4 Signs You Need Custom Software
Last Updated November 18th, 2020
For those who take the leap, custom software can be a total game-changer – streamlining workflows, taking care of data migration, and saving time, money, and stress for business owners.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 4 signs that are really red flags that you need to take the custom route…. as well as why custom software can actually save you cash at the end of the day.
#1. You’re shoehorning tools to meet your needs.
If you find that you’re shoehorning existing tools to meet the needs of your business – and doing it unsuccessfully – then you might need to develop your own software.
For example, you might use a software tool to track information about your customers. But the program you’re using includes a bunch of unrelated fields that you just don’t need. Maybe you only sell shoes, for example, but the tool you’re using tracks information about the customer’s height and weight as well – when what you really need is information about the customer’s foot width. As a result, you end up filling out unrelated fields with random data….and you’re still missing valuable information that you really need.
Or maybe you use an invoicing system that’s designed for basic transactions – but you sell a product that’s a bit more complicated. You include additional, key details in the “Notes” section of the invoice… but what you really need is a system that’s tailored to the complexities of your own product.
Custom software, of course, is tailored to perfectly match the needs of your product or service.
You’ll avoid bloat that comes from using software with features and functionality that you simply don’t need, and you’ll never have to tweak your usage of a tool to try and “make it work.”
Instead, the tool you have will be tailored to your everyday business processes – ultimately saving you the time and headache of trying to use a tool that just wasn’t made for your business.
The bottom line: You get everything you need… and nothing you don’t.
#2. You find yourself doing a lot of “copy and paste.”
Transferring data from one system to another can be enormously time-consuming. It’s also mundane, mistake-prone, and a poor use of your energy and attention.
What this often looks like in practice is a ton of copying and pasting. Maybe you’re copying and pasting customer data from one system into another in order to generate a report. Maybe you’re copying and pasting order information into production scheduling.
In any case, your system does not involve clean, seamless, automated migration – leaving you, the human being, to perform a task that’s better performed by a software tool.Custom software can be designed to integrate almost any tool or system that you use. This allows you to offload the tedious “copy and paste” labor, and leaving you to focus on more valuable work. Click To Tweet
Plus, it likely does a better job than you ever could – pretty much eliminating the likelihood of error in data migration.
#3. You’re concerned about security.
When you rely on an external system to store your most precious and valuable data – the stuff that pretty much makes up the backbone of your company – you might be in a more fragile position than you’d like to be.
Your data – and the systems it’s stored in – just aren’t as secure or private as you may think. And while it’s unlikely that the tools you use will crash and burn tomorrow, you still don’t have total control over your own data. When this data includes highly sensitive information, or information about multi-million dollar accounts, the last thing you want is a breach or crash.
Custom software can give you total control over your own data, so that security is never, ever an issue.
#4. Things are getting lost in the shuffle.
When your lines of information and communication aren’t smooth, things can get lost in the shuffle. In other words, you can end up with miscommunication, missed details, and missing information – between customers and your business, between employees, or between employees and management.
This is especially common in terms of data entry. Whether you’re receiving online orders or scheduling appointments or meetings, relying on an off-the-shelf tool (or even email or phone call) to transfer that information takes up precious time and usually results in errors.
Custom software, on the other hand, can be designed to expedite and streamline just about any type of communication you can think of. For example, at Link Software, we worked with a local pet adoption agency to help improve their workflow. We developed a tool that would automatically notify clinics that new pet owners would be arriving to get their pets spayed or neutered. This specialized line of communication completely eliminated the need to manually send an email or make a phone call – saving both sides time and energy.
Why “custom” can save you cash.
As you’ve just discovered, taking the custom route can help circumvent the most common problems businesses face – including inefficient communication, tedious manual labor, and disorganized workflows.
But investing in a software tool with the exact capabilities and functionalities you need for your particular business doesn’t only eliminate error and waste; it’s likely to put cash back into your pocket.
Think of it this way: If you pay an employee $30/hour and they spend one hour a day doing data entry, you’re spending $150 a week on a feature that could probably be handled by a custom software feature. Let’s say you spend $2,500 to have that feature created; well, in less than 3 months, you’ll have recouped your investment.
Next, a custom software tool means that you’re not paying for additional features that you may not even use. Think about some of the subscription software tools you have considered for your business. Many of these applications are designed as a “catch-all” for multiple industries: financial, accounting, insurance, investments, legal, and more. The result is that the program becomes a bloated, pricey tool that doesn’t really deliver what you need.
With a custom software system, you only pay for what you need.
Final note: “custom” doesn’t mean what you think.
If the phrase “custom software” brings to mind an entire software rehaul, think again.
It may be the case that you don’t need to completely rework your current solution. Or maybe you don’t even need an entire software system for your business, but a tool to help you perform one specific task.
Custom software can be tailored to handle or perform a specific functionality for your business that may not involve establishing entirely new workflows. In the example described above – for the local pet adoption agency – Link Software created a basic notification system that saved a ton of time and energy. We’ve also created plugins for companies to simply transfer data from one system to another – such as from a customer form into a project management system.
Custom software can do just about anything you want it to. It can be used to streamline a single workflow. You can use it to introduce an entirely new system of ordering, invoicing, and project management to your business. And, it can save you cash, time, and energy if done properly. To learn more about what custom software can do for you, contact us today.