Advantages of Custom Software Development for Different Businesses

Every software company strives to maintain a close relationship with its customers by offering customized solutions to their various requirements. Hence, the role of custom software development has grown in prominence in recent times. During a period when business organizations are making all kinds of efforts to become the industry leaders, a stereotypical product with the same age-old functionalities may curtail their advancing chances.

For securing exclusivity in business goals, custom-made or user-friendly software is the most excellent choice at the moment. The major goal of custom software development is to generate an as precise end-product as demanded by the customer. A tailor-made product must be developed after understanding the requisites and preferences of the client.

Customized packages are devised by making use of the most recent technology. They are exclusively developed to satisfy the customer’s business needs. Any difficulty or disliking of the customer that grows out of the building process can be rectified during the formulation of the software with his/her permission and this is the most important advantage of such package development.

As soon as the system is built and delivered to the client, there may be no requirement to make changes to it since it is already developed to perfection. In case of a ready-made package, a business concern may need to carry out a stringent procedure of reconstituting their goals (usually called configuration) so as to comply with the application (which usually turns out to be very expensive since you are dependent on the product provider for development).

Businesses may need to get in touch with the manufacturer of the product for alterations in the presently existing system to match the necessities. This consumes plenty of precious time, energy and financial resources. The tailor-made product is built eyeing specific requirements of the end users and therefore, the complete custom application development costs need to be paid by one client which does not take place in case of the ready-made software.

After the development stage, custom-made system can be implemented right away because the customer hardly requires any modification in the delivered product. The time invested at the time of building custom system may be greater. However, this must not be an impediment in selecting a customized package for an organization’s particular function. However, the question arises why the software development life cycle goes up during the building phases.

This is because of the fact that the procurement of the ideal tailor-made product demands strict inspection to ensure proper comprehension, analysis and precise execution of thoughts into the final product. In addition, ready-made package may result in lower levels of expenses than custom software development; but, the high expenditure in the latter case takes place only due to profound research and mounting customer demands since the end product needs to be an output sought by the client.

A committed custom application development company always communicates with the client through teleconferencing, telephone, electronic mail or chat, regardless of being onshore or offshore. This is the most crucial activity since the requirements can be transmitted and understood regularly and no possibility for ambiguities is brought forth. Customized software demands frequent communication before as well as after the development stage.

Is Transportation Management Software Beneficial?

When trucking and other shipping companies need to oversee the planning and operation of their vehicles, they use a transportation management system. This subset of supply chain management focuses specifically on transportation operations by helping companies choose the best carrier. In recent years, transportation management software has become the key component within this process because it adds context to the shipper’s transportation data so that the software is aware of various components and better equipped to make good decisions. Organizations that work with logistics shipping companies are able to find software that best meets their needs, which therefore allows these organizations to reduce truckload and less-than-truckload costs.

Before making the mistake of undervaluing transportation management software, an organization should recognize that these resources help improve organizational awareness across the supply chain. Organizations’ supply chain awareness is improved by the technological advancements that have been made with regards to transportation management software provided by logistics shipping companies. Some of those technological advancements are outlined in this article.

Freight Execution

Regardless of modes, shippers are now able to tend to all shipments by using a single system. This not only means that individual apps are not needed to handle specific modes like small parcel, but also means that one system can be used to integrate data with the host system. Transportation management software also makes it possible for information for each mode to be included in the host system in the same format, so that it is easier to work with. One other important aspect that impacts freight execution is the ability to print documentation. Shippers with shipments like less-than-truckload shipments and small parcel labels can print necessary documentation like pallet labels, international documentation, and hazardous materials documentation on-site.

Pre-Audit Measures

When the organization needs to audit its shipping processes, this task is much simpler when an individual can match the information from the freight execution tool to the carrier’s invoice. One simply needs to match up the characteristics of the invoice with the corresponding charges for each shipment to more efficiently complete an audit.

