Builders Beware by Danny Tangredi
Considering Building Your Own Software Solution – Read This First!
Every now and again a shop owner decides to take on challenge of building an estimating/business management system from scratch. The one’s I have come across usually have a little bit of technical knowledge, maybe some previous program writing experience, and that friend/employee who assures them “A system built from scratch, no problem.” These owners tend to think that if they build a system themselves, it will be less expensive, more reliable, and above all give them a strong infrastructure for future. In beginning of software age this might have been case, but in today’s environment having a “self built” mentality presents some owners with many challenges and disadvantages, which grow larger and larger everyday. Are you considering building your own software solution?
Which Type of Shop Can Rely On A Home Built System?
Not all shops are at a disadvantage when it comes to building their own system. To determine which avenue a shop should take, owners must know what type of shops benefit from a self built solution and what type is better off purchasing one. Companies with a small number of people, where only 1 person estimates, producing very few quotes daily, with little to no re-orders, and selling a small number of products with few options, may do fine using Excel or a home built shop management system. But if and when one or more of these variables change, need for a better solution increases and owners should look else where.
How Much Does It Cost To Build Your Own?
Many times an owner thinks it is less expensive to build a system then to buy one. This is one of biggest misconceptions of a self built system. I recently spoke with Steve Gillispie from Acorn Signs who spent 6 months creating a program from scratch before he ultimately stopped when he found a solution that did everything he needed and more. Steve said looking back “It’s idiotic to try and build your own system. The time involved and programming knowledge required is too much. Trying to build a system internally, when other software systems are currently in market, is idiotic.” He stated that “Software companies, such as Cyrious Software which he uses, already have hundreds of development hours invested into their programs; therefore building a system yourself starts you off with a time and knowledge disadvantage.”
Software for Future of Your Business
If you are looking to be a competitive force in your market, grow your business, and increase your sales, creating right infrastructure in most economical way is key. In an industry where time and money, building relationships, and staying competitive is vital to a business’ success, having a system in place that assists with these areas is extremely important and hard to achieve on your own. This is why many owners today like Steve, are halting production of a self-built system and looking towards other solutions.