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How Custom Software Improves Workflow

August 17, 2017
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road-sign-64060_960_720Custom software offers unparalleled solutions for workflow obstacles. This success is based on the personal connection afforded by the time and attention given by developers. Workflow obstructions are one of the most enduring challenges faced by any business. For this reason, it’s important to do more than only solve existing problems. You must also take advantage of opportunities for faster, more efficient work. Custom software allows businesses to do both at once. There’s effectively, no workflow challenge that cannot be overcome through cooperatively-built custom software. This is mostly, thanks to the engagement of developers and attention to detail. Such enduring problems include application-switching, communication both inside and outside the workplace, and individual business obstacles.

Eliminating Unnecessary Applications


When there isn’t an application designed to handle a specific task, businesses are forced to cobble together solutions using elements of multiple software products. This often means storing vital tools and information in various locations. For example, customer information is stored in one location, while the tools to complete a specific function are stored in another. Important calculating or monitoring features are stored in another. Obviously, this slows down the overall speed of the computer all these applications run on. In addition, this procedure also eats up a lot of labor hours. Every time an employee switches between programs to perform a single function, their employer loses money.

Custom software offers a solution to the root of the problem. Rather than using elements of different programs to create a single solution, custom software developers build fresh solutions. These solutions combine all elements of a single process into one piece of software. Without the need to switch between screens and applications, employees enjoy a smoother workflow that allows faster, more accurate work. Their software becomes an aid rather than a challenge, and their work may even become less mentally fatiguing.

Improving Communication


Communication represents a huge problem for essentially any industry. As communication technology evolves, businesses struggle to maintain structures that interact with relevant technology. Beepers and pagers used to be the most efficient means of communicating, with most employees using them outside of the workplace. However, by current standards they’re almost archaic. Thankfully, custom software keeps pace with these changes as a matter of necessity. Software developers easily integrate applications for smart phone users without compromising business security.

Even communication within a workplace suffers from delays, confusion, and misdirection. For example, a hospital deals with multiple types and forms of communication on a regular basis. This involves in-house paging in addition to communication with other hospitals and 911 staff. Other forms of communication include employee direction and patient management. Lastly, it also includes federal government agencies. With all of these veins of communication, it’s difficult to always get the right requests to the correct personnel. However, time is of the essence.

Even businesses that do not have literal lives on the line have a lot to lose monetarily when communications fail. Custom software doesn’t offer blanket solutions. This is invaluable for every business struggling with communication problems. After all, no two businesses are exactly the same. Their various communication structures represent all of their diverse operations, vendors, and processes. A custom software developer starts with the business and its individual needs rather than preconceptions about industry statistics or generalizations. Their products allow clearer, more direct communication. They also allow businesses to expand communications down the line without having to start from scratch.

Targeting Unique Problems


As we mentioned, no two businesses are exactly alike. Every business staffs different personnel and uses different processes. Most obvious, they reside in different locations. Any and all of these areas influence workflow. They also create problems off-the-shelf solutions simply cannot solve. Realistically, custom software is the only solution to these kinds of challenges. A business may find ways to work around problem areas and avoid unnecessarily complicated tasks. Unfortunately, they inevitably hurt themselves by limiting their own potential. Working around rather than through always takes more time. It also makes significant growth as much of a problem as it is an advantage.

The best custom software developers do not just build software based on a few phone interviews. They come to visit and examine businesses in person. They directly interview employees who see the greatest obstacles in their regular tasks. This helps them work with owners and managers to build solutions that help boost long term goals. This level of detail-orientation is the most important distinction. It separates the off-the-shelf solutions from the custom made software solutions. Unique businesses with their unique problems need new solutions that work for their exact situation rather than industry averages.

Custom software allows businesses to get ahead using everything that makes them unique. Your business shouldn’t suffer for aspects of its workflow. It should stand out from the rest of the industry.  Moreover, your business should be able to wield its differences for its own advancement. Custom software refines workflow processes and eliminates obstacles. This makes your business free to focus on things like product, marketing, and customer service. No business is perfect, but differences are not necessarily flaws. Custom software allows any workflow to operate a peak efficiency.

 

How Custom Software Can Save Your Business in an Emergency

August 3, 2017
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Business Finance Office Calculator AccountingThere are many advantages to commissioning custom software. Custom solutions boost your business by streamlining workflow, patching weaknesses in conflicting systems, and even reducing business’s labor needs. What many forget to mention in this list of benefits is the supporting role custom software and its developers play in an emergency. Technological disasters of some kind are unavoidable for modern businesses. Between the complex supply lines, ecommerce sites, and borderless enterprise structures that businesses utilize to stay competitive, there are many opportunities for problems to develop. Whether your data is compromised by a hack or you suffer a catastrophic software failure, you need the best support available. Custom software and custom software developers can provide that.

Added Protection


Cyber-crime is responsible for more and more business emergencies. One of the best ways custom software can help in such an emergency is to prevent it from happening. The more widely a particular piece of software is used, the more hackers it will attract. Just as legitimate businesses look for the maximum payout for an investment of time, hackers aim to infiltrate software and applications that will give them a backdoor into the most private computers and business networks.

