How can bespoke software help my business?

In today’s fast moving business environment, the software you use to control and manage your business is of paramount importance. Using the right software system will not only streamline all possible workflow processes, it will help ensure your business runs efficiently.

 

In an ever-changing business environment, it is critical to keep up with constantly evolving technology trends, having an out-of-date business system can seriously impact your capabilities in an increasingly competitive and fast paced market. We have found that increasingly, many companies are finding that off-the-shelf software does not meet the needs unique to their business.

Off-the-shelf software is marketed and distributed to meet the broadest set of business requirements and generalised needs to appeal to the largest customer base possible.

Bespoke software is designed to meet the exact needs of your company and to address your unique problems, many of which, off-the-shelf programs do not address. While cost may initially seem high compared to off-the-shelf options, bespoke solutions provide the exact features needed to fit and enhance your current business process, rather than making you change your processes to fit a generic commercial solution.

Learn more about unique custom software solutions

Bespoke software helps companies of all sizes and in a variety of industries improve operations because it is developed uniquely for their business model.

Considering implementing a custom software solution for your business? Here are 7 ways custom software can be beneficial to you.

A bespoke solution is Unique to your business

There are many common factors between companies and how they are run, but every company is ultimately unique in what it does and how it works. It is incredibly rare that a one-size-fits-all software solution will address all your company needs.

When businesses implement off-the-shelf software, they often find that it isn’t as suitable for them as it was sold, because it doesn’t really do precisely what they need it to do. One of the biggest benefits of custom software is that the solutions are designed particularly to address your business’s exact needs. Instead of you working around the software to try to make it “fit”, having a bespoke software solution means the software be built to match your business, since it is uniquely designed for you. Because off-the -shelf systems are generic, they often contain features and functions that you will never need or use, so you end up paying for unnecessary extras. Custom software developed for your business’s specific requirements and goals will allow for much more seamless implementation, enable your people and processes to be more productive, and facilitate growth and success.

Scalability 

The only constant in business is change. Change is inevitable. You need solutions that can grow and change as your business grows and its needs change. Off-the-shelf software may no longer be able to support the changes you wish to make in your timescale or at all and it can become too expensive with additional licensing or add-on packages, or even another set of applications. Since off-the-shelf software isn’t created to meet your own business’s evolving needs, when they change, you may have to throw out any changes you have had customised and start again. With bespoke software, developers can develop and build for future needs only when required, ensuring you are futureproofing your investment and your business without building in unnecessary costs. This will allow you to automate processes and keep up with changing workflows, tasks, and integrations. Such scalable capabilities make bespoke software much more cost-efficient in the long run.

Efficiency and Productivity 

Because custom software is built to serve the specific needs and process of your company, as well as integrate with any other applications or systems you have which are necessary for your business, in a way your employees can easily use, makes the whole business more efficient.

Many clients have found it incredibly difficult when integrating off-the-shelf software, often resulting in your company having to adapt operations and processes to fit the software and making the processes more complicated, increasing margins of error, and causing loss of time and productivity. It is common to see users having two or more applications open and copying and pasting the data between them. With a custom solution, this can be eliminated, saving time and integrating your separate systems to create a single source of truth and thus reducing errors.

Competitive Advantage through bespoke software

Because off-the-shelf software is publicly available and made to be used by a broad audience, it will not give you an advantage over your competitors as they may be using the same system. Bespoke software is developed around you to meet the specific needs, goals, and requirements of your business. You’ll have a solution with unique features and functions configured solely for your business, maximising process efficiency while minimising human error.

Data Visibility and Business Intelligence

Bespoke software provides an accessible and flexible way to process data and to make informed business decisions. This often makes your decision making faster and better. This is especially the case for businesses that are still using spreadsheets which make the gathering and analysing of data a time consuming and cumbersome process.

Implementing a bespoke software solution makes a world of difference for clients as data becomes instantly available and actionable in real time, enabling quick and accurate decisions to be based on facts not gut feeling.

Cost Savings with bespoke software

Initially, one would think that off-the-shelf software is the more cost-efficient solution, but when you take a closer look into all cost aspects and long-term costs, bespoke software solutions may very well provide more cost savings.

There are often hidden costs associated with off-the-shelf systems around setup and customisation needed to ‘fit’ your business. It is quite common for prices to be quoted as ‘starting from’ or ‘plus install’.  Whilst you cannot change how the functions or processes of these systems work, elements like reporting and integrations with other existing systems all take time and money on top of the subscription, license, and maintenance fees.

Another cost that is often overlooked when considering costs of off-the-shelf software is the cost of training. If a software system isn’t built uniquely for your business processes, the time, and resources to train employees how to use the new solution can have an impact on your revenue. Time out re-learning how to do their job means that staff are not ‘profitable’. Also new processes and tools mean that errors can creep in until staff become accustomed to using them.

Bespoke software enables you to save these training costs, as the solution was developed specifically for your company and to be integrated into your existing workflows, enhancing the performance of your team. This makes the implementation and use of the software virtually effortless for your team.

Small or start-up companies often have the mindset that allocating funds for bespoke software would be too costly for them. This may not be the case as bespoke systems can start small and grow as your business grows, meaning that you do not waste money buying a system which may need replacing as you grow or a system which has too many functions and features that you do not require but are still paying for within your subscription / license fees. In effect you can pay as you grow.

Conclusion

It is important to recognise that bespoke software development is an investment into your company rather than looking at it as an expense. It enables you to have a unique competitive advantage, allows you to grow and change along with changing technology and business needs.

It makes your staff and processes more efficient, addresses your business’s specific needs and requirements, helps you reach your business goals faster, makes all your data more accessible and useful when making business decisions.

All of this adds up to increased success for your business.

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