Consulting and Technical Support, Inc.
PICK of the Litter for MultiValue Support since 2003
You will have an opportunity below to send us an email. But before doing so, please consider our requirements carefully. And please resist the urge to call. There are no shortcuts to our rigorous application process. All the necessary steps are outlined in detail below.
MvCaTs is spearheading a Paradigm Shift to remote PICK/MultiValue support. We are looking for positive thinkers with the attitude "that might work", who thrive on problem-solving, believing "all roads lead to Rome but some are better roads". The single most important trait you must possess (other than the ability to program) is the ability to follow instructions. We want Consultants who program themselves to succeed. If you think you can, you're right; if you think you can't, you're right.
We are looking for exceptional Senior PICK/MultiValue Programmer/Analysts with education, experience, and expertise, who exhibit enthusiasm, self-confidence, and a passion for original thought. We are seeking those rare individuals who show incredible attention to detail (perfectionists ARE encouraged to apply) and who are committed to an open exchange of ideas and resources and absolutely dedicated to preserving and enhancing the PICK/MultiValue Database Model for years to come.
Our Manager prerequisites include the following: a minimum of 20 years experience in PICK/MultiValue Basic (any variant) and a 4 year degree in any discipline to earn the title of District Manager -or- a minimum of 15 years experience in PICK/MultiValue Basic (any variant) and a 2 year degree or technical diploma in an Information Technology discipline to earn the title of Project Manager; experience working with a variety of MultiValue systems and their code variations; experience with some form of GUI to MultiValue integration -or- with Unix scripting; good people skills; the ability to create PICK/MultiValue source code from scratch as well as to maintain existing code; excellent verbal & written communication skills; experience creating MS Office Word documents & Excel spreadsheets; desirable skill sets such as AccuTerm GUI, Activant Prelude, DesignBais, OpenInsight, System Builder, Visual Basic, Java, Oracle, CUBS, DataFlo, DataStage, DataTel Colleague (now Ellucian), Envision, InfoLease, web development, MS Office Access; experience working via secure remote access using a Terminal Emulator application such as AccuTerm, ViaDuct, wIntegrate; demonstrated ability to manage time and projects effectively; and a strong sense of commitment to getting the job done right - whatever it takes. Your resume must reflect client loyalty.
We would favorably consider experts in any of the following: Unix/Linux/Aix, ColdFusion, Ellucian (Datatel), C#, C++
To work effectively with our clients, you MUST be able (and willing) to multi-task. Rarely will you have the luxury of starting a project and taking it all the way to completion uninterrupted. When you log onto a port on a multivalue system, your process is given a timeslice. And every other process gets a little less system attention while you are logged in. If you've ever tried to log in and instead got the message "too many users", you know how a client feels when a consultant is unwilling to take a few minutes to let the client be heard. It's a great way to lose a good client. Instead, you must be willing to give them your gracious, sub-divided attention. You don't have to "drop everything" to start that new project; you simply need to suspend temporarily what you are in the middle of for another client by closing out that time log entry and opening another for the party in need. They just want to know they've been heard and given an idea of when you hope to be able to look into the matter. It will take only a few minutes of your time, and the consultation is usually billable (unless it's a new client prospect).
Mediocrity is NOT spoken here. "Good enough" never is. Our Consultants are expected to strive for excellence, even in the smallest details of the simplest project. That means always coding to the best of your ability, testing thoroughly for both desired and undesired input, and anticipating the "dough boy" effect your changes may precipitate. (If you push it in here, it's sure to pop out there.) Your performance is a reflection on us all. Just as a General Contractor in the building trades inspects the work of a sub-contractor before calling in the Building Inspector, our CEO will perform final alpha testing as Quality Assurance before any deliverables are presented to a Client.
MvCaTs are on the prowl for work that's right up your alley! We advertise and prospect for PICK/MultiValue Clients and seek to match existing and new Clients with Consultant skill sets. We perform monthly Time Billing, Accounts Receivable, and Payment services for Consultants in exchange for services they render to MvCaTs Clients. However, we do not make any guarantee of future work. All qualified Managers will be given the opportunity to accept a new project which will be assigned on a "first come, first served" basis. So a timely response is essential. You would not be under exclusive contract; instead, you would be encouraged to freelance between projects for your own and other non-MvCaTs Clients to supplement your income as needed or desired. As a rule, we usually do not work full-time for any one client. And when we do, the hours are usually split between two or more consultants. So if full-time is what you're looking for, you need to find a recruiter. We are a PICK Consulting Group; as such, we multitask.
You may be running your own software corporation and supervising a staff of programmers. As an MvCaTs Manager, you would be able to sub-contract MvCaTs projects to them. You would be responsible to perform quality control on their work as well as their timecards before presentation to our CEO. Their performance would reflect on you as well as MvCaTs. Time billed for each of your programmers would be tracked individually by us then emailed to you once a month on an itemized Time Billing Staff Summary along with One check for the Total amount earned. You would then pay your programmers as you normally do after a client pays you. In this case, MvCaTs would be a "pseudo" Client of your corporation.
