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How Bespoke Software Drives Business Forward

As we all know, in any business, the major pressures are time, resources, cash flow, and

people. These crucial elements can either make or break a business. So, what is the way

forward in managing these pinch points, with saturated markets and at times, an uncertain

economic future for the nation? The answer is agile bespoke software.

We are now in an age, where you can download a 2-hour movie in 20 minutes, dial-up is a

long forgotten memory and toddlers can use iPhones, so why do some businesses struggle

to streamline their day to day processes? We expect fast internet, intuitive phones and apps

to make our lives easier and entertaining, hey, we landed a rover on Mars and it outlasted its

life expectancy by 60 times. So why do we stand for illogical back-end systems, software

that demands a masters in development and out of date stand-alone systems which rely on

manual data entry, line, after line, after line…?

Well, we don’t have to stand for it, and a lot of businesses, who in the past, thought bespoke

software with intelligent design and beautiful, functional websites were out of their budget or

beyond their expertise, have now seen the light.

Bespoke software, tailored to your business and your customers, drives sales, overcomes

common business issues and improves business processes, not to mention the morale

boost and motivation it provides to employees, as it boosts productivity and helps them

acquire new skill sets.

Let’s take a trade to trade clothing manufacturer for instance, with orders from over 50

retailers coming in weekly, and units of around 350 per day. The retailers use a catalogue

and either email their own spreadsheet to the office manager, some use FTP to upload,

managed by the IT manager and the others call the office admins and they enter in the order

to the factory system and produce an invoice, which is posted to the retailer.

Some issues with this set-up:

1) Multiple people managing orders – what if the office or IT manager is off sick? Yes,

you can give other people access to emails or train someone else to manage the

FTP, but it doesn’t seem that efficient does it?

2) If the spreadsheet from the retailer isn’t compatible with the factory system upload

protocol, it will require more time and people to rectify or even manual entry. I think

we have all experienced asking customers to adopt specific protocols, with only a

small percent actually listening or sticking to it!

3) Phone orders are labor intensive and can amount in a lot of errors, which the

retailers, upon delivery, may deny all responsibility, and you have no record of the

original order, just your employees say so.

So how could bespoke software drive this business forward?

First, a trade website which has all products listed with prices, colours, sizes, multiple

payment options and individual retailer logins which can be managed by an easy to use

product database and CMS, integrated with the website, in order to push products live or

make changes.

Bespoke software, would also allow for the factory to input current stock levels and allow for

orders to be streamed live, with additional functionality to pick and pack, using handheld

scanners and automatic labels.

And as for the bigger retailers wanting to continue with an FTP? This can be built into their

personal account on the website, with orders bypassing, straight to the factory stream. For

tech-savvy retailers, a live API may be an option!

The above change, is commonplace in the market, it saves confusion, time, heated emails

and blame for incorrect orders, it free’s staff to work on business strategy, new products and

building relationships with customers and not to mention, businesses see an increase in

sales and profit from adopting technology even into the most traditional business settings.

It can be scary to put your hard earned cash into the hands of a developer, not knowing the

new tech language and going away from a long-standing way of working. But you only have

to look at the likes of the big supermarkets in the UK to see how technology and agile

software can grow and modernise a business. From bricks to clicks, they developed their

portfolio to include online ordering, click and collect, delivery, dedicated apps and multiple

online products such as insurance for customers. However, behind the scenes is a seamless

ordering system linking online ordering, supermarket checkouts, current stock levels and

just-in-time ordering to hundreds if not thousands of suppliers globally.

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