How a Low Code system can improve your business

As businesses grow and add more staff, there is an increasing need for a common set of processes and systems to track and control the business. As a start up, it is quite common to use tools such as Microsoft Excel to manage everything from sales to stock control, but spreadsheets can become increasingly more complex and unwieldy as you ask them to do more and more. A low code platform can help with this.

Based on experience we have found that growing companies either have large, very complex spreadsheets managing multiple departments or multiple departmental spreadsheets. Either way there is often inefficiencies through lost time, duplications, repeated manual inputting of data and subjective assessments when adding the information which often results in skewed results and miss-information.

Why not just continue to use Excel?

Excel is an excellent tool and allows start-ups and small businesses the ability to set up a host of business tracking solutions such as asset management, data management, time management, task management and of course reporting. Indeed many crucial workflows and processes are built using Excel in many companies.

However, when companies start to grow, using Excel as a core system can become a nightmare as the spreadsheet can be:

  • Difficult to navigate
    • The bigger a workbook with multiple spreadsheets gets, the harder it is to find the data you need. Companies end up spending a lot of time just finding the right content.
  • File version control
    • Multiple users in the same core spreadsheet lead to multiple versions, and team members must constantly scramble to figure out which is the single source to trust, often leading to a huge waste of time and effort.
  • User error
    • Users can easily and accidentally edit or delete information and formula in Excel. Also Excel does not prevent users adding the wrong data in or using the wrong data format which usually results in bad data out
  • Better security
    • Excel gives users password protection as a security measure, but anyone with the password can save local copies which the company has no control over.
  • Fewer Crashes
    • As soon as Excel becomes the core source of truth for a business, it becomes a huge risk to the business. As Excel spreadsheets grow in data size and complexity, the program’s performance drops. This leads to fewer saves, which can result in lost work, and ultimately, poor office morale.

All this results in a poor level of control within the business and potentially poor decision making and a loss of revenue.

So what is the alternative?, Well one is to use a low code platform such as Claris FileMaker to develop a bespoke Business Information System to replace the spreadsheets and give you real time information across the whole business.

What is a low-code platform?

Low-code platforms such as Claris FileMaker are a type of visual programming which let almost anyone, even without coding knowledge, build systems and solutions that are bespoke to your business. Low-code solutions focus on the end-user experience and not on what is taking place in the back end of the system.

These types of platforms allow people with business knowledge — yet with little to no coding knowledge — to develop applications that would usually require a programmer.  Low code platforms make design simple with predefined layouts and forms, allowing the user to focus more on the user experience and how it fits into the business processes. . Of course most businesses still use developers and external development consultants to build the initial system and then take control for the day to day management.

Other benefits of low code software include:

  • User-friendly and intuitive
  • Affordable and cost-effective
  • Collaboration friendly, allowing multiple users to work inside them simultaneously without reduced performance
  • Mobile compatible
  • It offers the scalability that fast-growing small companies need

How do businesses use low-code solutions?

There are really two uses for Low code platforms in business:

  • To build a business application such as  Business Information System, Sales platform or stock control to name a few, which is bespoke to their business and exactly matches their needs and objectives. Such a system can initially be small, addressing only a single application but over time it can be grown to handle more and more of the business.
  • Low-code development makes it easier to build prototypes and test them with users before launching them. This is especially useful for building mobile and web browser-based applications for newly pandemic-created remote workers.

How to Get Started in Low Code

We help businesses implement low-code solutions which support their business needs, work flows and processes.  We can also provide training to what ever level is required for staff so they can  manage the system themselves. No extra developers required.

Find out more about low code platforms.