Using custom software doesn’t necessarily make you immune to all cyber-attacks, but it does afford an extra layer of protection. This applies to more than the programs built from scratch. Even if you choose a custom solution that is built on open source products, it will still be different enough to dissuade many hackers. After all, if a hacker goes to the extra effort of cracking your unique system, their payout begins and ends with your data. Finding a weakness in off the shelf solutions will open many more doors.

Faster Service


If your system goes down, no matter the reason, speed is imperative. Every moment you have to sit and wait for technical support to help solve the problem could equate to thousands of dollars of lost profit. They key to rapid recovery from a technological crisis is to have your emergency tech support arranged in advance. If the team has a chance to examine your system before anything goes wrong, they can shave precious minutes and hours off of repair times.

A traditional technical support team is unlikely to visit your business in person before an emergency to study your system in-depth. Usually, they work off of basic knowledge about your primary systems. Custom software actually slows them down.

No one understands software like custom software developers. If you hire them to build software, they will spend time researching your infrastructure. This gives them the insight they need to make the best software possible. It also gives them a high level of expertise in your business’s inner workings. Of course, they also literally create part of that infrastructure.

Inclusive Backups


Custom software developers rarely limit their services to development. This is why they make such great emergency tech support teams. They can help prepare you for an emergency in other ways, however, that are just as important. Custom software developers are directly invested in the success of your infrastructure. This means they are proactive in offering support services that can help you get back on your feet faster.

Many custom software development companies offer emergency backup plans as part of their development packages. They guard your emergency backups so they will be ready whenever you need them. Again, this pairs well with emergency tech support services. Combining these two separate recovery steps saves you time, and it may also save money, which is important when you lose income due to technical failure. These custom software development companies usually offer a range of backup options. You should be able to find the right fit for the size and scale of your business. Since custom software development companies want you to return to them for upgrades in the future, their backup solutions are usually scalable.

Custom Software Developers Care as Much about Tech Disasters as You Do


As we mentioned above, custom software developers are directly invested in your success. Whether you have a catastrophic system failure, a data breach, or any other tech disaster, it’s in the custom software developers’ best interests to help you recover quickly. This makes them powerful allies when things go wrong. Your success supports theirs, so they are by far the most reliable and dedicated tech support available.

Having the right support is crucial for recovering from a disaster. Custom software can help you both before and after an emergency strikes. Custom products offer unique solutions to dissuade and defend against hackers. Emergency backups keep your most valuable data safe in case the worst happens. Custom software developers make the best tech support teams, too. In the end, it’s the developers’ commitment to your success that makes the difference. Custom products don’t just help you work better. They help you work safer.

 

Is Custom Software Affordable

July 13, 2017
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1280px-Dollar_symbolWhenever custom software comes into a conversation, the first concern is that it’s simply too expensive for the average business. The truth is that custom software may be more affordable than you thought. Even if it costs more in the short term, its long term value exceeds any off-the-shelf product.

Custom Software Range

Unlike off-the-shelf solutions, custom software can be as large or small as you need. Whether you’re looking for a refined answer to a specific problem or a whole new workflow, custom software developers can create what you need. This means that prices are hugely varied. The larger and more complex the software program, the more expensive it will be. However, you may be able to pay significantly less for a small piece of custom work that you would have to pay for a full off-the-shelf program. Even larger programs may be more affordable than comparable off-the-shelf options. By cutting out a few unnecessary features that come with off-the-shelf programs, custom software can offer a tailor made and tailor priced solution.

What Are You Really Paying For?

If you’re buying software off the shelf, you’re buying generic solutions slightly tailored for your general industry. While there may be one or two unique features that give the software designers the right to slap your industry’s name on the cover, the software still caters to very few specialized needs. It certainly won’t address the unique problems your business faces. After all, businesses aren’t built on industry standards alone. They’re also built by their very specific clientele, their individual employees, and the natural workflow established by unique cultural and geographical influences. You cannot buy a perfect pre-made software solution.

What you’re really paying for is a handful of moderately useful features and a lot of branding. An established brand will stick with what has sold well in the past. Although they might customize software to allow specific industries to account for commission work, they aren’t interested in reinventing the wheel. It profits them to change little and sink more money into marketing. You are paying as much for the brand name as you supposedly are for the industry specific software.

Short Term vs. Long Term Costs

Even if the custom software development you’re considering would be more expensive than simply buying a program off the shelf, you may end up paying more. Short term and long term expenses for custom software and off-the-shelf products are extremely different. This stems from the fact that while custom software developers are happy to have your return business, they don’t base their business model on disposable products you will have to entirely replace in the future.

If your business is doing well, it will inevitably grow. This may mean you have a wider customer base, additional services, or even a new location. In any of these situations, you’ll need software that can keep up with increased demand. Unfortunately, off-the-shelf solutions do not stretch well. Once you reach storage, user number, or feature limits, you cannot bypass them. You will, typically, have to buy entirely new software. This means you will have to make the investment you made earlier all over again. This gives the software less time to earn back its value and reduces your overall profit.

Custom software doesn’t have the same limitations. When you start working with developers, it’s easy to explain that you want your software to grow with you. Developers can easily add routes for potential expansion to your custom software. You don’t have to pay for features and storage you don’t need when you first buy your custom software, and you won’t have to pay for an entirely new system down the line, either. All you’ll need to pay for are the additions, the doors to which developers have already embedded in your software.

