In today’s software marketplace, there are many off-the-shelf tools which are useful for millions of business customers, but because they target general workflow needs, they inevitably leave every business with at least a few requirements unmet.
These coverage gaps can develop into huge pain points and productivity killers. Alternatively, they may represent opportunities to creatively evolve a business.
As business processes mature and evolve, companies of all sizes and industries are now turning to “bespoke” or custom solutions to meet the workflow specific requirements of their business.
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Streamline workflows and optimise performance
A customised solution means you only get the features that you need. With careful design, you should expect a higher quality of output, because it should reduce human error and overall operational risk.
Customised software development also improves efficiency and performance through better dedicated tech support as part of contracted services. This means when you run into issues, you will not have to rely on forums for answers or wait days for a response to your support ticket.
Save Costs overtime
Building customised software takes more effort than implementing off-the-shelf solutions, and providers usually charge a portion up front instead of billing monthly. Also, despite the higher bill, you may not be able to use the software for several months.
However, once it is complete, the new efficiencies that the software creates could save you in ongoing wages what extra you spent on the custom option—or it could attract new business, making up the difference in revenue instead.
Improve Customer, Client, and Employee Satisfaction
Releasing employees from repetitive, monotonous tasks may allow them to add real value in your business. Creating an engaging, seamless UX shopping experience for your customers can make them enthusiastic, repeat buyers and influencers, rather than a one-time buyer.
When you launch your new software, especially if it is to manage complex business processes, employees and clients may experience a learning curve. It is a natural part of the process, but you can minimise the onboarding pains by focusing on intuitive UX during the build.
Allow your business to scale effectively
Off-the-shelf services update and evolve much more slowly than custom solutions. Unless the entire user base is requesting similar changes and the vendor can prioritise on their roadmap, your requests will be at the tail-end of a long development queue and may not be addressed, let alone to your exact specifications.
Custom software should be built to be updated and pivot easily. A good development team can iterate without having to re-learn the initial code when your business decides to add/remove business functionality.
Gives You a Competitive Edge
Customise-able software will open up opportunities to solve problems your competitors cannot.
In addition, you should negotiate ownership of the intellectual property so that you have complete control over who else uses the software and how it changes over time.
Most Common Types of Custom Software
Customised software solutions can be deployed to:
- Improve workflows and integrations across existing off-the-shelf software
- Build new and manage specific processes/relationships or acquire new customers
Across business verticals, customised software generally falls into three main uses with common goals.
Employee-facing Software to Streamline Internal Processes
Ideally, customised internal software automates time-consuming, time-intensive processes such as organizing and storing information, generating custom analytics, and tracking projects.
e.g. POS, expense/sales data capture, bank reconciliation, debtor/creditor management, analytic and KPI reporting
Partner-facing Software to Improve Relationships with Business Partners
Like employee-facing solutions, partner-facing software optimizes internal processes. It also gives partners a positive, polished experience interacting with your company.
e.g. Invoicing software, order management systems, scheduling software
Customer-facing Software to Enhance the User Experience
End-user apps and programs usually become part of the product or service you offer and are typically all custom built
e.g. e-commerce websites, mobile apps
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