Once they reach a certain size, companies with physical systems such as warehousing and production want to be able to manage these processes for themselves. That point normally comes when they hit 50 to 100 staff, and a turnover anywhere between £5 – 10 million.
For example, if you run a warehouse operation there are all sorts of online tools available. And for general customer management they can use Salesforce. But these systems have their limitations, and businesses end up having to distort their processes to fit them.
Bespoke software puts you in control, letting you manage your business in exactly the way you want.
X402 was founded 16 years ago to create bespoke software for businesses, primarily in Scotland.
Sometimes that software is completely standalone. But often we connect existing systems seamlessly together. Our client may have an eCommerce website that can’t link to Sage, because the two are incompatible. We create software that sits in the middle, taking the eCommerce sales inputs and processing them for the finance and sales departments. Suddenly, everything is joined up.
Creators of off the shelf tools are not interested in adapting them just so they fit your business. X402 can integrate any number of different systems so they work beautifully together.
The benefits of X402
Surprisingly, it costs no more for us to build a tailor-made system from scratch than it would to buy an off the shelf programme. So it makes much more sense to invest in your own system, that is fit for purpose and is yours forever.
Apart from anything else, it’s likely to give you an edge over those competitors who are using third party tools. They will be running up against the limitations of their system, while you have complete freedom to evolve and adapt.
CRM holds the key
For those of our clients running warehouse operations linked to web sales, we provide a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM).
Transactional websites are built on eCommerce platforms such as Big Commerce. These are serious and expensive (£50 – 100k per year) bits of kit, that will hold a built-in record of all the customers. But there will be instances where customers are invoiced by other systems such as Sage, and this can involve manually replicating the transactions just so the systems marry up.
X402 CRM solves that problem, not just linking Big Commerce and Sage, but also tying in stock control, warehouse management and big delivery system where drivers carry hand-held devices.
A client of ours, who is one of Scotland’s biggest dairies, is a perfect example. They produce millions of gallons of milk, and supply major national supermarkets. The software we created for them effortlessly manages both their sales and their delivery networks. This involves multiple systems, but they are all combined in one entity, with CRM at its heart.
The next big thing
Up to now, our developers have written all the software for each new customer pretty much from scratch. It may draw from existing systems, but in essence we have 25 to 30 different code bases, each with its own bugs and challenges.
We are now looking at creating software modules for different functions, such as ERP or warehouse systems. The modules can then be joined together to meet the needs of each new client. The only new software is a top layer that delivers the client’s branding and personalisation.
The software is still far superior to an off the shelf solution, because it is constructed to fit the business’s individual requirements. But we eliminate the need to reinvent the wheel every time we take on a new client.
X402 adds value
The experience we have gained over the years gives us a deep understanding of how businesses work. We are able to analyse clients’ needs, and provide them with solutions that they hadn’t imagined possible. It’s like having a virtual CTO in the room.
Our project managers have the technical understanding to really add value for clients on a day to day basis.
Finally, we appreciate the investment that clients have made in third party systems. That’s why we concentrate on making those systems work seamlessly together, maximising the client’s investment, and the efficiency of their operations.
In particular, there’s the challenge of legacy systems such as Sage 50, in which companies invested huge sums in past decades, but which haven’t been supported for around 10 years, and need old Windows servers to run on.
Moving to a completely new system would be extremely expensive and disruptive. So companies end up struggling on, praying that nothing breaks. In some cases, they have their own team of in-house developers just to keep the lights on.
X402 can provide bespoke software that integrates antiquated systems, fills the gaps, and allows clients to enter the modern world.