Bespoke Software vs Off The Shelf Software

What is Bespoke Software?

Bespoke software is software designed specifically for your business.  This kind of Custom Software Development used to be only affordable by large multi-nationals and plcs.  Fortunately, this is no longer the case. 

Modern software development tools make bespoke software for business an achievable ambition for companies of all kinds and sizes.  More and more companies are taking advantage of the greater efficiency and productivity boost that custom software offers.

GIven the affordable and easy access to custom software, it is quite likely that those who stick to OTS (off-the-shelf) software will soon get left behind.

What is 'Off The Shelf' Software?

OTS (off-the-shelf) software is ‘one-size-fits-all’ software based around a function or set of functions. 

The software company who created the OTS will have to add an increasingly long list of user-options as they try to cater for all the unique requirements of their users.

This usually leads to an overly complex system with a poorly maintained Help section, leaving users to fend for themselves via ‘User Forums’.

There will inevitable be a business-critical function that the OTS is missing which means that your business will have to create ‘work-arounds’ to cater for these ‘process gaps’ meaning a significant loss in efficiency and productivity.

What Are Process Gaps?

Process gaps are those processes that your company’s software does not cover and which need to be done ‘outside the system’.

Now you have to find manual processes, probably either on paper or spreadsheet-based, to ‘fill the gaps’.  These are known as ‘Work-Arounds’.

This is a drain on your team members’ efficiency and will result in a drop in business productivity.

This is a common symptom of companies that use OTS software.  OTS software is based around a generic idea of what a company is like.  There will always be elements of your unique business that are not catered for.

What Are Work-Arounds?

Work-Arounds are manual, un-atuomated steps and processes outside of your main business system which are necessary for your staff to complete normal business. (The could be automated!)

This can be as simple as using a calculator to do arithmetic that your business software should be doing for you.

It can be as extensive as having to export all your data into a different program in order to get basic reporting.

Work-Arounds are a result of your business software not matching your requirements closely enough.  Work-Arounds are usually paper or spreadsheet-based.

Bespoke software removes the need for Work-Arounds, freeing up your staff to concentrate on high-value activity.

What is a Work-Around Gate-Keeper?

Often, Work-Arounds become so extensive that an admin employee is required simply to maintain these systems.

The Work-Arounds are business-critical systems and only one person knows how they work.  You have just employed a ‘Work-Around Gate-Keeper’.  This makes a business very vulnerable.

Lack of investment in business systems has resulted in a poorly functioning business being held hostage by an un-necessary, non-value-adding employee.

The solution to this is bespoke software.  The process of implementing custom software into your business allows you to re-address how your company operates from first principles. And it removes the vulnerability of ‘Work-Around Gate-Keepers’ from a business.

How Does Software Affect Efficiency & Productivity?

OTS software will not fit a company as well as bespoke software.

What does that mean?

Well, it means that your company may have to change how it works to accommodate how the software works.

With bespoke software, the application follows your business.

The better a software program ‘fits’ with your business, the more efficient it will make your staff and the greater the productivity of your whole business.

There is a significant Return On Investment.

Business software can automate business processes allowing your staff more time to carry out value-generating work. 

Bespoke software will automate many more tasks than OTS software.

The more time your staff spend carrying out admin, or manual tasks that could be automated, the further behind a company will fall.

If the competition has lower running costs coupled with more efficient staff who can concentrate on high-value work, they are likely to pull further ahead.

The company ahead is using Bespoke Software!

How Software Affects Your Recruitment

When you implement bespoke software into your company, all the lessons of the past can be integrated into the systems your team will use every day.

Your staff will be more efficient because the software they are using does not require any workarounds to deal with process gaps.  Your company will be more productive because your staff are more efficient.

This allows you to recruit staff who can concentrate on value-adding activities.

How Bespoke Software Makes You A Better Manager

Bespoke software allows the business owner to maintain full but light control over their team.

They can delegate safe in the knowledge that the systems and tools at their staff’s disposal are the best.

This allows the team to move the company forward and be increasingly competitive.

Custom Software Development

Save time and money, while boosting productivity

MS Access Support

Upgrades, fixes, new functions and reports.

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