More and more companies are having bespoke software solutions developed individually to meet their specific requirements. Contrary to what many people think, bespoke software is not dedicated to unique industries only. Custom software is a great option for both organisations which cannot find a single package that would answer their demands and businesses which pay close attention to the quality of the tools they use.
When compared to off-the-shelf commercial systems, tailor made software are much more beneficial. Not only are they easier in use, they also offer much more flexibility at the same time. You can see a full comparison here as today I would like to focus on the advantages of bespoke software in terms of business growth in the long term, as well as of improving the internal workflow of your organisation.
How bespoke software helps you to grow
There is no better way to describe bespoke software than as an investment in the future of your company. Developing a solution that will suit all of your unique needs often takes both time and money, however, the results are noticeable right from the moment you start using the system. The greatest benefits that help your organisation to grow are:
There are various ways you can learn how to save money with a bespoke software solution. Even though the initial costs of the tool may be high, it can help you manage your budget better in the long term because of:
- Ownership - you are the owner of the intellectual property. You no longer have to pay licence fees for each of your employees as you are the one who decides how many people can access the tool.
- Upgrades - there is no need to worry your company will grow and you will need to acquire a new system – the development team can upgrade your existing product. Not only is this solution cheaper, it will also allow your employees to remain just as productive. They already know the software, so no time will be wasted on learning a new one.
- Control - with an appropriate feature you can easily gather all of your incomes and expenses and thus control them. Visualising data is a fantastic way to see how your company spends and sometimes wastes money.
How HeadChannel helped
Nowadays, NHS organisations struggle with a bigger financial crisis than ever due to constantly growing healthcare costs. To help them regain control, we designed and developed a fully-automated web-based solution which supports managing financial queries, generating reports and validating invoices in a simple, yet effective way. The platform can be accessed by both healthcare providers and commissioners, which improves their communication. Another advantage of the solution is that the enormous amounts of data are collected and analysed in real-time, which allows the organisations not only to realise savings, but also to maximise them.
Off-the-shelf software producers very often use the waiting time as their main advantage. It is true that you can start using a mass market product right away while it may take months for your tailor-made solution to be developed. However, the waiting time is not everything, what also matters is:
- Learning time – a bespoke software solution contains all the features you asked for and nothing more. It is a great advantage as you know very well what to expect and how your system will work. That way there is no need to spend extra time discovering all the useless features.
- Speed – due to lack of unnecessary functionalities, a bespoke software works faster and thus enables you to become more productive. Too many modules can slow down the system, especially when your employees find it hard to understand them.
- Automation – there is no chance for a company which continues to do everything manually to survive on the market. Writing everything down and then typing it into computer is extremely time-consuming. A proper feature is enough to save you hours of work.
How HeadChannel helped
What property managers very often struggle with is controlling their properties. When dealing with dozens of places, visiting all of them and reporting their condition is not only time consuming, but also not effective enough in the result. Knowing that automation is irreplaceable, we designed and developed a web-based platform allowing landlords to generate reports based on an inspection template. Instead of writing everything down, property managers now have to answer questions by selecting checkboxes, saving hours of exhausting work. The solution can also be accessed from mobiles.
Off-the-shelf solutions may seem to be more attractive. You pay less and receive a vast number of functionalities, while bespoke software companies offer only a few features for a much higher price. However, in the case of software solutions, less is more. Keeping a system as simple as possible is beneficial in terms of:
- Understanding – it is necessary to ensure your employees understand how all of the complex features work, otherwise you may find your team not using the software at all and working manually. One of the great characteristics of bespoke solutions is that they are always user-friendly.
- Analysis – nowadays, gathering all the necessary data is highly time-consuming, but analysing it manually is simply not possible due to the amount of information. Without the analysis, your business has no chance to beat the competition. A proper feature will help you perform the analysis automatically and thus succeed.
How HeadChannel helped
A public affairs company needed a questionnaire tool that would improve their work and cooperation with other international organisations. They couldn’t find a commercial package as their requirements were specific, but not specific enough to need an entire bespoke software solution. We came up with a simple platform that would provide the company with a personalised and editable questionnaire tool with a reporting feature, and an administrative backend including a set of user management functionalities.
The most important factor that can help your company succeed is efficiency. There is no worst enemy for a growing business than wasted time. Luckily, you can boost your productivity and thus deliver more flawless projects on time thanks to:
- Change tracking – when dealing with complex tasks, one way to improve your workflow is to break the work into smaller pieces. However, monitoring the progress of both you and your team is just as complex and having much more work to accomplish is nowhere near motivational. That is why you can use bespoke software to make sure you benefit from tracking all the changes automatically.
- Data – bespoke software allows you to control your efficiency by gathering and analysing data. You can visualise it in order to better understand it, making sure your company is not wasting time and money, but constantly evolving and going straight forward.
- Communication – people are what matters most in your business. Even the most expensive tools and the most innovative approaches have no value if you are not paying enough attention to your employees and the way you communicate with each other. A tailor-made solution can improve it and thus strengthen the bond with your team.
How HeadChannel helped
Even the simplest tasks can be left uncompleted without a proper communication channel. One of the industries who struggle with that issue is the real estate industry. Property managers find it hard to reach residents and the other way around. We created a maintenance portal to improve their collaboration, enabling residents to report repairs via website, and allowing property managers to hire contractors and track the status of the issue. Contractors can also access the portal to upload any necessary documents or photos and keep both property managers and residents updated on the repair.
TO SUM UP
Bespoke software allows your company to improve its fundamentals and see into the future. By enabling you to manage both your time and money better, custom solutions have a great impact on the way your business grows. Not only that, using a bespoke software is also beneficial when it comes to improving the workflow of your company. To find out more, read part two next week!
If you would like to talk about how HeadChannel Ltd. can help you improve the workflow of your company, give us a call on +44 (0)20 7099 6399. We have developed countless custom applications and every one of them has made a huge difference for the company.