Before diving into the reasons why bespoke software is the one that is meant to survive and succeed, let’s talk a little bit about all the available options.
Are you a small company that is growing rapidly and you face the need of software which will track your operations and support you in your journey?
Or perhaps you might be part of a well-developed business that already has billable clients and a well-developed market presence? Does having troubles tracking what’s going on in your company sound familiar?
In both cases, the obvious step is to build a solution which will manage your day-to-day activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, compliance, supply chain operations, etc. Here are your options:
Tracking All That Information on Paper
This may seem like a fast and easy solution. You simply assign an employee of yours to do the job. But trust me on this one – after only a few weeks of using paper to manage information, this option will quickly seem like the worst one. Not only for your employee, who has to carry this incredible burden of keeping track of everything manually, but also for you as you will have to make decisions based on inconsistent data.
Believe it or not, even now in 2020 many businesses still track their operations on paper. My friend Mitko from Questups and I did research and interviewed 40+ small and mid-size manufacturers in both the Bulgarian and UK markets. Surprisingly for us, it turned out that even well-developed manufacturers with 10+ years of experience producing high-quality goods still haven’t developed an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.
In short, option number one is tracking and recording everything on paper or in spreadsheet files. Even though these are still popular practices, they are not the most efficient ones. What often happens is that in a few weeks data becomes inconsistent and information flow gets hard to follow. In fact, here at Dreamix, we have a project which is focused on the digitalization of the daily work of our client EMKA, who previously tracked everything on paper.
Off-the-shelf Software Solution
Now, this is something way better. As I said it’s 2020. People have already discovered the benefits of the software. And so should we!
Off-the-shelf software is software that you buy and use without customization. Here is a great article that Dreamix’s CEO Todor Gigilev wrote on this topic. I strongly suggest you check it out!
I will mention a few disadvantages of these solutions. Off-the-shelf software is created to fit all kinds of businesses. This means that they are solving generic problems such as accounting and finance for example but they struggle to help you with your custom needs and challenges that you face in your organization.
The main approach here is not to change it so it fits your needs but try to adapt it or even worse – adapt your operations to the software in order for this integration to work. Most of the time adding functionalities to these solutions is very hard and expensive. There aren’t many upgrades of the software or support and not to mention that integrations usually cost a fortune.
Even after all the disadvantages that I mentioned, there are a lot of benefits that off-the-shelf software will bring to your company. This option is way better than keeping everything on paper but still, in my opinion, not the best one. A lot of companies choose it and buy systems from any of the big software vendors.
This approach is great until perhaps you grow your company or change your operations and this software doesn’t fit your needs anymore. Most of the time when this moment comes there is nothing you can do but get rid of this system and build one on our own.
Bespoke Software Solutions
Now that you know why it is better to organize and track your work processes digitally, we can move on to the main focus of this article: bespoke software solutions and why they succeed. We all have heard the famous phrase – “If you want something done right, do it yourself”, right? In the context of software development, this phrase is more than true. Let me give this to you straight. Building software solutions is not an easy job. It is not something that you can do in a few days with a few of your colleagues. But this investment is 100% justified and here are the 5 reasons why:
1. There’s no Solution That Fits All
I think that you already have some context about this point. Each organization has specialized needs – some more than others – that must be addressed. When we develop custom software we address these exact needs and adapt the system to the specifics of the operations, not the other way around.
2. Control and Adaptability
As the owner of the software, you are in complete control of your developed solution. Custom work can be tailored towards your team’s specific skill sets. You can easily implement new changes and additional features according to your business’ growth or your clients’ requirements. Also, having complete control over your software solution, it is you who can solve any issues that may arise and you don’t need to depend on external help.
3. Scalability and Flexibility
Bespoke software solutions adapt to the growth of your business. They easily accommodate process changes, increased workloads, and additional integrations. The software’s flexibility allows your business to expand as much as it is necessary to meet your business’ needs and objectives.
4. Ownership and Competitive Advantage
Having your own software differentiates your business and gives you full control over your developed solution. It’s yours and you decide how and where it is implemented, and you have full rights over it. Nevertheless, this software becomes your competitive advantage- the secret tool to provide superior customer experience and arrange the company’s operations
When we start looking at the initial costs of off-the-shelf software and custom software we are a bit worried about the bigger investment if we choose the custom solution. However in the long run when you add expenses such as licensing, upgrades, and subscription – costs which are not included in the initial price, the investment for custom software actually turns out not that much higher! Also, when we compare costs between off-the-shelf and bespoke, usually costs for the setup, customization, and support are not presented in the off-the-shelf solutions. When these costs are added, the numbers inevitably change.
In Dreamix’s 14 years of experience in the field of developing high-quality end-to-end solutions, we have seen, touched, and developed different types of software solutions.
We have seen that when you start developing software and you have complete control over it, it is designed to serve your needs, it is scalable and flexible, then this system is meant to succeed and become your secret weapon.
If you are interested or you are planning to create a custom software solution for your company or department, contact us and we will be happy to create and develop that system with you.