Software is an essential component of any business. Processes like supply chain management, operations, customer service, and administration are facilitated by software solutions. There are two main types of software, off-the-shelf and custom. If your current software isn’t meeting your needs or you see room for process improvement or more efficiency, a custom solution might be just the thing you need.
What is Custom Software? – Typical mass-produced, or off-the-shelf, software products are created with a large audience in mind. These solutions are readily available and quick to implement, although you may sacrifice time trying to fit them into your workflow. Since they are made to be widely accepted by a variety of businesses, these off-the-shelf software solutions won’t be seamlessly integrated into your workflow. You will typically find your team making adjustments and concessions to work them into your processes, sacrificing efficiency. In contrast, custom software is created specifically for a unique client, application, or circumstance. These products are commissioned and then developed to your exact specifications by a team of custom software developers. The result is a product that does exactly what you need to do, exactly how you want it to be done, without any extraneous noise.
Why Custom Software? – Custom software development offers some distinct advantages to for the business client. If you have unique business scenarios, specialized internal processes, or are just looking for something that is more intuitive for your employees, custom software may be the answer. It combats the process fatigue that most off-the-shelf products create. Their generalized functionality means your team will inevitably be making adjustments to accommodate. Instead, let custom software development help streamline your processes. Some benefits of custom software may include:
- More specified application functionality – Applications with extraneous functions produce noise and confusion and increase time and effort on personnel training. Having a solution that functions seamlessly with your processes can be a huge boon. This also means that your specific item or report will be right where you need it, instead of having to piecemeal functions together to get the data you are looking for.
- Potential process improvements through discovery and project creation journey – Custom software development is a collaboration between the client and the developer. This means that the process gives clients an opportunity to discuss business processes with software experts who can identify areas for process improvement, streamlining the workload.
- Improved efficiency and productivity – A custom-designed process is going to get your team from A to B much faster and more efficiently than an out-of-the-box process. The increased efficiency can mean more productivity and engagement from your staff, less balls dropped, and more happy clients. All of that is going to coalesce into a boost in the bottom line.
How Much Does This Cost? – It is a common misconception that custom software projects are more expensive than off-the-shelf solutions. That is an oversimplification. In fact, several factors contribute to the cost of a software solution including but not limited to size, functionality, and complexity. It is not uncommon to find simple custom development projects that are less expensive than complicated off-the-shelf solutions. We frequently see companies combining multiple software applications in an effort to fit off-the-shelf tools into their workloads. The cost of this mashup can really add up. Since custom software is designed to fit comfortably within your organizational practices, the implementation tends to be smoother and more efficient. Even in those cases where the custom solution does cost more up front, often the efficiency and process improvement more than make up for the cost of the initial software development.
Who Benefits the Most? – If your business is using Excel spreadsheets for data management, or is drowning in manual processes, missed leads, and dropped opportunities, then you may want to consider a custom software solution to improve processes and get a leg-up on the competition. Automating processes can increase efficiency and performance, opening up your team for the real work of your company.
Custom software development can be a valuable addition to your data management and company workflow. To increase your efficiency and flexibility, think about how custom software can improve your business processes. Some cost benefit analysis may reveal the long-term benefits of taking the plunge sooner rather than later. For more information about how Dobler Consulting can help you incorporate custom software development into your business processes, visit DoblerConsulting.com or call us at +1 (813) 322-3240 (US) /+1 (416) 646-0651 (Canada).