Custom software starts with your unique business process. Your business doesn’t change to work within the constraints of the software – the software is designed and written specifically to work for your business, not to fit what someone else decides is the norm.
5 advantages of custom software systems:
When you buy custom software, you should own the application, including source code. Before you buy, check your contract to be sure this is clearly stated - not all software development firms automatically assume the software belongs to you.
With a well-designed application, you can quickly implement changes, adapt to new business dynamics, and continue to grow your business. Equally important, you define and prioritize the changes you need; you’re not restricted to the new features and enhancements identified by a commercial system’s users group or management team.
If your custom software is written using standard tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio, you can choose from a large pool of consultants or hire in-house programmers to support and enhance your application. With a commercial application, you may not have the ability to customize at all, and if you do, you may be limited to contracting with one of a few, high-cost specialists who bill at rates that can average 100 € per hour.
It will take less time for employees to learn to use new custom software effectively compared learning a software package. Because:
a. The new application will support the employee’s familiar business processes. Instead of learning how the person who designed the software does the job, your custom software automates a process your employee understands.
b. A custom application uses language that is specific to your business. A construction company installed a commercial package that required them to learn a new vocabulary for their company specific terms they had been using for more than 20 years. Because accountants, not construction experts, created the package it replaced construction terms with accounting words. For example, a “house” became a “project,” and a “phase of construction” became a “task code.” Every time a new employee with construction experience joined the company, their system training had to include a segment on how to decipher the terminology. Don’t underestimate the value of retaining your company or industry-specific vocabulary.
c. Your application includes only what you need, avoiding “feature overload.” If you’ve ever spent an hour going through dozens of menu options and screens trying to find the function you want to use, you know all about feature overload. Because packages are written to support a very broad audience, they end up with menu options and screens for things you may never use.
Since you own the software, a custom application eliminates annual maintenance fees and payments for new licenses when you add employees. This can add up to huge savings when compared to paying annual fees for five or more years.