Estimated Returns

An important point to consider when you examine custom software is its potential to generate profit. Custom software helps employees do their jobs better and more efficiently than off-the-shelf solutions. This represents immediate savings and an enhanced likelihood of profit. After all, if a single employee can finish more work, they have time to tackle new projects, which is key for expansion. Buying software off the shelf usually allows you to continue operating at your existing speed. It isn’t made to necessarily make your job easier, only to make your job possible. This limits off-the-shelf software’s ability to give you a return on your investment.

No one wants to pay more for a product today than they have to, but if you buy a lesser product today, you’ll be paying for it again and again in the future. Custom software gives you the tools to only buy what you need now, spend less for future developments, and improve your business. When you examine the cost of custom software, you should really be asking if it’s the competition that’s affordable.

 

Why Your Business Needs Custom Software

June 29, 2017
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puzzle-1721465_960_720It’s always wise to second guess and thoroughly scrutinize a potential investment. Some don’t hold up to the examination, but custom software becomes more valuable the more you investigate. These custom products are among the best investments your business can make. Not only are they superior to the competition, but they enable you to take advantage of your business’s unique opportunities while protecting your most vulnerable points.

Off-The-Shelf Inefficiencies

The first reason your business needs custom software is because custom products are innately superior to off-the-shelf solutions. For instance, custom software developers build products based on the client’s needs from start to finish. Conversely, mass produced software only provides general solutions to simplified problems. Custom software considers an individual business and off-the-shelf solutions use a single product to address an entire industry. These generic solutions do not actually solve many problems. In fact, they may create stumbling blocks in your day to day workflow.

Good custom software comes as the result of detailed study of your business and your associated business needs. Developers not only listen to your input, but they actively observe how you do business. This gives them an opportunity to bring up inefficiencies they could potentially fix. Many of these come from off-the-shelf solutions. No single program will allow your employees to do their jobs. A single task may require application hopping, which drains time and resources. You may also have software that loses data when it updates, or software with updates that interfere with other programs.

Expansion complicates these issues. Most off-the-shelf software is built with pre-existing limitations. If your business needs more storage space, additional users, or even integrated solutions for a new location, off-the-shelf solutions will either fail or demand a hefty new fee. Usually, off-the-shelf developers design their products to force expanding companies to buy all new products to meet their expanding needs. On the other hand, custom software comes with built-in backdoors for future expansion, which cuts down on future cost and frustration.

Security Concerns

If you run off-the-shelf solutions, you face the threat of every hacker with access to that software. You also make yourself a more profitable target. After all, if a hacker manages to break through a popular off-the-shelf system’s security, then every business that runs that software is vulnerable. If you use custom software, hacking you won’t necessarily help the criminal hack any other business. It’s a matter of time investment and potential reward.

If you know of especially vulnerable points in your system, such as remote points of sale and wireless networks, then you can give custom software developers advanced notice. With this information, they then build special layers of protection for any software that comes into contact with these vulnerable points. Every business has slightly different weaknesses. Even the most expensive off-the-shelf software can’t address your specific risks as well as custom software developers.

Missed Opportunities

The best businesses are capable of taking rapid action. They also streamline interior workings to make it easier to turn a profit quickly. If you are wasting time and money on inefficient, vulnerable software, you are also wasting opportunities. Custom software offers more advantages than just waste prevention, however.

Athletes use tailored gear to enhance their performance. Artisans and craftspeople do, too. These tools help them do their work at not only a faster speed, but also with improved quality. If you have software that can combine everything you need for associates to handle a customer complaint on a single screen, how much better will your customer satisfaction score become? If your software allows employees to multitask or combine processes, won’t you be better prepared for new initiatives? Custom software gives you the ability to make your own opportunities. You can also use the development process to take advantage of new ideas and technology that will help you meet major goals.

Example of Industry Leaders

One of the best ways to tell if a particular product or tool is really worthwhile is to see how it works for industry leaders. Every industry can benefit from custom software, and the range of companies to benefit from such products reflects that. One of the world’s biggest aerospace and defense companies, Boeing, uses custom software solutions. Medical care company ADX and medical technology leaders like Drager and Siemens also benefit from custom software. Even RAM Products has custom software in use.

If you want your business to grow and expand, custom software development is an essential investment. It won’t hold you back or make you reinvest all over again for better storage space. Custom software keeps you safe, and it allows you to grow in unique directions. If the potential benefits don’t win you over, you just have to look at all the industry leading companies who have already received concrete benefits from their investment.

 

Bridging the Gap with E-Commerce through Custom Software

June 22, 2017
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ecommerce-1992280_960_720Launching an e-commerce platform is an exciting challenge, but the challenge part grows exponentially as the Internet expands. Competition increases daily. Customers expect bigger, better, and more uniform shopping experiences. Worst of all, your security is never guaranteed. Custom software can bring the excitement back to e-commerce. With unique solutions and integrative options, custom solutions can do things off the shelf options simply can’t match. Custom software is the best option for customer satisfaction, ease of use, multi-channel selling, and security concerns.

