merchant Residuals System Overhaul
  • Merchant Residuals System Overhaul screenshot 1
$500000+
100 weeks
Financial & Payments

The Challenge

A merchant processing company had retained us to build and maintain their residual (commission) reporting system since early 2008.

As time went on, the system was regularly expanded to handle additional calculations and logic related to the payment residuals.  Unfortunately, the way the system was originally built was not ideal for the volume and complexity of calculations that were eventually asked of it.

As the system aged and the size of data grew, the calculations began to take longer and longer and the server resources used grew larger and larger. In addition, the needs of the customer were changing. Their monthly residuals process involved manually editing the Excel reports after they were generated to handle edge cases that the residuals calculator didn’t know about or didn’t have the data to handle. This meant that the actual residuals amounts paid to the customer would vary between the file and that data in the database, leading to difficulties when trying to report on residuals.

As time progressed, our customer desired to extend their residual reporting with more complex pricing options than the original system could support. In addition to this, their residuals team was constantly stretched to complete their monthly reporting cycle due to the amount of manual intervention needed. Reducing this workload was a priority, and would require a new reporting process. The need to be able to ensure that the calculated residuals numbers were correct, as well as the reports themselves, also rose in importance.

In 2014, after years of recommending an overhaul of this system, our customer was able to allocate the funds necessary to begin working on the project. The top priorities were:

  • All residuals related calculations had to happen in the system.  No more edits to the Excel reports after they were generated.
  • The final residuals calculations would need to be stored in the database for easy reporting.
  • Performance would need to be increased significantly.
  • Feature enhancements that would make the calculation process more accurate and prevent or detect errors.
  • Add non-bankcard payment products to the residuals reports.

The Solution

Our solution was broken up into three main components and stages so we could use an iterative development process:

  1. The residuals calculator
  2. Report generation
  3. Everything else

We began working with the customer to fully spec the residuals calculation process, in order to determine what calculations and types of records would need to be supported. We then began coding with a full rewrite of the data model and calculator for residual records. Tests were written at the same time for automated confirmation of the calculator’s results, to prevent changes from having unintended results or bug regressions.

When the calculator was completed and “covered” with testing, our focus shifted to the reports. Again, tests were created to ensure that each cell on each worksheet was checked for accuracy. The reports generated from the new system were compared to the reports generated by the old system, plus any manual adjustments, to verify accuracy. Any discrepancies were debugged and fixed. This proved to be an incredibly valuable process as we sometimes found that the new system was correct and the older system and/or the manual changes being applied were creating errors.

At the point that the calculator and reporting process were determined to be significantly stable, we went to work on all the additional functionality. This included:

  • Modifications to make it easier to enter and report on one-off monetary adjustments
  • Pricing profile UI and database cleanup
  • Emailing of residuals reports
  • Improved monthly finalization logic
  • Exception reporting
  • Audit trail for pricing: if any rate, fee, adjustment, etc. is changed by a user, the customer has a record of that change so that calculations could always be reconstructed if necessary.
  • The inclusion of residuals calculations for a number of different payment products beyond credit and debit cards.
Logistics Analytics & Data Visualization
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Logistics Analytics & Data Visualization
  • Logistics Analytics & Data Visualization screenshot 1
$100001 to $500000
100 weeks
Transportation & Logistics

The Challenge

With many years invested in a legacy analytics tool that was no longer supported, our client needed to find a replacement that would allow their business users to continue to analyze and evaluate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and to pull reports for organizational activities and data.

The legacy application included approximately 20 business “views” that needed to be converted for use in the new tool.  As their business continued to grow and change, there would be the need to add new data and views, so flexibility and adaptability were important.

The tool itself would need to:

  • Provide high level summaries, multiple types of visualizations, and also be able to drill down into the details.
  • Be web-based so that access to the tool was not hindered by location or worksite.
  • Have a very flexible permission system that would accommodate our customer’s multi-level multi-site management structure without making sensitive data available to the wrong people.
  • Be very user friendly for non-technical business users. Pushing important data deeper into their organization would be a big win for our customer.
  • It needed to remain flexible and powerful for more advanced users and business analysts.

The Solution

We worked with our client to research potential options and chose to implement Pentaho as the solution.  We were responsible for installing and customizing the Pentaho application to meet their business needs.  This included configuring the application to connect to Microsoft Active Directory for authentication as well as writing custom Java plugins for Pentaho in order to incorporate row level filtering for data access.

We designed and built a data warehouse and developed numerous (ETL) processes to organize and move data from their operations database into the data warehouse. We built an ETL framework that shared libraries with the operations database to cut down on development time and prevent errors caused by the ETL data models and operations data models getting out of sync.  Most of the ETL pipeline and data cube configurations are covered by automated tests.  Those tests help us catch errors early in the development process and give us confidence that the data these systems are providing to our users is correct.

As we converted each data view from the old tool to Pentaho, we worked with our customer to make sure the data that was being provided by the view was still relevant and accurate.  Due to this attention to the current & real needs of our customer, their BI landscape changed considerably, for the better.

Today our customer uses Pentaho for most of their business intelligence needs.  We have setup almost 50 different data cubes for their use. Those cubes cover a wide range of domains inside the organization including:

Operations

  • Asset meter readings & utilization
  • Asset Maintenance
  • Customer Management
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Fuel Tracking
  • Load Tracking
  • Labor Efficiency
  • Revenue Validation
  • Safety
  • Service Quality

Financial

  • Asset Tracking
  • Sales & Revenue
  • P&L
  • Vendor audits

Human Resources

  • Staffing Goals
  • Retention
Red E App Development and CTO Service
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Red E App Development and CTO Service
  • Red E App Development and CTO Service screenshot 1
$50001 to $100000
52 weeks
Startups

In this project we provided CTO as a Service to help guilde the overall develpoment direction of the Red E App SaaS product, as well as some developer support. Our high level guidance and software development expertise helped Red E App scale up their platform as well as accelerate the internal development lifecycle. You can see CEO Jonathan Erwin's testimonial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=c9spJovCvk4&feature=emb_logo

Machine Learning Windmill Inspection with Autonomous Drones
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Machine Learning Windmill Inspection with Autonomous Drones
  • Machine Learning Windmill Inspection with Autonomous Drones screenshot 1
$100001 to $500000
100 weeks
Oil & Energy

In this project we inspect power generation windmills with drones. We are responsible for the software that launches the drones, pulls the data off the drones, and then sends that to Microsoft Azure where we spin up huge GPU instances to process the images through a machine learning model that can identify blade defects. That all then gets automatically added to a graphical interface for the client to interface with that shows them the severity of the damage, which blade, etc. so they can schedule repairs.

Level 12 Reviews

5.0 2 Reviews
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Sarah Gerald, CPP

Excellent choice for your software solution

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Level 12 is always my number one choice for Software and development solutions. Randy and his team not only put together some of the best custom tools for business use, they also grasp the true set of requirements that a client may need, which is one of the most difficult processes on new development. Most 3rd Party developers require a client inhouse technical BA to enhance the message between a business user (client) and the developers at a 3rd party organization. Not at Level 12. Level 12 is a simple one stop shop and Randy's team will always pull business users through the experience and the user cases that the client has ultimately asked for. I've used Level 12 for several large tools in the Acquiring Payment space in which they build from scratched, maintained for the ongoing development and supported us for a long standing relationship. An additional note, if you're also looking for API development, this is your team! You will not be disappointed regardless of what your Software needs are or what your business segment may require.
Jonathan Erwin

Everything is working great!

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Project Detail

$50001 to $200000
Completed

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What was the project name that you have worked with Level 12?

Red E App