Why Custom Software May Be the Best Way to Automate

Sure you could hire MORE people to manage your process or buy an off-the-shelf system, but they can have major downfalls that cause you work around debt.  We’ll break down those options and compare them to the benefits of a custom, purpose-built application.


When looking at automating tasks, there’s really choices managers have. One is to hire more people to do it. The second is to go find some off the shelf software to use to manage a process. Third is to design their own system to manager a process. The reason why we back the third option where they design their own is—well, the first one where you’re trying to hire people to manage your prices, eventually, it doesn’t scale. There’s so much training cost and retention risk at keeping the key employees that you train in place. It works for a while but it’s not a long term solution in our opinion.

The problem with the second solution, off the shelf software, we see is a term we called a workaround. So you develop this process, it works for your customers, it works for your employees, and it’s a differentiator for your business. Then you go to the market to find some automation tool and often, what happens there is they have a system they want you to adopt.

They tell you we have this platform built on best practices, change your process, fit our model. Two things happen, one is you can lose your differentiators because not your unique process, now you’ve morphed it into this other thing to fit their model.

The other is what we call a work around that. You need to get certain things done but now you got to go and learn their system and maybe work with different parts of it with not the right information on the screen or not the right controls or dashboard use or those kinds of things. So there’s lots of education and learning their third-party system.

With a customer purpose-built application, a good practitioner would do is work with the management to understand exactly who needs to see what and do what with the right interfaces, the right views and controls. And then build that and then you have the efficient system for you, for your process that you’ve proved is the right one based on your success today.