Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What’s the Value in Custom Software?


What's the Value in Custom Software?

A Report from your Software Development department

"Wait!" you scream, "I don't have a Software Development department!"

Maybe you should. Because there's value in custom software development. Value to your bottom line. Either you can take something you do internally and make it more efficient, or you can sell value added services to your customers. The latter situation is doubly good – you increase your sales and your customers improve their business as well. You become a hero.

If your company is large enough to use computers to track anything or process anything, then you may benefit by customizing how your data is stored, processed and distributed. If you have customers, and you understand their needs, then you have the opportunity to provide them with software solutions that satisfy those needs.

Most companies don't realize that you don't need an expensive in-house software development department to produce custom software. You don't need to pay for office space, computers, healthcare benefits, or a dart board and billiards table to get experienced software developers on your team. A good qualified software contractor can work with you to meet your needs. The same way small businesses use accountants, lawyers and caterers without having a full time finance, legal, or food service departments.

"But I already have a web site!"

We're not talking about your standard web site – everyone needs a web site so that your customers and potential customers can find about your company and the products it offers. Web sites are great marketing promotion tools.

We're talking about data processing and the ideas you have for how to improve your customers' businesses.

With custom software development you can:

  • Provide computer-based models that implement the concepts you recommend in consulting projects for your customers.
  • Implement those sophisticated ideas – your Intellectual Property, in a package that your customers can apply repeatedly throughout their organization or integrate into their own software systems.
  • Make it easier for you or your customers to collaborate on projects, share information quicker, and become more efficient.
  • Design systems to run your company that off-the-shelf software packages aren't designed to do, or will only do with a lot of customization.
  • Automate repetitive processes that your employees do all the time (or maybe they should be doing them all the time but don't because the current process is too cumbersome).
  • Give your employees access via Pocket PC devices or smart phones to data so they can make decisions quicker in the field.


"But I already have someone who takes care of my computers!"

We're also not talking about setting up computers, getting Microsoft Office installed on each and connecting them to an internal network or the Internet. We're talking about using programs such as Microsoft Office in innovative new ways, or building new applications that go beyond what those applications were designed to do.

A lot of companies start to track or process information by using easy to access tools like Microsoft Excel. That's a great way to get started, but eventually the data grows too sophisticated, or it needs to be accessed by multiple users. So they get some basic training in Microsoft Access and move their data into a database.

Access is a good tool for designing basic database applications, but it has its limitations also. And as the usage of the data grows, the database grows. Too often however, the skills of the person who created the database don't grow.

If you're the owner of your company – or you've got official job responsibilities that aren't "maintaining and enhancing data processing systems" – maybe you're responsible for sales, management, or finance, then you're taking time away from the real value you need to contribute to your company to work on something that someone else should be doing.

So spend more time on the real value that you're responsible for, and let your Software Development department get to work on building the solutions that will help you and your customers.

SPAINB Development has been developing custom software for over ten years. Some of our work has been for companies as large as Intel, but most of our customers are small businesses that can't justify the expense of an in-house staff, yet they've built business around selling and marketing software products.

SPAINB Development can design custom Windows applications for you. We work with databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, or we can work with information stored in Access databases or Excel files. We can design applications that run on your desktop or on your Pocket PC. We design applications that are feature rich, easy to use, and easy to maintain.

Leverage the experience and expertise of SPAINB Development to enhance your business. Check us out at, or give us a call at 610-559-5154.

At SPAINB Development, Our Software Is Your Software!

Bill Spain

President, SPAINB Development