Written by: Nick Kelley, Developer

When in the market for a new software solution one of the first steps that any business professional takes is to look at commercial off-the-shelf software package compared to custom software. Every website, white paper and salesperson that you will find and reference will all say that their solution is exactly what you are looking for and will allow you to reap tens of thousands of dollars in ROI based on saved time and effort on behalf of your employees. However, once you start talking to other individuals in your industry or using the software firsthand you will quickly see that the promised time and effort savings are quickly overtaken by frustrations that the software is either hard to learn, hard to interact with or it just doesn’t seem to fit with your business model.  This is why the benefits of custom software should be a consideration for the management team.

No one understands your business like you do. Regardless of your industry or customer base the only person that understands your unique selling points is your team. In today’s ultra-competitive and streamlined commerce world if you are not innovating you are not staying in business. Any out of the box solution that you will find on the market is designed to serve as a catch-all for a multitude of business types, most of which may not even be in your industry. As a result, what you will find is copy after copy of the same bland software that just adds colorful charts and graphs to dress up the fact that it is the same information related to scheduling employees or tracking on time delivery.

Time and time again we have seen customers that were promised a turnkey solution that will instantly provide ROI and that will be a dream to setup/configure and that will be accepted by every member of the organization from the temps to the c-suite. This is never the case as once the software is configured and installed, usually for an additional charge or a maintenance fee, the only way to learn how to use the software is either trial and error or to purchase training for another additional fee.

Even after this setup and training nightmare is complete, the grumbles of your employees will start. “This doesn’t do things the way we used to.” “This doesn’t make sense.” “Why did we pay for this module; we don’t even do that here?” Once the cost of working around these issues outweighs the supposed ROI that you were expecting to see, you will make the call to the software vendor and they will be happy to sell you a ‘customization package’ at an exorbitant hourly rate that may even eclipse the initial cost of the software to begin with. At this point your hands are tied, you have sunk so much time, effort and money into this software that you are left with two options; pay for the customization or start the process over from scratch. Neither is palatable and will leave you and your team feeling very dissatisfied and burnt out about the whole process.

So how do you get around this process?

Think outside of the pre-packaged box and contact VantageOne software to discuss developing a custom solution that not only fits the unique and critical needs of your business but also allows you to leverage your strengths and give you a strong competitive edge above your competitors.

The agile programming style that VantageOne Software employs allows us to meet with you and your end users to filter down the exact needs of your business. All through the development process we will take a look at your existing processes, personnel and infrastructure and work with you to increase the utilization and end user acceptance of the software from day one throughout the life of the software. This allows us to save development time and effort by removing the unnecessary “features” and make the software easy to interact with as the format, business rules and availability is 100% catered to you and your business.

Throughout the process VantageOne will be on site to have live conversations with you and your users to ensure that there is buy into the software and to handle all of those “Oh, can it do this?” moments. This allows us to alleviate the concerns related to user acceptance and the need to engage in expensive customizations months down the line.

So as you can see, there are vast benefits to investing in a custom solution for your growing and evolving software needs. Do not allow yourself to be fooled by the out of the box solutions on the market. Your needs and environment are unique to you, they are what have allowed your company to grow and succeed in today’s cutthroat business landscape. Don’t allow off the shelf software to derail what has worked for you in the past. Embrace what makes you successful, work with VantageOne to create software to meet and exceed all your needs for today and to position yourself for years of growth in the future.

VantageOne Software is a leading onshore software development provider offering web, mobile and enterprise-level custom software and application services. For more than 20 years, our teams have used their technical expertise and in-depth domain knowledge to streamline organization’s operations for optimal success — a real competitive advantage. Certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) through NEORSD and WBENC.

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