Improving the Multi-channel Experience


Multi-channel customers are the best customers. They spend more, pay close attention to your promotions and mailers, and they’re most likely to discuss your business with friends and family in a positive light. It takes a lot of work to win these customers, though, and a lot rides on the software behind your website. Multi-channel shoppers expect the same experience, whether they’re shopping through your web app or your brick and mortar storefront.

Custom software gives you a lot of advantages right out of the gate. First of all, you don’t have to try twisting an off the shelf solution to provide the kind of options customers would have in the store. Whatever you give your customers in the store, you can offer online. Do you provide free samples in the store? Offer them in connection with a mailer full of future discounts through your web app. This ties in nicely with newsletters. The right custom software can fill the void left by helpful sales associates, too.

Your software can help you with the details behind the scenes that impact customer experience, too. For example, if your software provides real-time updates on available merchandise, and you link that with your in-store manifests. Then online shoppers won’t suffer the frustration of selecting an item only to discover it’s out of stock at checkout. What shoppers see on the shelves, whether they’re physical or digital, is what’s actually available. This builds the kind of long-term trust multi-channel shoppers need.

Going Mobile


Mobile shoppers are an entirely different demographic than multi-channel shoppers, but custom software can still help you reach them. Custom software developers help you build a mobile app that offers everything your store and web app provide. They even back it up with integrative software solutions. The same connections that are so vital for online, multi-channel shoppers turn mobile shoppers into customers. Keep in mind mobile sites are technically just another channel for buyers. Since prefabricated mobile site formats are just as static as their web equivalents, choosing a custom approach is the only way to ensure uniformity.

Mobile sales are all about speed, and many shoppers make same day purchases. Mobile shoppers have the fastest average conversion times, so streamlining that funnel is imperative. Custom software creates the fastest shopper funnels and the best buyer experiences.

Connecting Revenue Streams


No one likes to talk about accounting, bookkeeping, and the wonderful world of business number games. Unfortunately, e-commerce makes that chore all the more important. It also makes it vastly more complicated. Custom software offers solutions that extremely few off the shelf products can match. For example, by linking revenue streams to flow into the same bookkeeping program, you’d save a lot of costly labor time. By addressing shopping cart application design, you can save a lot of steps down the road. You can also ensure the system matches your established accounting and bookkeeping workflow instead of complicating it.

Making Transactions Secure


Security is a greater concern than it’s ever been before, especially for businesses involved in e-commerce. Getting hacked is no longer a risk; it’s a guarantee. In order to protect your business and your customers, you have to plan ahead and take a proactive approach to your web apps’ security. This involves a lot of simple tasks, like changing passwords and using secure connections. It also takes a new approach to security, and that’s where custom software development comes in.

The harder hackers have to work to get into your system, the less likely they are to finish the job. It becomes a matter of profit. Also, hacking a unique security system that differs from every other e-commerce websites’ makes you a less appealing target. After all, what’s the point of forcing your way into a single business when you could spend the same amount of time securing the keys to dozens of others in one go?

Custom software offers solutions to every e-commerce frustration from bookkeeping complications to security. It’s the best choice for customers as well. Not only does it make multichannel selling vastly less complicated, but it provides the kinds of options and services you need to grow your customer base. When you decide to go mobile, the same developers will have your back. It’s the smart way to move into e-commerce.

 

Five Reasons Distributors Need Custom Software Development

June 15, 2017
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distribution-center-1136510_960_720Distributors keep the modern world of commerce moving, and they need software that can keep up. While many programs seek to address the major concerns of the industry, nothing works as well as custom software. Custom software development addresses the individual business rather than industry principles, making it an invaluable tool.

Time Efficiency


Distributors are always busy. While time is of the essence for any business, distributors face unique pressures due to the nature of their services. Moving product in and shipping it back out again is the backbone of the distribution industry, and that backbone relies on efficiency to stay strong. Losing even ten seconds per order quickly builds up. If employees only handled a single order per work day, the loss would still be reasonable. However, distribution employees typically handle hundreds of orders per shift. Within a month, you’re looking at a loss of hours, or even days’ worth of labor. That lost time represents unfulfilled orders. At the least, your inefficiencies are costing you profit. In the worst case, however, you could be disappointing contracted clients and customers.

Custom software development addresses the exact causes of those precious ten second lapses in efficiency. While off the shelf solutions try to provide a blanket solution that may shave the time loss down to six or seven seconds, you deserve better. Custom software addresses individual issues directly.

Cost Efficiency


First, custom software saves you money through time efficiency. If you aren’t paying for wasted hours, then that money becomes profit. If you aren’t wasting time, you also have the chance to handle more clients, which also boosts profit. At the very least, you aren’t paying for wasted time.

Custom software development also gives distributors a better return on their investment. If you pay for off the shelf software solutions, you’re paying for the time and research that went into making a product that answers problems you don’t have. You pay for partial solutions to your own issues. Off the shelf software also inevitably comes with entire features that simply aren’t very useful in your particular niche of the industry. Blanket solutions come with blanket costs. Meanwhile, custom software gives you exactly what you need without extra bells and whistles to drain your resources. You pay for exactly what you need. This is better than handing over your investment in exchange for developments and insights that help your competition as much as they help you.

