, by  Tom Simnett

One size doesn't fit all

Off the shelf software doesn't work for every business

Last time we dared to say the customer isn't always right - and we've survived to talk some more!

During that rant, we listed 13 steps we go through in order to help the customer work out what they really wanted and what was involved in getting from where they are now to where they want to be. Just some of those steps were:

  • Who are the stakeholders, the influencers, the customers and the deliverers?
  • How many steps need to happen: what needs to happen?
  • How much time needs to be invested in the user experience (particularly for external facing issues).
  • What is being moved – data? Product? People? – and many more steps…
  • What are the priorities?
  • What are the implications of not doing something?

It is a rare person who has already asked themselves all of these questions and has the perfect plan, on paper, for us to then work to.

What we hope this also shows is that the chances of lots companies needing exactly the same application are unlikely. What happens when standard software is bought?

  • Internal processes get changed to fit the application, instead of the other way around
  • Or, vast sums can be spent on customising the application to the needs of the business
  • People don't use it properly because it isn't the same as they're used to. You know how we all love change!!
  • the results achieved aren't as good as they could be

The silly thing is that the cost of the licenses for the standard product and the expenditure on the customisation probably won't be a lot different to the investment needed for the bespoke product that will:

  • Do exactly what you need it to do
  • Already include a review of what you currently do and what could be improved
  • Will have the buy-in from your team because they understand the changes they need to make
  • And so will deliver the ROI you are looking for!

Still looking at something off the shelf?