The word bespoke often evokes images of something that is tailor-made, high in quality and heavy on the wallet!
While this may be true for Savile Row, it is quite the opposite in the tech sector. A bespoke software solution can be built specifically to meet your business needs but does not have to come with a hefty price tag.
Whatever industry you are in – from food manufacturing to car sales – the likelihood is that if you are selling a product you will have:
- A list of clients and suppliers
- A multitude of processes, from you obtaining your supplies, to delivering your product to your end-users
- A system for managing your finances
There is an abundance of digital products available, to aid the management of all of these elements. Some are industry-specific, whilst others have a one-size-fits-all approach, but all of them will have a limit to the functionality they deliver.
The providers of these products will undoubtedly have researched their users’ needs in great detail, in order to provide the most useful and common functions required within your industry. Unfortunately, commonality is where flexibility ends.
Just as every business has its own identity, so it has its own way of doing things on a day-to-day basis. Should a software product not fit within a company’s way of working, the company will need either to flex its own processes to meet the functionality available, or come up with its own manual solutions.
Bespoke software can be built to encompass your entire journey. Every automation you could think of can be included, meaning that there is no need for manual workarounds or duplicated effort by anyone in your organisation, from stock management through to payroll.
The likelihood is that you will have already invested in third-party software for your business, such as Office 365, Sage, SharePoint etc. Having spent money and time learning to use these products, it is definitely not advisable to throw them in the bin! Instead, bespoke software can sit in the middle, seamlessly integrating and filling in the functions that are crucial to your operation.
One of the biggest problems that businesses face is with legacy software systems. Companies invested huge amounts of money in these big databases, and any interruption to these services could cost millions to replace or update.
Some of these systems haven’t been supported for a number of years. Companies that are still using them have a real dilemma, because migrating everyone off the system will cause massive disruption, and potential loss of business. What companies often end up doing is just living with it, and praying that nothing breaks – because it is out of warranty. In some instances, companies retain their own team of in-house developers just to keep the lights on.
Bespoke software can be built not only to integrate with daily office suites, but also to fill the gaps in old systems that are out of warranty with the modern features that businesses need, but couldn’t access before. On top of this a bespoke system will be designed around your identity. From your logos to the language you use, a tailor-made solution will undeniably be your own.
Exceptional and economical
We are living in an economically challenging climate. Those businesses that are considering investment in technology are most likely looking for a solution that will be fit for purpose and as moderately priced as possible – or even free.
The honest truth is that nothing really comes free. Companies that offer free trials or lite versions of their suites do so knowing that as your reliability on their product grows, you will eventually need an extension to the service they are providing. It may be in the form of more users, more tools or more time to keep using the product, but at some point you will need to pay. If you have invested time adding your business knowledge to a system, and ensuring that your workforce is adept in its functionality, you are more likely to accept the cost as a matter of convenience.
So how much does bespoke software cost in comparison to off the shelf systems? Dan Jones, Managing Director of X402 says ‘You’d be surprised how much bespoke software you can get for the same price that you’d pay for enterprise third-party software. For a company with £100,000,000 turnover and a workforce of 80, who opted for an off the shelf CRM, you can expect to pay £500 a year per user, so £40,000 a year.
For £40,000 you could have bespoke software built that includes all the functions that are crucial to your operation, and excludes the functions that you don’t need.
You can get some third-party apps up and running for a few hundred pounds a month, but the problem is that they will do what they want to do. If your business doesn’t work within the boundaries of their functionality, you can’t tell them to change what they offer. Why would you bend your own business processes around what an off the shelf app can deliver, when you could build a piece of software that does exactly what you need?’