Security


Cyber security is a rising concern for consumers, producers, and every other entity in today’s market. Criminals with the right tools and experience can hack just about anything, or so it seems. The sad reality is that the more common a program is, the more likely it is to be hacked. Widely used software solutions give hackers a greater return for their crimes. By breaking past a popular software system’s firewall, they have the opportunity to attack multiple businesses and customers from within. Custom software offers custom security measures. No two pieces of custom software are exactly the same, and if you want to keep your business safe, custom solutions are often your best bet.

Support


If something goes wrong, you need support you can rely on. Again, wasted time is wasted money, and if a distributor fails to deliver, they lose critical customer confidence. Distributors rely on the support behind their software, which is something off the shelf products fail to provide. Most off the shelf software developers only offer limited customer service hours. There is no way to guarantee the quality of the service you will receive.

Conversely, custom software development teams usually train their own customer service representatives, or double as repair personnel themselves. Rather than trusting a stranger with a script, you can trust the best custom software development services to stand behind their products. Custom developers have more to lose and more to gain by providing good customer service. Their superior insight into what exactly makes your software tick also makes them the best for the job. They know what other programs you run, how your business is conducted, and can find solutions faster.

Room to Expand


Custom software development doesn’t give you a cookie-cutter program. When you discuss your needs with developers, it’s very easy to ask them to give you room to expand. Developers then build in spaces for potential add-ons. This scalability is an incredibly valuable asset to any new, developing, or expanding distributor. You can pay for what you need now and rest easy knowing you can pay for additions rather than entirely new programs down the road.

Custom software development is vital for distributors looking to get ahead of the competition. Your business is unique, and you deserve software to match. Custom software solutions save time and money, keep your business secure and running, and leave room for growth.

 

Custom Software Development: The Software Investment You Need

May 30, 2017
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money-18554_960_720

software investment

As a business owner, you always look for ways to boost your bottom line and guarantee a successful return on your software investment. Everyone knows that custom software development often requires a significant investment, and waiting for the long-term results can be stressful. However, with the right custom software, you can boost your bottom line in both the short term and long term. Advantages that cross industry lines make your business appeal to a broader range of customers. Uniquely specific benefits of this type of software investment help you meet your specific goals and plans. In the end, each of these aspects help to boost your revenue.

Custom Software Development Wins Customers


There are a number of reasons your business benefits from a software investment in custom software. One reason is that commissioning custom tools demonstrates a business’s positions. It shows a good, steady income along with reserves. This leaves customers feeling more secure when they invest money in the company’s products and services. In the mind of most consumers, steady businesses build reliable products. At the very least, they view a steady business as more trustworthy. To most customers, a firm, settled business is less likely to lie in order to move a product.

More importantly, custom software development is known for offering better security. As cyber crimes rise and more consumers have to deal with problems like the identity theft, security is a greater and greater consideration. When major retail chains are vulnerable to cyber crimes, consumers know everyone is at risk. By not only using but publicizing custom software, businesses can maximize the return on their investment. Such software boosts a business’s reputation, which attracts more customers, which in turn boosts income. The fact that it also limits your risk is a further advantage. Cyber attacks worry customers, but they cost businesses much more.

Addressing Specific Issues


In the business world, there’s always room for improvement. Shifts could be tightened up, office supplies used more sparingly, and teams made more productive. While custom software development can’t solve all of these issues, it can make a world of difference in problems related to workflow. It also helps solve various IT struggles and helps to improve customer service.

It’s almost impossible to find off-the-shelf software that will answer every need your business develops. Most businesses have to use a patchwork of systems in order to perform regular functions, and this inevitably slows productivity. These ungainly systems boost error rates and make employees dread booting up the computer.

Not only do employees lose precious minutes and hours flipping between screens and sources, but these convoluted systems put a high demand on your hardware. IT teams will lose a lot of time handling crashed computers when that time could be better invested elsewhere. It’s wasted opportunity. Since your IT team offers some of the most valuable innovations and developments, spending extra time on unnecessary repairs and patches is even more costly.

Moreover, custom software development helps your customers, even if the software isn’t a part of your front of house services. When an employee juggles multiple systems while trying to provide information to customers over the phone, delays and frustration are inevitable. In these cases, customers feel they haven’t been treated well, even if your associates are doing their best. Good customer service is a key to customer retention. It’s also a vital part of boosting your bottom line.

Aiming for Opportunities


Although all businesses aim to grow and advance, those changes look different for every storefront, office, or fabricator. Not only is there dramatic differences in goals between industries, but each unique business has different opportunities that best suit their goals and plans. For this reason, a software investment is vital, and custom software development is the best way to support those goals.

You need to focus on customer service to build a stronger local reputation. The best custom software gives you advanced options designed for your particular services. For instance, restaurants need software aimed to support new, third party delivery services. However, they may plan on developing their own delivery options. Since customers often prefer to order in advance for pick-up, each restaurant needs highly customized ordering software that allows for customization. After all, customers expect the same service online that they get in person.

In other industries, manufacturers face unique technical programming challenges. Moreover, stock advisors need software that allows for maximum customer profile customization, while simultaneously delivering real-time stock numbers. Opportunities for integration and ease of use pave the way for any type of business to meet specific goals faster.

