3 November 2020 4 min read

Differences Between a Tailor-Made Solution vs Off the Shelf Software

 

Should one buy an off-the-shelf solution built for the masses or choose something more bespoke that can be tailored to meet one’s needs? That is a question! Let’s look at the pros and cons of both options!

Over the last nine months, the world has had to adjust to remote working, collaborating and managing information predominantly using a web connection. Companies across a multitude of industries have been fast adopting online digital solutions to meet the challenge these unique times have created.

This sudden investment in digital technology poses a number of key questions to businesses looking to acquire and adopt new software solutions.

Should I buy an off-the-shelf solution built for the masses or choose something more bespoke that can be tailored to meet our needs?

Your choice will depend on a number of factors and questions:

  • Budget available
  • Short and long term requirements
  • Urgency of need
  • Priority to business
  • Complexity and time to implement
  • Features and Benefits that meet the specification

The more time, care and consideration spent on choosing the right solution will ultimately have a huge impact on the success of that selection.


Off-the-shelf Software

Typically this will be ready to use, plug-in and play software built for a broad user profile range, with a multitude of features aimed at meeting the needs of the market as a whole.

Pros

Fast Set-up
Quick to launch and start using. Key business knowledge resources will not have to give up their time to a detailed implementation process.

Lower Training Costs
By choosing not to bring the experts in to train the users and admins, will ultimately reduce some upfront costs. This will only be a successful method if the majority of employees already know the software or a comprehensive suite of learning materials are bolted in. The overall team will all need to buy into this change, take responsibility and want to learn a new way of working with no guidance.

Lots of companies in our industry use it - human nature will drive us to look at how others tackle the same issues. If successful competitors have also adopted the same software, then it must work….shouldn’t it?

Cons

Complexity
By developing a one-size-fits-all solution, will result in providing functionality and features to be utilised in all known and researched scenarios. The amount of tools, functionality and ways in which this software can be utilised will overawe even the most tech savvy team members. Often, you will find companies have essentially paid for a thousand buttons and are only ever pressing 10 of them. The 10 buttons they really need can’t be found and the one essential button they must have - doesn’t exist. There is a workaround to this problem offered in the software that has tripled the time it now takes to carry out this imperative repetitive task.

One size fits all
By choosing off-the-shelf software, there will need to be an acceptance that at the highest level of the functionality, it will only get so much of the job done. This is because the software has been built to cater for all and when you get down to the detail, it becomes evident that your business has chosen a solution which has forced a square peg into a round hole.

Tailor-made Solution

Also referred to as bespoke or custom software, this is a solution developed to meet your business needs and requirements precisely. Often consultatively delivered this option will provide you exactly what your business needs at that time with a minimum of maintenance of the system required due to it being fit for purpose from day one.

Pros

No Compromise
Having the solution tailored to your full business requirement will allow you to work in the software that best suits your business, teams and needs. It will fit like a glove to your company, adjust to your existing workflow and support all communication and data flow. It is a solution truly fit for your (and only your) purpose.

Future-Proofing
By taking the time to identify best practices and have a bespoke solution built for your company, it will allow for the flexibility to tweak and make changes to the solution as your business either grows, changes or has new requirements. This means the software will still meet your business needs many years down the line, future-proofing your investment.

Cons

Time and Resources
Building a bespoke solution will obviously take longer than the plug’n’play speed of off-the-shelf software. You will need to identify the best business resources to help identify the process, protocols and best practices you will now adopt as a business moving forward with them built into the new solution.

Cost
To gain this consultative approach to building a system that will work within the best practices that have been identified during the set-up discovery sessions will usually cost a pretty penny. Beware of providers that build you a solution where they hold all the keys to making any changes. These companies will deliver you the solution you want but any changes or help you need in the future will result in huge professional service bills.

How to Decide

Ease of use is the primary consideration of purchasing construction software, even more critical, than functionality, cost, or the ability to integrate with existing software.

A tailor-made solution will generate a fast adoption of this new and improved way of working. You can expect huge gains in many areas:

Increased Productivity

Reduction in human error

Huge time-saving gains

Measurable knock-on-effect cost savings

Improved overall visibility and control

Happier staff who will feel better valued by being provided better tools

Our next-generation ERP delivers highly configured bespoke software solutions into construction and has a customer-focused delivery model, where customer experience and measuring customer’s benefits - is at the forefront of our company's rapid growth. We believe in the continued support of our solution to ensure our customers are gaining the most from their investment from day one and beyond. Our Team is always there for you to change something or to introduce a new module - fully supporting your needs and providing necessary training for your teams!

For performance, durability, speed, flexibility, efficiency, robustness and style - there is a reason James Bond wears a tailor made suit instead of buying an ill-fitting one off the shelf ;)

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2022-01-18 17:16:50