Your application will not be considered unless you are incorporated (filing IRS Form 1120 or 1120S or the equivalent for non-US residents) and working as an Independent Contractor. Incorporating protects your personal assets from litigation and enables us to engage your Corporation on a non-employee basis. And you must not be working the equivalent of full-time for any one client. In other words, you must currently be supporting at least two clients and submitting monthly billing invoices to them to charge for your time. Full-time employees will not be considered. Why? Well, for one thing, you would not be available during normal business hours to support MvCaTs Clients; it would create a conflict of interest. And for another, you would not understand the level of commitment it takes to win and retain clients.
If you are just now considering incorporation, a word of caution from our Independent Accountant: "Working as a 1099 in lieu of incorporating has already cost you several thousands in lost tax breaks. Go for INC as an S-Corp rather than LLC. Under the auspices of an S-Corporation, in addition to many tax breaks, you can also set up a pension fund. An LLC can only be classed as a Corporation if there is more than one person in the company. But even then, it is really a partnership. The IRS calls an LLC 'the new kid on the block' and targets it constantly for audit. With an LLC, you will not get the tax breaks, you cannot even set up your own payroll, and in some states such as CA, you may not even be allowed to open a business bank account. In addition, an LLC offers very limited liability protection." Since MvCaTs requires you to be classed as a Corporation, if you do not have more than one person in your company, you must go with INC, not LLC.
As an MvCaTs Manager, you would work from your own District Office via secure remote access to Client sites. And you would provide your own computer equipment, office supplies, cell phone, etc, just as you already do to support your own clients. The pay rate you negotiate with MvCaTs will be considered sufficient to cover any expenses incurred to service an MvCaTs Client. (Our Clients pay for ALL travel-related expenses in advance as outlined below.)
As an MvCaTs Manager, you MUST be available during the day to support our Clients. A Manager assists our CEO in specifying the Service Quote, responding to Support Requests and interacting with the Client contact, assigning portions of the project to themselves and other interested Consultants, and ensuring the Client's satisfaction with the finished product. A Manager is free to consult with other Managers to request advice or to ask if another Manager already has a routine which would accomplish what they are trying to do without the need to reinvent the wheel. When another Manager participates in a project, that Manager will submit a Timecard in order to be paid for their participation (see Daily Timecards section below).
MvCaTs pays a Fixed Percentage of the Hourly Rate we bill the Client (AFTER any discounts have been applied). If an Applicant passes muster with our CEO, the Applicant will be offered a Fixed Percentage Pay Rate which we believe to be commensurate with their education, experience, and expertise. It is then up to the Applicant to accept or negotiate a different rate. The agreed-upon rate is then recorded in the Consultant Agreement. This Agreement remains in effect until canceled or replaced.
Here is a Pay Rate example: if a Consultant negotiates for 60% of the Hourly Rate, the Consultant would earn $87.60 per hour at our current $146.00 Remote Rate or $116.40 per hour at our $194.00 Onsite Rate. If a 10% New Client Discount off our Remote Rate was in effect, the Client would be billed at $131.40 per hour and the Consultant, in this example, would earn $78.84 per hour which is $87.60 - $8.76 (10%). If the work was performed at our current $194.00 Onsite Rate, a Client with our 10% New Client discount in effect would be billed at $174.60 per hour and the Consultant, in this example, would earn $104.76 per hour which is $116.40 - $11.64 (10%). But this is only one example; we encourage you to negotiate your own Pay Rate based on Education, Experience, and Expertise. (Our rates may undergo an annual COLA on January 1st of each year.)
With the Percentage we keep, MvCaTs pays two types of Expenses: 1) Corporate Expenses such as charitable donations, headquarters office rent, electric, water, trash pickup, telephone, cable ISP, website hosting, insurance, office supplies, postage, maintenance & repairs; 2) Administrative Expenses such as Wages & Matching Payroll for our W-2 staff who perform Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll, Time Billing, Database Maintenance, Customer Service, Prospecting for New Clients, & Website Maintenance.
Occasionally, a Client requests some Onsite Services. No Manager is required to accept an Onsite project. But MvCaTs bills at a 33% premium above our Remote rate for these services in exchange for a Consultant's willingness to leave the comforts of home, family, friends, religious and community ties and responsibilities to endure the tedium and risks of travel, to live out of a suitcase, eat restaurant food, and work odd hours in an unfamiliar environment. You would need to take a laptop computer in order to access shared utilities, check email, and submit Daily Timecards. Our Rates web page includes a Sample Quote for an Onsite Survey. If a Consultant accepted such a travel assignment, which includes 20 hours for travel to cover 2 travel days and a 4-night stay, a Travel Expense Advance check would be mailed to the Consultant the day after the Client's 100% Retainer was posted to and cleared our corporate bank account. In the above 60% Pay Rate example, the Consultant would receive an advance totaling $2,328.00 to cover travel and onsite expenses. See our Travel Policy web page for further details.