The Bottom Line of a Software Investment

Make a software investment in custom software development. It helps to boost your bottom line in both the near and distant future. It’s a high set of expectations. However, working with the right custom software development team helps you build your ideal tools. In turn, these help you with everything from winning new customers to cultivating their continued loyalty. Custom software is safer and more efficient.  These systems address immediate concerns and goals by tailoring a program to match your existing workflow. All of these benefits combine to make a powerful software investment that boosts your revenue. Custom software not only brings in returns but supports how you do business.

 

How to Maximize Employee Performance through Custom Software

May 18, 2017
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maximize employee performance

maximize employee performance

Employees are some of your most valuable assets, but handling a diverse workforce leads to inevitable wastes of time and funds. Outdated or needlessly complex software causes much of this waste, especially in office environments. Custom software development, however, has your solution. This article shows you how custom software development helps you maximize employee performance.

Custom Software Development Offers the Ultimate Intuitive Controls


You want to maximize employee performance, and intuitive controls are one way to do just that. Intuitive controls have become a bit of a fad phase in marketing, and just about every piece of software on the market claims to have them. In reality, intuitive controls are best when they are customized. The more specific the customization, the better they will function. A general intuitive design helps users figure out how to enter and exit software efficiently. Alternatively, most software utilizes complex features that cannot be so easily displayed.

Custom software development designs intuitive controls based on your business’s unique work and pace. You may need specialized controls for handling clients, for example. Dashboards and tabs could divide client-oriented work into more specific work tracks. This would shave off time digging through layers of organization to find a specific function. Designs that follow the day to day patterns of your business mean you can spend less time training your employees, and you can waste fewer labor hours.

Embrace the Dashboard Experience


Embracing the dashboard is another way to maximize employee performance. One of the best advances in the world of software development has been the popularizing of dashboard controls. With dashboards, you can easily collect various functions onto a communal screen. This makes it easy to work through an entire process without flipping between various programs. Everything you need is in one place. This technology offers advantages for essentially any industry, and rudimentary versions are commonplace in most leading software.

However, while most off-the-shelf software features some form of dashboards, they aren’t always customizable. Even if they are, your customization options are limited by the developer’s ideas about the industry’s needs at large. While a few of the available options may work well for your individual business, custom software development would provide dashboards that addressed your workflow and primary needs directly. Since dashboards are meant to save time, it’s important for them to adhere to your specific requirements. Unfortunately, basic customization options only take you so far because the original designer’s expectations control their limits.

Wield Employee Input


Custom software development offers the chance to maximize some of your greatest assets, your employees. When employees struggle with their tools at work, they have to drain time and resources from IT. If this happens often enough, even if the employee is otherwise doing excellent work, the employee could easily become frustrated. Such employees often feel underappreciated and underutilized at work. This leads to low workplace satisfaction for your top performers. That, in turn, often leads them to seek a new position. There’s a way to harness this frustration for the advancement of the company, however.

If you ask your employees what aspects of your company’s existing software holds them back, they’ll be quick to answer. Careful analysis of the most commonly reported stumbling blocks will give you the raw data you need to make a superior system. Of course, that feedback won’t help you if you’re simply buying off-the-shelf software. However, custom software developers work with you from the beginning and are eager for your input. Offering employee feedback gives them priceless insight into your goals and struggles. With the aid of software that helps rather than hinders their daily workflows, employees are able to achieve higher standards and production volumes. As an added bonus, those frustrated, high performing employees receive the acknowledgment they need. By taking employee input into consideration, you reinforce your employees’ value and encourage long-term loyalty from your top performers.

Track Progress for Rewards


No one likes to feel like Big Brother is watching over their shoulders, even at work, but in order to get the data you need to efficiently run your business, you need access to detailed reports about employee activity. Many businesses use complex, multi-step logins that waste time and start employees’ work days with frustration.

There are better ways to track and reward progress. By including such functions in custom software development from the onset of production, you save your employees stress. You also get more accurate data. After all, managers get to waste even more time under the familiar multi-login system. Whenever an employee forgets one of their logins, they have to make an official report. The manager must then use their report to correct multiple systems. These include hour tracking, employee time cards, etc.

Daily workflow is a complex system of minor and major functions. The right software can turn it from a chore into a productive cycle. Custom software development gives you the keys to solve existing issues, minimize time losses, and encourage loyalty from your best workers. It’s a lot to expect from a single investment, but custom software development should always be exceptional.

 

How to Find Long Lasting Custom Software

March 14, 2017
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use-1521128_1920Custom software development is a serious investment, and in order to benefit from that investment, you need to find software that can stand the test of time. While there’s no way to predict the future, there are key features and traits you should consider before and during development that will promote software longevity. Most are fairly simple. Look for a good fit that leaves room for growth, and take time to hire a local developer who provides additional services.

Find Software that Fits


Custom software development isn’t uncommon. However, finding custom software developers willing to tailor software to suit your exact business needs is uncommon. These services might cost more, but they provide a better investment that outlasts simpler products. The more your custom software meets your specific business needs, the fewer problems it causes. Not only will it cause fewer problems, but it will help you meet your goals more efficiently. This should expand the life of not only your software investment, but also your client list.

