Does My Business Need Custom Management Software?
No matter what industry you work in, all good managers will try to seek out more effective techniques to improve their systems and workflows. But how can you directly tell if your company needs management software to enhance customer, employee, and client relationships? Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. A start-up catering company is as much a candidate for management software as the local construction company that makes several million a year. The kind of software you pursue to aid your company’s workflow operations will therefore depend on business size, plans for the future, and resources available.
The real question at stake is whether you choose a custom management solution or purchase one off-the-shelf. Ready-made software offers some instant advantages, often coming at a lower upfront cost, offering regular support and maintenance, and is usually SaaS-operated. However, depending on the business model or system, companies tend to have to adapt to the software, rather than the other way around. Additionally, ready-made software doesn’t always integrate with your existing platforms, and often cannot be modified for very specific functions. For industries with very detailed requirements, a “one-size-fits-all” management solution is not only unlikely to meet every business’ needs, it’s also unrealistic to expect it to.
Custom management software, on the other hand, can be as tailored to requirements as needed. Added modifications can be implemented quickly, scaling the software to support business growth. Custom software will also usually be able to operate with existing ecosystems and any number of requirements.
Depending on what objectives you want to accomplish, there are a number of different management software solutions that cater to particular industries, requirements, and service types.
1. Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)
CRM offers a way for businesses to manage company interactions with current and potential clients. By organizing and automating customer-facing opportunities, it gives managers the time to develop other areas of business; allowing you to focus on both your new and existing client relationships. Custom CRM should require little to virtually no training time, and should enhance marketing, sales, customer service, and technical support for individual companies. The solution should help you create databases to achieve those company goals, helping to scale objectives forward, as well as letting customers discover products and find information.
2. Inventory Management Software
Inventory Management Software can tracks inventory, orders, sales, deliverables, and manufacturers, and can be used to create work orders and production documents. For companies that manage inventory on a daily basis as they place orders and ship to customers, it’s crucial to have a good knowledge of stock and supplies. Custom inventory software should also provide better accounting and inventory tools by adjusting existing systems, rather than needing to retrain employees and create new spreadsheets.
3. Project Management Software
Any business that serves their clients needs a way to estimate, deliver, track, and invoice for services. To better organize workflows both for company and client projects, and improve communication and project accuracy, many will choose a custom solution for their unique requirements based on industry, client types, or services. Project management software should give a company full control of data to manage customers, vendors, prospects, projects, and milestones; as well as individual tasks, task groups, time management, reports, and reminders.
Remember, no matter what kind of custom or non-custom solution you decide is most essential to your business, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it meet your business needs?
- Does it save you money in the long-term?
- Does it save you time?
- Does it ease employees’ time burdens?
- Does it improve your client and company workflows?
For smaller businesses with a lower budget, off-the-shelf software might be a good place to start. But if you’re planning major, expansive business development, many will find that custom software is more durable, more flexible, and better-equipped for those long-term initiatives. Current medium-sized and bigger businesses are also likely to be better off pursuing custom management software to nurture long-term growth and stay dynamic. It does a good job of making your business more scalable by improving productivity methods, enhancing existing strategies, and paving the way for new ones; giving you better company insight and more leverage over competitors.