Businesscustom software development

How Your Own Software Improves Ease of Integration into Your Business

By Nik Froehlich | September 3, 2020 |

“If only…”

How many times have you caught yourself saying that when using the software that helps run your business? “If only it worked that way instead of this…” “If only we could get a report with this information and sorted this way….” “If only this were more streamlined…”

Yet you probably remember when your software was first installed. Very exciting day. You had invested in a software application that was specifically designed for your industry. You anticipated the promise of increased productivity for your people, increased efficiency, and increased profits.

Then you started learning how to use the software. When was that first moment you noticed that it had you do something it’s way, which was different from your way? How different was it? How long would it take for you to get everyone to change the way they did that? And was this way better?

You’ve probably run into that same problem over and over, but you toughed your way through it every time.

Was it worth it?

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Your Software, Your Way

Have you measured the improvement in your business since you started using that packaged software? Is it significant? Has business improved at all?

This returns us to “If only.” If only you could have software designed to support and automate the way you work, the way that already works well for you and your company?

You had or currently have a great manual system. Everyone knew what to do, how to do it, and they consistently did it that way. Yes, some of it is repetitive, and some of it could be done faster if it were automated, and you could probably reduce errors pretty significantly with the right software. But SaaS systems, even industry-specific ones, require you to adapt your workflows to fit into the existing systems.

Ultimately, no one understands your business as well as you do. Even within the same industry, every business operates uniquely. If only you could afford to have software designed and developed to automate your great manual system and optimize your processes.

Who says you can’t??

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Think Big Picture!

The most common argument against custom software is the cost.

Custom software, like any custom product, takes some effort to build, and that effort translates into cost. However, when considering a custom solution, you must look beyond the initial cost to the overall benefit. While the upfront cost of your own system may seem high compared to the monthly cost of a SaaS product, you need to weigh the actual return.

How much time would a system built around your workflows save you? How much time are you wasting trying to conform to a one-size-fits-all solution?

The challenge is to stop thinking about the up-front price and start thinking about the total cost of ownership (TCO).

It takes the initial price of having your software developed your way and subtracts it from the increases in profit you achieve with it, plus the reductions in the cost of operations you will also achieve by automating many functions with efficient software.

The first big question you’ll want to be answered is just how long it will take before your new profits and eliminated costs equal your investment in having your software created your way. It could take a week, a month, perhaps even a quarter or more. When it happens, your software has paid for itself. Your investment has been returned and reduced to zero.

You’ll continue making greater and greater profits, save more on automated operations, and reduced error rates. You may even invest some of that in improvements to make your software work even better. Since your software has paid you back, every additional dollar of new revenue and operational savings are all pure profit.

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Building a System that Works for You

This is not to say that SaaS products are not good tools. They are viable solutions for many businesses! But that’s the problem; SaaS solutions are built with many businesses in mind. You are the only one who knows exactly how your business works. A system that works for you, instead of you working around it, is possible and preferable.

So, how exactly do you build a system that matches your business processes? You are the only one who truly understands your business inside and out, but you may not have the knowledge or internal resources to build a system yourself. That’s where a software development firm comes in!

A great software development firm should be able to use your business knowledge to build a system that works for you. Any developer worth their stuff will be able to pull your workflows and processes out as they scope the project. For larger backend systems, the project is continuously adjusted as unknowns are discovered (this kind of development cycle is called Agile). We have an entire article on finding your development match, but the only real way to do it is to get started.

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