Well-fitted software also takes your existing hardware and network capabilities into consideration. The right fit won’t overburden your system or take up unnecessary storage space that you need for other functions. Tailoring is key. While many developers sell custom software that is tweaked for individual customers, it isn’t always tailored to your needs. Remember, there is a difference between custom software, and custom software developed specifically for your business.

Go Local


Local developers have a series of benefits any business can take advantage of. At the top of that list is market awareness. While custom software from overseas companies depends a great deal on second hand research and established trends, local developers have a natural understanding of the clientele you serve. Research is still imperative, of course, but even that is easier and more thorough with the local advantage.

Local custom software development ensures the best fit, too. Just as locals understand your market better than overseas companies, they also understand local regulations, business culture, and standards. The best developers meet with you in person to best understand your unique goals. These collaborative efforts go a long way in ensuring a good fit. As we discussed above, this is the best way to get long lasting custom software.

Choose Developers with Good Support


Good customer service and technical support will ensure your new software serves a long and productive life. Good support goes beyond any warranty, though. When you’re shopping for software developers, look for those who offer multiple services. A software development company that offers separate technical support services helps you plan for the future. These services often include integration, trouble shooting, and emergency backup and recovery services.

No one knows custom software like the individuals who developed it. Try moving the majority of your software-related business to the company responsible for development. Your business gains the developer’s insight into future problems. This would take outside troubleshooters far more time to acquire. This saves time in emergencies, but it also secures a service provider with a vested interest in the longevity of your custom software.

Consider Expanding Business Needs


The best custom software fits your current business needs. However, to make it last, developers need to take your business plans for the future into consideration. After all, if software matches today’s needs, but not tomorrows, it won’t be effective for long. Custom software is a major investment, and you want to receive a long lasting product in exchange. In order to last, custom software needs to be flexible. Moreover, developers should make space for future add-ons and expansions.

Perhaps your software needs to accommodate data from a new office branch. Or, maybe you plan on diversifying your services in the next few years. Software must be flexible to address these changes. Often, expansions are as simple as additional memory or more detailed file type compatibility.  However, inflexible software fails to adapt. When you speak with your developer, explain where your business is headed. With his or her understanding of developing trends in technology, you should be able to find the right balance between efficiency for today and flexibility for tomorrow. This collaboration is key to software longevity.

Long lasting custom software works well, and that requires a great fit. There is no better way to stack the odds in your favor than to hire a local, multi-service developer. Such a developer comes with the skills, insight, and proximity needed for close collaboration. This is a preemptive measure that saves time and money down the road, in addition to its many immediate advantages. Custom software development helps grow your business. For this reason, it’s important that developers leave expandable options. Together, these features outline not only a great custom software product, but one that will last for many years to come.

 

Open Source and Custom Software Development

January 11, 2017
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Open Source Software

Technology has advanced faster than many of us ever expected.  Two decades ago, Google, Swift, Firefox, the iPhone, and Android were non-existent. Today, you are likely reading this article from one of those platforms.  Custom software development companies and open source software made this possible.

What is open source software?  In common terminology, open source refers to any program whose source code is made available to the general public for use and/or modification.  While there are thousands of open source projects and products, some well-known examples are Apache, WordPress, Java, MySQL, HTML, and PHP.  Meant to be a collaborative effort, programmers improve the source code and share the changes.

Open Source and Custom Software Development for Businesses

For businesses to maintain a competitive edge, it is vital to keep up with technology and its changes.  Collaborating with a custom software development company to create open source software, businesses stand to reap many benefits.  Some of these benefits are as follows:

  • Execute innovative ideas in a practical, feasible way to nurture growth, efficiency, and development.
  • Gain technical superiority by working with custom software developers to create solutions that are unique to their business requirements.
  • High-quality software, security, and support. Additionally, working with a custom software developer in the United States for a business in the United States offers a wide support platform after the software has been developed.
  • Open source software does not require many resources to operate smoothly. Choosing to upgrade your custom software is completely up to you and the vendor.
  • If business requirements change, open source software adjustments can be made accordingly by the custom software developer.
  • Open source customer relationship management provides improved customer relationships because it offers many different options to meet customer requirements based on your preferences. This results in improved efficiency, which equals happier, more satisfied customers.

Ayoka, a Texas-based custom software development company, is always on top of the latest technology to help ensure your business stands above the rest with open source software.

Why Open Source Software is Favored 

Proprietary or “closed source” software is a type of software with a source code that can only be modified by the person, team, or organization that created it.  Proprietary software can only be legally copied, inspected, and altered by the original authors.  Additionally, when using proprietary software, users must agree that they will not modify, change, or do anything with the software that the authors have not expressly allowed.  Some examples of proprietary software are Adobe Flash Player, iTunes, and Google Earth.

