As a business owner, having the right processes in place is an essential core part of your infrastructure. When implementing your systems and processes, customized software is always a step in the right direction, but many top-level managers do not understand how customization really works. When evaluating the needs of custom software, every decision should be reflective of the objectives and goals outlined in the overall strategy.
Making your software work for you
Every process within your organization should be enhanced by the software used – not the other way around. Your business systems and processes should promote productivity and efficiency, which will ultimately lead to business growth and profitability.
Why is this so important? First, a successful business relies on the people behind the software. They drive the processes. Business growth is usually contingent on good processes, people and software that helps put things in perspective. Management must recognize how one fuels the other. Businesses must have useful software that helps make things better, not cumbersome. Additionally, as the business grows, the systems and processes that once worked will need to be revamped to handle these changes.
One of the main things businesses realize after they have tried a number of out-of-the-box systems is that they don’t all work for them. There are some functions that work well, but the overall functionality is usually lacking in many ways. Additionally, the costs for consistent upgrades and changes to the system start to add up. What once was something that seemed compatible with the company usually turns out to be something that may be a waste of money.
Getting a software solution that helps drive your business is always the best way to solve problems before they start to occur. When business implement custom software, they are able to get it tailored to their needs. When the software is built, there is an assessment done to evaluate what is needed, the objectives of the business, growth expectations and employee user feedback. When all these variables are used to create the software, the outcome will be one that can help the bottom line.
It doesn’t make sense to change your business processes for software that would not work for you. The most sensible option would be to engage experts in the field that understand how customization can help enhance the business. From the onset, there should be ample consideration given to scalability and business growth. This should be one of the main objectives in the strategy.
Knowing the needs
How do you assess what the company needs? Management should sit down with a professional software consulting expert to look at the current processes. From there, the team should look at the needs of the company that are not being met, speak to all employee users, and determine how the company should move forward.
Processes are the central focus of the company and are needed to make a valued impact on an organization’s future. Keeping these things in perspective while evaluating profitability is key. It’s important to consider the costs of the ready-made software, and compare them to the overall costs and savings that will occur when implementing custom software. Compliance regulations, reporting, and other internal workings of the infrastructure must be a major consideration before moving forward.
Putting the needs of the employees who will use the software is crucial to the success of customization. With their input, they will be able to identify areas the will increase efficiency and enhance the process for maximum profitability. Customized software has its own nuances that capitalize on not only the needs of a business, but anticipates the wants and growth patterns that can adapt with the company in the future.
About the Author
Lance Keene, the founder of Keene Systems,
has 40 years’ experience in custom software development.
Over the course of his career he and his team have written software for companies such as Mack Trucks,
Bayer, Calvin Klein, Hershey, IBM, Kimberly Clark, Lindt, Sara Lee, Pfizer, BAE, L'oreal, Ocean Spray, Dana Farber, Tootsie Rolls, Guiness, Texas Instruments, and CVS.
(see full client list)
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