Top 6 Facts About Bespoke Business Software
What is Bespoke Software?
Bespoke software is computer software which is entirely customised for you and your business. This means that it does not have any unnecessary options with which to confuse your staff. Your company’s processes and procedures are locked into the system. This helps reduce the amount of training required and means there will be fewer mistakes.
What is Off-The-Shelf software?
off-the-shelf software is software which is designed to be one-size-fits-all. An example of this would be Microsoft Word. Every copy you buy is exactly the same as the next. It is a tool, but it is a non-specific one. Once you buy it, you have to start setting up templates and training your staff on how to use it in the way you want it to be used.
What are the differences between bespoke software and off-the-shelf software?
Bespoke Software is designed around you and your business.
Off-The-Shelf Software is a one-size-fits-all approach.
Off-The-Shelf software is a starting point as you have to learn how to use it, train your staff, import your data and figure out how you will incorporate it into your business.
Bespoke Software is a complete solution. Your data and processes are already locked in. You can be up and running much more quickly.
Bespoke Software generates all the outputs and reports you need at the click of a button.
With Off-The-Shelf software you will probably have to export data and then try to make sense of it in a spreadsheet. This manual step is open to error and is very time-consuming.
How do spreadsheets compare with Bespoke Software?
Spreadsheets are designed for one-off, complicated calculations, such as would be made by an accountant. They are not really designed for repetitive tasks such as taking orders or issuing invoices. Spreadsheets are also wide open to mistakes. We have all put a value in the wrong column, or used the wrong figure to divide another figure and only found out our mistake when it gets quite embarrassing. With bespoke software, all your reporting needs are built into the system. This means you can get comprehensive, real-time reporting at the click of a button. No more time wasted on spreadsheets.
Is it true that Bespoke Software is more expensive than Off-The-Shelf Software?
In years gone by, this was the case, but it is no longer true. With modern rapid development tools, such as Microsoft Access, it is now possible to design and build fully bespoke systems catering for all sizes of budget. In many ways, off-the-shelf software can turn out to be more expensive. Usually you pay by user and/or month/year. Over time this stacks up. Also, off-the-shelf software will not be as good a fit for your business as bespoke software, therefore you will need to develop work-arounds to fill in the gaps, usually with spreadsheets. This means your staff are being distracted from their primary value-generating activities. Do you really want to pay your staff to learn to use Excel?
Would my business benefit from Bespoke Software?
There is a very good chance that it would do. I would recommend that you ask your trusted contacts and meet with a few software engineers. They will analyse your current setup and let you know what savings and improvements can be made.