In our last blog, we looked at some of the reasons IT start-ups, SMEs and enterprises choose custom-made applications above off-the-peg solutions. And there are many more...
Your organisation is not identical to any other, and your people – even if the ‘organisation’ is just you – won’t be the same as theirs. You will have competitors and operate in the same space as them, but you will approach prospective customers differently to them.
So, if you share a crowded market with other organizations, establishing a competitive differentiator that doesn’t compromise what you do is important. Branding and Tone of Voice are the more obvious tools at your disposal to make yourself look and sound unique. But is simply looking or sounding different an advantage?
The website is your shop window and, clearly, that must tick many differentiator boxes. If you work in IT, or cake decorating, or plumbing, there are many generic template sites out there ready to be daubed with your branding and loaded with tone-specific content. But it will still share a structure like other IT firms, cake decorators, and plumbers.
Even a dedicated, ‘bespoke’ websites vendor will probably give your company site an identical backend to their other clients. And why would that developer write completely new code every time one cake decorator – or IT firm – requires almost identical functionality to another? Nobody gets rich reinventing the wheel.
Your core application, as built by Purple Crane, is a different beast. Some components are time-proven and reliable, and we like to use what works, but everything else is specific to your brief. Because this is going to underpin your business model, we will not use what another company has used for theirs simply because, as we’ve already observed, no two companies are the same.
Crucially, we see your application – your unique application – as being a part of your brand and the essence of your competitive denominator. With well-defined, custom-made functionality, your company is suddenly about what you do, rather than how you look or sound.
The application can become the launchpad for the external services you offer, or the internal efficiencies on which you can depend. These services and efficiencies include those suggested in our first blog, together with the following:
- Provide competitive advantage. Yes, we mentioned this in the first blog, but it’s key so warrants bringing up again. Your application should support your organisation’s goals and objectives and therefore allow you to offer services that your competitors don’t or in some way do things better.
- Improving customer and supplier communication. Boost your organizational relationships by improving efficiencies.
- Reduce errors. Manual processes, data gathering and duplicated effort waste time and resources. The right application will cut the time spent fixing what went wrong.
- Gather more data on which to report and gather insights. Having accurate, timely information available to help you make decisions.
- Focused on what you need it to do, no wasted features. Pre-built software may offer many features that you don’t want. Choose a simpler system doing just what you need.
- Changeable. Custom software can be adapted and enhanced over time to support fluctuating marketplace conditions and meet changes based on your needs and timeframes.
- Ownership and control. Be your own boss. Don’t be at the mercy of a software vendor where you are just one of many customers with many competing needs.
Bespoke or off-the-shelf applications will both generate additional costs beyond the initial development or licensing/subscription fees, so these need to be factored in whichever path you choose. These can include:
- Project Management
- Staff training
- Setup and configuration
- Migration of data
- Implementation time
For further information on whether a bespoke application could work for you, and only you, take a look at what we’ve done for other customers and then perhaps we could talk about how we can help you corner your own space in the marketplace.