We put a lot of care into how we recommend software solutions for our clients. Companies often face big questions when they come to us considering software upgrades:
- Can their existing systems be saved, in part or in whole?
- Will they have to retrain everyone?
- How will the business function while enterprise-level software is changed?
And that’s just the beginning.
We’ve helped many companies develop software solutions that make their businesses stronger, starting by working to understand a company’s entire technology stack. Seeing the whole picture allows us to ask good questions. Then, we can work with the client to develop a strategy that makes an impact quickly while keeping the long term in mind.
This research typically reveals that our clients need to choose one of two paths to move forward:
- Taking better advantage of existing ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.
- Building custom software.
Here are a few factors we consider as we help clients choose between these two options in a smart and healthy way:
ERPs are off-the-shelf systems that have wide array of capabilities. They start off generic and can often be customized in an attempt to meet a business’s unique needs. These customizations can range from user-defined fields to custom order pipeline logic.
Companies typically conduct huge chunks of their business within an ERP system. Because these systems are mission-critical, we don’t recommend switching ERPs unless excellent business cases for doing so exist.
In these cases, we work with the existing system to extend what the ERP can do. For example:
- Building integrations between systems. We can help ERPs talk to a client’s other software, for more efficiency and reliability.
- Building web portals to complement the ERP. These web apps add custom capabilities, making the ERP more useful to a client’s unique needs.
- Building web-based reporting systems that give new insight into the data that lives in the ERP.
- Building a web-based data entry system to give easier access.
- Building ecommerce systems that use the same pricing tiers, price breaks, order pipeline and other business logic that the ERP is built upon.
Often, this work can be accomplished quickly without requiring the ERP to be offline for any significant time or employees to be retrained. It also extends the ERP’s life.
Sometimes a business’s needs are unique enough to call for a custom software solution to meet their specific requirements. When we build custom software we can create apps that can do anything from accelerating business processes to providing enterprise-level solutions.
We recommend software solutions to our clients based on their particular needs and values. The advantages of custom software are that it is specifically matched to a client’s business needs and logic, so the client can determine exactly what the software should do. While the investment is larger, the ROI can be significant.
We seek to co-create a smart and healthy approach to software that will strengthen every client’s business. By choosing a strategic plan, we can map a path toward software that helps our clients be better.
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