Communication and Visibility Tools

When an execution tool with transportation management software is provided to the shipper’s vendors, the shipper can pre-load it with organizational rules, carriers, and purchase orders. The shipper’s carriers can then use this pre-loaded information to tender shipments, without needing to depend on the carrier to provide the shipper with these crucial details.

Real-Time Monitoring

The above tools can be included in a dashboard that allows the organization to monitor and manage freight activity in real-time. Using their own business rules, the organization is able to ensure proper measurement and management of freight payment and pre-audit details to gain a better understanding of each shipment’s characteristics. This monitoring and analysis is made possible by the information supplied by the transportation management software.

An organization can use supplied metrics to draw its own conclusions about the meaning of events within the supply chain, or can rely on logistics shipping companies to analyze this task for them. Regardless of which route they choose, organizations should recognize that the technological advancements provided by transportation management software helps the organization monitor shipping activity in real-time.

Return on Investment in Software Development

Hi I thought I would write a series of articles on a topic that I believe is becoming absolutely critical in the software development industry, that being the magical and mysterious ROI (return on investment) in software development.

As the owner of a programming company here in South Africa, I decided at the outset of the company that a rule of thumb for accepting any software development project would be that I would need to figure out how to measure the ROI in that particular project. Now you may or may not be surprised to know that in most instances my clients don’t actually think of this measure before taking on the project, they know that they have a business problem or business need that needs to be solved with technology and are willing to pay an amount of money for that. Experience over the years however has shown me that the best way to retain that client in the long term and or to make more business from that client is to prove a ROI in some way on that software development project.

I find this measure to be critical because for my companies purposes it shows exactly how successful a project is to my client in monetary terms. The bigger my impact through the software I develop, the more successful I have been at satisfying that clients need, the easier it is for me to go back to that client and offer further services. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t believe that a project coming in on time or under cost is a great measure of the success of that project at all, this is typically what IT companies do. If I really want to do a great job for my client then I always intentionally build a monitoring tool into the software I develop for them and that tool must track the ROI for the client in some way and present a report to the client whenever they want to see what this piece of software really is worth to them, be it through savings, additional income, time savings, it doesn’t matter so long as you track the value.
So how do you go about figuring out the ROI on software development project?

This is the difficult portion because it requires listening to the clients need carefully and scoping there need correctly, once you have done this, it should become fairly obvious what the client is trying to solve by having the software developed, this should then be a clear indication of the measure to be used on ROI. For example,a client of mine wished to have a system developed that automated the process of allowing shareholders in various properties to swap there owned weeks with each other. Before the client came to me they did this process manually, ie called there shareholders to find out if they were willing to exchange a week with a fellow shareholder that already gave an indication that they wanted to swap there week etc. This took a lot of time and for the administration fee that the client asked to do this, I suspect the profit was very little. Once we had developed the system and allowed the shareholders to interact with each other through the website instead of the web system, the ROI was very clear, why?

-We tracked each exchange in the system, each exchange has a monetary value associated to it.

-The clients telephone bill dropped significantly

-More swaps occur because of the ease at which shareholders can swap weeks, instead of having to go through a process of calling the company then waiting etc, this increase in sales is measurable

-Because the client offered the service electronically he could increase his administration fee.

All this information the client could get through there system thereby ensuring that he could very clearly see what his ROI was.
Conclusion

I believe without a doubt that if you truly want to complete a software development project successfully for a client, then you need to build a ROI tool into the software. Convince the client to do this, if you cant do that then build it free of charge, but make sure that you get your client to look at these figures. In the long term this will have a positive effect on your business and keeps your software development projects honest in terms of creativity and keeping the clients needs in mind constantly.

Please offer your comments and views on this topic, I am very sure that peoples opinions and views on this vary quite considerably, I am very willing to listen to other opinions in this regard.

In my next article on ROI and software, I will be describing more specifically how you can measure ROI on certain types of projects, in this case it will be how to measure ROI precisely in SMS campaigns.