Some time ago I was looking for a Gardener, and I shortlisted 3 based on their experience, reputation, and location…
To the untrained eye – mine – they all looked the same. Same promise, service levels and principles; it was hard to tell them apart…
So, which one did I choose…?
That’s right I chose the cheapest – if there is no clear differentiation regarding service, quality, and relationship; price becomes the defining factor…
Price however should not be the defining factor in the buying decision, if it is then we are on a slippery slope to reduced margins and low profits – plus if you allow people to buy on price they will and it’s likely that the length of relationship with them will be shorter. Once a cheaper offer comes along, they will switch – their loyalty is greater to their wallet than the value you are able to offer...
For many companies – around 98.36% - and I may be a little low here, differentiation and competitive advantage through service, value and relationship has to be the chosen strategy for sustainable success…
And you can’t do that with “Off The Shelf Software” alone…
We have all bought a standard software package for our Business.
Apparently the most known are the Office packages with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook etc.….
This software is fine if you just need a write a letter, create a simple spreadsheet or put together a presentation.
If we take a deeper look into the Standard Software for Business Branches there are also, plenty of packages available on the market.
For accountancy, online web shops, maintenance software, you name it and there will be probably a standard solution for it on the market.
But… did you ever ask yourself the question
‘Does this standard software really cover all my company needs 100%?’
Does this standard software enable you and your team to deliver products and services that are unique and valuable to your customers in a way that differentiates you from the competition and all those price shoppers…
The answer is pretty simple…. It’s NOT!!!
With standard Software, your Company must always adjust to the Software which means the Company is following the Software instead of the Software following your Company as it should.
Your Company is unique and therefor needs a unique solution to all Software needs as well.
Standard Software solutions mostly apply up to 60-70 % of your Company Needs, which actually means you are losing a lot of money on not being fully productive and efficient in your work.
With Custom Software, the Software will apply the full 100% of your Company Needs.
Let’s look at the comparative benefits…
Standard Software Custom Software
Cost Effective Matches Exact Needs
Free trials often exists Lead to more Productivity & Efficiency
Quick Installation Immediate Access to Developer
User Groups In House Support & Maintenance
Support & Maintenance Ability to add Features
Software Adapts to YOUR Company
Long Term Solution
Now for the bad news – it is likely that the investment in custom software will be higher than for standard software…
But guess what – the rewards and returns are higher too…
Greater Productivity, Efficiency, and Profitability will be the long term returns on the investment!
As an IT Company, we’ve done a lot of research into Standard Software Solutions; Testing the Software, speaking with a lot of users, etc…
And amazingly enough there wasn’t anyone who said
“This Standard Solution covers all our Company Needs!!!”
We’ve done quite some research in the Franchise Business only asking 3 simple questions
- Do you use a Standard or Custom Software solution for your Business?
- If Standard, which ‘Of the Shelf’ Software are you using?
- Does this standard Software Program covers all your Company needs?
We were amazed that no one answered the last question with ‘Yes, for the full 100%’
It seems there is ALWAYS a lack of features in Standard Solutions. Custom Software can fix that!!
The Benefits of Custom Software:
The Software will be developed with the latest version of technology available.
The Software is adapting to YOUR Company for the full 100%
Custom Software is a long-term solution which will lead to more Productivity & Efficiency.
Custom Software is always developed to integrate in your existing IT environment
Support & Maintenance will be In House. You can add / change features as much as you want instead of waiting what the new version of a Standard Solution will bring.
And we all know what that can be only looking at the update from Windows 7 to Windows 8.
Never spoke a person who loved that upgrade.
- You are the owner of the Software
Being the owner of the Software means you can do with it whatever pleases you, so you could bring it on the market and sell it to other Companies with the same needs.
If you think how to do the support and maintenance of this the Company developing the Custom Software for you would be more than happy to help you. (we do)
So, to get the right Custom Software for Your Company what should be done…
First you must know what you are missing and what you really need in your Company
What are the requirements of your Company?
Before you start developing the Custom Software you need to know exactly what the Specifications are into detail. You need to write a clear and complete description of what you want and need.
With the detailed requirements, the developer will start developing the Software.
The Software will be developed in modules/units. This is the longest phase of the development cycle.
After finishing the Custom Software, it need to be tested. Feedback will be implemented
according to the Functional specifications.
After successful testing, the product is delivered / deployed to the customer for their use.
The maintenance plan will be set up according to the needs of the Company.
Improving your Business is an ongoing process, so after the last step you go back to step 1
As IT Company, we are helping lots of Companies out with their IT questions.
Small, Medium and Bigger Sized Companies with questions in all kind of IT ranches.
If you have questions already, like to know more how we can narrow down the Company costs as well improve Productivity, Efficiency & Profitability of YOUR Company please feel free to contact me.
We are always happy to advise and help you with your IT Needs.