Rethinking the Cookie-Cutter Approach to Software

Peter Reitmeier
Rethinking the Cookie-Cutter Approach to Software

Has the advent of low-cost, retail available accounting software impacted small businesses?  You bet it has.  The dawn of accounting solutions packages like QuickBooks, Sage and other off the shelf packages has given the power to everybody to create custom solutions based on their business’ needs.  Though there are many advantages to these packages, such as low cost and customizability,  there are many problems as well.  

For one, these packages are time consuming. Pre-packaged business templates fall short of what a business requires, while customization and feature requests take too long. What’s more, there’s little to no tech or phone support available when problems arise.

When businesses grow, so do their needs. When companies outgrow cookie-cutter solutions like QuickBooks, they turn to custom software designed specifically for their business. 

Companies that specialize in your industry offer many advantages:

1.    Expertise in the field
2.    Quick reactivity to changing conditions
3.    Information sharing
4.    Greater breadth of solutions

Expertise in the Field

Companies that develop industry-specific solutions are tied very closely to the industry they focus on. They attend events, conferences and face-to-face meetings in order to better understand the needs of the clients, and build those ideas into the solution they provide. As a result, these companies have a better understanding of the dynamic nature of the industry than their generic, low-cost competitors.

Quick Reactivity to Changing Conditions

The backbone of an industry-specific software company is its product managers, programmers and developers, and its support organization. Having a team that is dedicated to developing solutions for a specific industry allows for the efficient flow of bugs and feature requests from the industry to those who can correct or add to the solution. An intimate connection with the industry allows industry specific software companies to be proactive and quickly react to new challenges and issues.

Information Sharing

Industry-specific software providers often provide an information sharing platform to their industry, creating a platform where clients can submit their industry-specific ideas, problems, or feature requests. They also can be a source of industry knowledge by sharing industry news and insights through their newsletters, blog and social media channels.

Greater Breadth of Solutions

A key aspect of choosing a partner is the breadth of products and services they offer that are industry-specific. Could you imagine if the fast food industry stuck to the first product they ever produced?  Now you can go in, get a latte, a burger, salad and desert, and do it all from the comfort of your car too.

Industry-specific software providers often offer multiple products for the industry they serve that complement each other, connect together and integrate with the different technologies your business already uses.

Summary

There is a simple lesson here. You get what you pay for…off the shelf software companies may provide a short-term solution but they don’t truly understand or integrate with your business and are unable to support and grow with it.

Industry-specific software companies  provide support, industry experience, and above all, a complete and knowledgeable solution designed just for you.