Paul McGillivray

How Custom Software Can Save You Time and Money

The True Cost of Disconnected Systems

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As ambitious businesses scale, the need for a system to keep track of everything becomes essential. Out-of-the-box solutions, like Spreadsheets, Trello, Monday.com, or one of the many other platforms available can help you keep it together as you grow.

The problem is that there comes a time when those systems aren’t good enough for your business. A larger team, a more specific or detailed workflow, and a more extensive customer base can stretch those systems to the limit. As Marshall Goldsmith said:

"What's got you here won't get you there".

Although these systems can feel at first like the cost-effective alternative to spending tens of thousands on a custom system, there comes the point where they bring about hidden costs that make it more cost-effective to switch.

At Remote, we have a proven track record of helping businesses increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve communication and oversight through our tailored solutions. Our clients see a significant increase in productivity and a reduction in costs. Their new systems provide automation beyond the abilities of off-the-shelf platforms.

The problem with disconnected systems is that one platform will rarely cut it. Airtable could help you manage the status of a project. But it won’t give your team the details they need to complete the tasks or your operations manager the metrics they need to monitor performance, send notification emails or create reports. The list goes on and on.

So the only solution is to bring on additional platforms to fill the gaps. Sometimes you can connect them with something like Zapier, but team members often end up cutting and pasting between platforms or using a complex folder structure on their hard drives to keep on top of things.

We’ve seen companies resorting to multiple spreadsheets that get so complicated that no one dares touch them for fear of breaking something. That’s a dangerous situation for a large company to find itself in. That key team member could leave or become a bottleneck to the workflow.

Using disconnected systems means more and more team members spend their time managing the compromises they’re making between the systems, rather than doing their actual job.

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The job often becomes addressing those issues.

As the company continues to grow, so does the need to handle those compromises. That management becomes a job for another person, and another person, and before they know it, the company is paying the cost of a custom system every year in wages. And where a custom system can scale from tens to thousands of customers with very little need for improvements, people-power only scales by adding more people. More people means more complexity, more room for error, and less work completed per person.

We’re not suggesting that companies use software to replace staff. Staff should be employed to bring expertise, create and maintain customer relationships, and implement strategies. Managing the failings of a series of disconnected systems is not a satisfying or meaningful job. It brings frustration to the company and decreases morale.

A custom solution can appear to be a larger investment up-front when you compare it to a relatively small monthly fee for a SaaS platform. But when you factor in the increased wages for admin time and lost sales and productivity from existing team members, it’s considerably less expensive to build a custom system at a certain point. That point is usually when the business hits £3-5m in revenue with 15-20 staff members.

Look at how much admin work is done now, how many people it takes to do that, and how many customers you’re working with. Then look at your targets five years from now and how many customers you’ll need to be working with to reach those targets. Multiplying the amount of admin needed per customer accordingly, you’ll see how many more team members you’ll need just to keep the admin going. And that’s team members, you’re paying an annual salary rather than a one-off cost for custom development. And that number will grow as your business does.

When we’re at the sweet spot I mentioned above, it rarely makes sense to keep adding people while staying with a frustrating and time-consuming process across multiple disconnected systems. The costs of doing so are just too high compared to the costs of fixing the issue, and that’s without even considering the gains to be had by happier customers, motivated teams, better communication and visible performance metrics.

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At Remote, we understand the frustration of being held back by the very systems and processes that helped you get to this point. We have a heart-centred and knowledgeable approach to taking your business to the next level with a cloud-based custom software system. Our Automate Package incorporates digital strategy workshops, business process management, and workflow automation to melt your frustration, increase profits, delight customers, and take it to the competition.

Over and over again, businesses investing in a custom system experience faster growth, increased revenue, and better team performance compared to using their previous systems.

What’s more, the company has a powerful software asset that removes reliance on one key team member and enforces processes while increasing the company's valuation by several multiples.

We understand that investing in custom software can be anxiety-inducing, which is why we work iteratively, allowing for constant feedback and approval. Our specialists provide guidance and strategy throughout the whole process from inception to delivery and beyond. By carefully defining the project scope and nailing the right outcome, we help you get it right without expensive mistakes.

We don’t just build these systems because we’re good at it and we love what we do (although those things are true, too!). We build them because we see the return on investment they provide to our clients, and we love to see them succeed. Our clients make a positive impact in the world, and the more we can work with them to increase that impact, the better it is for everyone.

Don't let disconnected systems hold you back from scaling your business. At Remote, we're here to help you unlock your potential and build a better future with custom software. Let's work together to turn your idea into reality and delight your customers. Contact us today to schedule a strategy call and take the first step towards growth and success.

If you want to find out more about our studio, drop us a message – we’d love to chat with you.

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