Our Consultants bill us by submitting Daily Timecards at the end of each day worked using Excel worksheet templates supplied by MvCaTs. All Timecards are reviewed for accuracy and approved by our CEO before being posted through Time Billing, Accounts Receivable, and Payment services. From these timecards, we generate Time Billing Statements to our Clients on the first business day of the month following a month in which services were rendered. Clients have until the 20th of the month to remit payment. After those deposits clear, a check will be mailed to the Consultant's corporation, usually no later than the 26th of the month (or the first business day thereafter if the 26th occurs on a weekend or corporate holiday) following a month in which services were rendered to and paid for by MvCaTs Clients.
As an Independent Contractor, you set your own Work Hours based on Client expectation. MvCaTs has two Rate Classes: Remote and Onsite. These rates are in effect around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Sometimes, a Client you have supported may be in dire need at odd hours or on a weekend or holiday. You will be expected to render support, even when it is an inconvenience, because you are a professional.
To succeed as an Internet-based PICK Consulting Group, frequent communication is vital. We expect a Timely Response to ALL attempts to contact an MvCaTs Consultant. When we cannot reach you at your District Office or at your home, we must be able to reach you at your Cell Phone number. And if we send an email, we expect a response within 24 hours, if for no other reason than to acknowledge receipt of the email. (If a complete stranger said "hello" in an elevator, you would say "hello" back. It's common courtesy.) MvCaTs Consultants are not required to accept any project offered. But they are expected to let us know promptly whether or not they are interested in said project. Our Administrative Staff does not have time to hand-hold or cajole. As one Gordon Lightfoot song says, "Step up or step back." Not responding is not an option. Three failures to respond in a timely manner will result in immediate termination of the Consultant Agreement.
If your career is at a crossroads or you are looking to supplement your income, and you meet ALL of our prerequisites stated above, you may want to consider Partnering with MvCaTs. (If your credentials don't quite meet our prerequisites, but you strongly believe you should be the exception to our rule, we invite you to use your powers of persuasion via step 1 below.) Please resist the urge to call; instead first determine if you share the philosophy of our Home page. Next, see if you agree with the policies on our Guarantee and Rates pages. Finally, see if your education, experience, and expertise compare favorably with our Credentials. If the answer to ALL of these is YES, here is your first assignment:
1) Click here to email a Detailed Cover Letter telling us a little about yourself and your corporation, your enduring passion for PICK, your work ethic, how you heard about us; describe your definition of integrity and tell us why you believe you would be an ideal Manager for Client Accounts. By detailed, we mean more than one or two sentences. How would we benefit if you were to join our Alliance? What unique attributes would you bring to the table? Also state the Hourly Rate you would like to earn. 2) The email Subject Line must say Manager Applicant and nothing else. 3) Attach your Resume in .doc format. 4) Attach the following Code Samples in .txt or .doc format: a) Your first code sample must be a PICK Basic file search routine which demonstrates character-based handling of data display with user paging options (including but not limited to 'F'orward and 'B'ack). We will be looking for how easy (or not) you make it for a user to page to a specific line of data in what may be hundreds or thousands of data lines. b) Your second code sample must be a PICK Basic called subroutine which validates an ending date, receiving the beginning date variable as one of the parameters. Allow one or both dates to be null. This subroutine must be GUI-friendly so it could be called from either a GUI or a character-based driver. This means no PRINT or INPUT statements and all error messages must be passed back to the calling routine for display. c) Your third code sample is required only if you are GUI literate; it must be a recent screen snapshot of a GUI Screen which you authored along with the event driver code as a .txt or .doc attachment. Choose your code samples carefully. We will NOT execute your samples; instead we will critique them for excellence in structure, logic, comments, error handling, and syntax. 5) Attach a sample of your corporate billing statement so we can evaluate the level of professionalism with which you present yourself to your clients. And last but not least, since we will not be interviewing face to face, 6) Attach a professional-looking Photo in .jpg format (as seen on our Credentials pages). Be sure to resize it for emailing, with a file size under 100kb and image dimensions no larger than 640x480 pixels.
To be considered, you MUST ACCURATELY COMPLETE all steps outlined in the paragraph above. Only then will we let you know that your application was received. And if we consider you to be exceptional, our CEO will schedule a telephone interview. If you present yourself well verbally, you will receive an invitation to join our alliance and be offered a Fixed Percentage Pay Rate. Then it will be up to you to accept, negotiate, or decline.
roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and
be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to
where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim, because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be saying this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken"