CRM – Custom Affordable Software Systems
Whatever type of business you have, managing customer relationships and processes is integral to your success and continued growth.
A custom CRM tailored specifically to your business can give your business a head start on your competition. It’s not just about client and sales information, a custom CRM can manage all your processes, including warehouse, job and service history, managing staff and equipment, all in one integrated solution.
If you are a small to medium business often the best and most cost effective solution is to have a CRM built specifically for your needs. It will be much simpler to use, do exactly what you need it to do, and integrate into any other systems you might need. In addition the total cost of ownership will be much lower than leasing an enterprise class CRM.
The ready-built alternatives
There are off-the-shelf solutions available but they are not always the best choice.
Remember that off-the-shelf software is designed to handle lots of scenarios – which clutters the system with confusing extras that you don’t need and terminology that you don’t relate to.
Also relevant is that existing CRM software is largely focused on sales and management of a large sales team. If that is your biggest need then certainly look into some of the available options.
Why a Custom CRM?
However, we find that far more businesses suffer customer relationship challenges after the sale. That is in delivering the service, customer communication, after sales support, maximising future sales and retaining happy customers. What this involves is unique to every business.
A CRM is an excellent tool to bring cohesion to everyone’s efforts. Whether they be in-house, in the field, at a different branch data recorded in a CRM is available to your whole team, everywhere (with security restrictions of course).
Probably the biggest challenge with a CRM is making sure that it is used by all team members and used properly and thoughtfully. If your staff are forced to change the way they work to fit with a ready built solution, there will be resistance and mistakes. Conversely, if your staff can save time while following established processes they are more likely to respond positively.
The greatest benefit of a CRM comes when it is used right across your enterprise. For some departments such as those that don’t use computers normally, that will require thought and custom design.
Controlling your destiny
When you adopt ready-made software (whether purchased or subscription) you are placing the destiny of your business outside of your hands. The 3rd party software may cease to develop. It may develop in directions that don’t suit your business. The pricing model may change in a way that dramatically increases the cost to you.
As your business evolves you will want to extend or enhance your CRM to match. It is easy to customise and enhance your system when you start with a custom solution. With a 3rd party solution it is out of your control.
The pain and suffering (and implementation cost) of changing a CRM is not something that you want to do if you can avoid it. If your CRM is your own then you it can evolve with you and you need never change.
Aren’t ready-made systems cheaper?
Would it better to customise a ready-made system?
Finally, over time the system you have tied yourself to may head in a direction that doesn’t fit with you anymore – at which point you have to start all over again.
How much do I need to be involved?
If your project is for a core operational system, you will need to allocate internal resources to support the development, training and deployment. That said, we can help by picking the right time of year to match your business as well as a rate of development that you can keep up with.
Is custom software risky?
Over the years, we have rescued too many projects from stalemate after a substantial investment of money and time. The usual cause is a developer being dazzled by dollars and taking on a project beyond their capability.
Dealing with MindVision mitigates most technical risk simply because we have been developing software for over 21 years. It is rare that we are asked for something that we haven’t already done before!
How long does all this take?
What about Hosting?
Is Facebook the next CRM?
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Idea to Product: the life cycle of projects
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