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, the 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 the 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 the programming knowledge required is too much. Trying to build a system internally, when other software systems are currently in the 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 the Future of Your Business
If you are looking to be a competitive force in your market, grow your business, and increase your sales, creating the right infrastructure in the 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 the production of a self-built system and looking towards other solutions.
How Much Is Your Time Worth?
If you spent twenty hours a week developing your own system, assuming it takes you only 6 months to create, how much money does that system end up costing you? Let's assume it would cost you $100 an hour to get a homemade system built. For six months of work that's 480 hours for a grand total of $48,000 for a homemade system. Whoa! That's a rather large investment. But it could be worth it if you get what you need, right?
What You Get
With a self-built system you get a custom system developed specifically for your shop, with your pricing, cost structure, and business methods. The only problem that exists is that all of this is obtainable without building a system yourself. The company that Steve decided to go was Cyrious Software. Cyrious gave him the personalized software system he needed including his own custom pricing, cost-structure, and business methods in addition to what he wouldn't have with a self built system, such as technical support. Steve said if he would have kept with his self-built system not only would he have to support it himself but he wouldn't have been able to take advantage of features like reports, invoicing, CRM, and the Activity Manager.
What You Don't Get
With most estimating and business management systems on the market today, you usually have the option of purchasing support. This is a major aspect you can't get with a self-built system. Most software users believe that support is extremely important, and as Stan Yamamoto from FASTSIGNS? said "Software is only as good as the support system behind it?The support offered by Cyrious surpassed all of my expectations." A good tech support staff is there to help solve questions, problems, or issues that arise, when using the software. Who would you go to in order to get answers to software issues with a self-built system?
Buying Software Includes Perks!
Being a software customer, usually entitles you to additional perks. For example, Cyrious Software offers customers on support, software upgrades at no extra charge. These upgrades include many different advancements and improvements to the software. If you choose to build your own system, you become the one responsible for developing, testing, and supplying upgrades. Unless you plan on staying with the same old system year after year, upgrading your system will cost you additional time and money. If you are unable to provide continual support to enable your software to grow with your shop, is it really wise to go forward with building a system yourself? Think about it.
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