Bespoke Vs Customised Software
When it comes to developing technology for manufacturing processes, companies often struggle to find solutions that fit their unique needs. We often hear our clients say, “Our systems or our process are very different,” or “We find it hard to find technology that fits” or “It’s going to need to be built specifically for us.” This is where the understanding between bespoke and customised software comes in.
In this article, we will explore the key differences between these two types of software and how they can benefit your organisation.
First, let us define bespoke software. Bespoke software is software that is built from scratch and tailored to the specific needs of the customer. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution and is often used by large manufacturing groups with complex resource management systems. The software is designed to meet the specific requirements of the customer and is often more expensive than other types of software.
Bespoke software is, in its very nature, designed to be built from scratch (but often utilising a code bank the developer has already created). A bespoke ERP Software will be built from several different sets of codebases that understand the key fundamentals of resource management but will be built to the requirements of the customer.
A key benefit of bespoke software is that it is designed specifically for your organisation’s unique needs. This means that it can be customised to fit your processes, workflows, and other specific requirements. Additionally, bespoke software can be integrated with existing systems, making it an ideal solution for businesses that need to improve their operational efficiency.
One key challenge of bespoke software is that it is built for the needs of the customer at that specific point in time and often ignores how the business will scale and how the requirements will also shift for that business. A good software developer will try and pre-empt some of the future needs of that customer. However, that is often hard to do from a software-build business perspective without someone working from the business strategy perspective as the software is built. Unless there is long-term support and development for the software build, the benefits of the build will quickly be lost. Your bespoke software is often obsolete the minute it goes live.
So, tips for bespoke software?
- Build with the software developers and the business strategy in mind. And sure, you have at least a five-year business strategy in place and you’re building to that. Have a long-term support contract to ensure that your software is being updated, and maintained.
- Ensure that the software is in escrow, so if anything happens to the developers, that software code is accessible and owned by yourself.
- Have a specific department or set of resources in-house to manage the training, understanding and the reasons behind the way that software was built. Often our clients will say to us we had this built or someone in-house built this for us. They then left. Now we don’t know why it was done a certain way. These are all things that need to be captured.
Advantages of Bespoke Software:
- Tailored to specific needs: Bespoke software is built from scratch, meaning it can be customized to fit the specific needs of an organisation.
- Improved efficiency: As bespoke software is designed to fit the specific processes and workflows of an organisation; it can help improve efficiency and productivity.
- Integration with existing systems: Bespoke software can be integrated with existing systems, making it an ideal solution for businesses that need to improve their operational efficiency.
- Competitive advantage: Bespoke software can give a business a competitive advantage as it can be designed to do something that no other software can do.
- Scalability: Bespoke software can be designed to be scalable, meaning it can grow with the business and meet changing needs.
Disadvantages of Bespoke Software:
- High cost: Developing bespoke software from scratch can be more expensive than using off-the-shelf software.
- Time-consuming: Developing bespoke software can take longer than using off-the-shelf software, which can impact the business’s operations.
- Maintenance: Bespoke software requires specialized maintenance and upgrades, which can be costly and time-consuming.
- Risk of failure: Bespoke software carries a higher risk of failure as it is built from scratch, and any errors or issues may not be discovered until after development is complete.
- Dependence: Businesses can become dependent on the software developer that created the bespoke software, making it difficult to switch to a different provider. Also, should the software developer cease to develop that software or cease trading altogether, it will adversely affect the business.
On the other hand, customised software is pre-built software that is modified to meet the needs of the customer. Unlike bespoke software, customised software is not built from scratch but is based on an existing codebase. This means that the cost of customised software is often lower than that of bespoke software.
So, let us talk now about customised software.
Customised software is this in the case of an ERP, MRP or operations platform. It is software-based that has been already created and the fundamentals are already in place and with many of the real details already in place. Customisable software allows the client to make certain changes, and these changes vary from product to product.
Customised software is a great option for businesses that have a specific budget and still need a solution that meets their specific needs. It is also a desirable choice for businesses that have a simple process or workflow. Customised software can be customised to meet the specific requirements of the customer, but by its nature, there are limits to refinements available.
Advantages of Customised Software:
- Cost-effective: Customised software is often less expensive than bespoke software, as it is based on an existing codebase.
- Quick implementation: Customised software can be implemented more quickly than bespoke software, as it is based on an existing codebase. At Total Control Pro – our fastest deployment, has been 1 week, but 4 weeks for a basic set-up that can be used live is realistic.
- Proven solution: Customised software has been tested and used by other organisations of various sizes, making it a proven solution.
- Support: Customised software often comes with support and maintenance from the software developer, making it easier for businesses to get help when needed.
- Industrial Expansion: Customised software that serves a specific market, can often bring new features and functions to all the users more quickly. Multi-user feedback ensures a more robust or feature-rich system.
Disadvantages of Customised Software:
- Limited flexibility: Customised software is based on an existing codebase, meaning it may not be able to accommodate certain specific needs or requirements of the business.
- Limited scalability: Customised software may not be able to scale as the business grows and evolves, making it necessary to find a new solution in the future. Always check the feature roadmap of the product.
- Risk of vendor lock-in: Customised software can be dependent on a particular vendor, making it difficult to switch to a different solution in the future.
However, many of these disadvantages can be offset with the right software/ technology partner.
Key Tips for choosing your customisable system
- Choose a customisable solution, that is specific to the manufacturing industry, not reworked from another industry.
- Ask for templates specific to your industry or way of working and look for a system that has integration partners to future-proof adding other customised software to meet scaling requirements.
- Define long-term business goals.
- Plan to optimize business processes.
In conclusion, both bespoke and customised software can provide valuable benefits to your organisation. The key is to carefully evaluate your needs and budget to determine which type of software is the best fit for your organisation. By understanding the differences between bespoke and customised software, you can make an informed decision that will help you achieve your business objectives.
Stemming from the definition of Dynamic, “force that stimulates change or progress within a system or process”, Our fully customisable DynamxMFG® platform is just as dynamic and ensures you use the right resources, at the right place, at the right time, doing the right task, against the right job as your business scales!
As a company, we believe in the value of partnerships and have a shared commitment to the long-term success of our clients and partners to assist them in meeting their goals. and provides top-of-the-line tech solutions. With Total Control Pro, you can trust that you’re not just getting a quick sale, but a long-term partnership that will help you achieve your goals.
Schedule a 15min discovery call with us here to learn all the inner workings of DynamxMFG® and how it can help your business.
Visit our website, www.totalcontrolpro.com, to learn more about the products and services we offer.