Open Source software allows authors to make the source code available to anyone who would like to see the code, copy the code, alter it, learn from it, and share it.  This is one reason people prefer open source software.  Some other reasons open source is favored are:

  1. Open source software allows programmers to evaluate the source code to ensure it is performing like they want it to.  They can change any part of the code they do not like. Those who are not programmers benefit because they can use the software for any purpose they like and not only the ways others think they should.
  2. To put it simply, open source software helps programmers become better programmers.  Students benefit since open source code is publicly accessible. They also study how to make better software. Furthermore, they can share what they have learned as they develop their skills and custom software developers can comment, critique, and help the students.
  3. For some people, open source software is considered more secure than proprietary software.  Since anyone can view and modify open source software, someone who sees an error or an omission that may have been overlooked by the authors can correct it.  With many people being permitted to work on open source software without permission from the original authors, they can update, fix, and upgrade open source software quicker than proprietary software.
  4. Programmers publicly distribute the source code for open source software; therefore, users who are relying on the software for critical tasks are assured their mechanisms remain if the original creators stop working on them.

Making Open Source Custom Software Development Together 

At Ayoka, we have one clear objective and that is to deliver the very best customer service to all of our clients.  When developing open source software, we don’t just work for you, we work with you.  Using open source software such as Python, Swift, Twitter Bootstrap, and many other programming languages, Ayoka continuously expands our custom software development knowledge and experience to bring you the very best of open source software that you can understand and utilize proficiently.  For all of your custom software development needs, call us today at 817-210-2042, or fill out the short contact form and we will respond promptly.

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for the New Year with Custom Software

December 19, 2016
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As 2017 rapidly approaches, your business has made the decision to invest in custom software or enhance existing software.  More and more businesses are doing so as the investment in flexibility promises large gains in terms of productivity as well as competitive advantages. Custom software is designed to meet your business’ exact needs which simplifies your business processes and enhances your ROI.

With today’s mobile workforce substantially increasing, the ‘off the shelf” software programs lack the adaptability that is demanded by those who work off-site.  Additionally, the typical user’s profile is rapidly changing as businesses needs change and cloud-based platforms lessen the time and cost necessary to build custom solutions.

The Benefits

In preparation for your custom software, some of the key benefits you can look forward to are:

  • Innovation – Custom software enables businesses to enhance existing software to improve their current processes. Furthermore, it creates the intelligence to execute new tasks that are more appropriately aligned to decisive goals.
  • Efficacy – Custom software reduces the amount of time wasted while increasing agility and swiftness of response by conforming to the user demands exactly.
  • Cost Enhancement – Customization of software unlocks its maximum value, thereby minimizing risks and maximizing ROI.

The result is an innovative, more productive, and profitable business.

What to Look for in a Custom Software Developer

Integrating new custom software or enhancing existing software requires exceptional communication between you and the software developer.  A customer service-driven software developer focuses on providing a software solution that fits your needs and, at Ayoka Systems, we have one clear objective – delivering the very best in customer service.

From medical software development to manufacturing software development, Ayoka System’s mission is to exceed client expectations while maintaining competitive pricing.  By establishing a united approach with clients, we look beyond the technology and focus on the main objective of your software and how it aligns with your business. We love learning as much about your business as possible to formulate or integrate the custom software that is perfect for you.

Beyond the Desk

You probably do not go anywhere today where you do not see people working with mobile devices.  Some industries such as energy services require remote monitoring.  Remote and rural locations often lack internet connectivity.  Ayoka System designs mobile apps that incorporate a “store and forward” capability.  This means they are preloaded with data, operate without being connected to the internet, and allow the users to sync the data when internet connectivity is available.  A custom software program designed with this capability saves time, money, and a lot of work.

Communication 

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the most advantageous benefit of custom software development is communication.  The very core of customer service is exceptional communication.  The internet and mobile apps give customers what they want and expect through interactive software.  If your business is experiencing steady growth, or has difficulty keeping up with the customer base, a custom app helps to solve this problem.  Ayoka System’s custom software development services create apps for business that can handle anything and everything.

More Powerful and Profitable 

If your business already has software that you want to make more powerful and profitable in 2017, you need a roadmap of exactly what you want to integrate.  Some of the things you need to consider are as follows:

  • Are there features and functions that need to be added? This can be anything from changing the way users interact when they log in or visit to changing items so they appear only in certain places on your site or app.  No matter what features you add, it is imperative that they are user-friendly.  These additions should be prioritized by business impact and the amount of time and effort required to implement them.
  • Do you need or want to make upgrades? Some upgrades require more precise planning than others.  For example, adding reporting abilities to a dashboard or web app requires more planning than adding eCommerce to your website.
  • Evaluate your website and web app performance. Do they need to work better or faster on mobile devices?  Do you need to add an Android or iOS app?  These integrations will require more time, but it is very important to include them in your custom software plan.

Make a Commitment 

Take your time and evaluate trusted custom software developers before you decide on one.  Changing developers midstream can be very costly.  You should choose a software development firm that works with you to establish a long-term relationship and someone you can rely on to make things right when things go wrong.

At Ayoka Systems, we are dedicated to serving you.  If you are not happy, we are not happy.  Prepare for the New Year with custom software by being ready before the New Year.  Contact us today and we will help you and your business with a plan for custom software for 2017 and beyond.

Benefits of Integrated E-Commerce Applications

November 15, 2016
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Integrated e-commerce applications link your online store to your physical store, your customer database, your shipping software, and more. Just as system integration allows your business to operate more efficiently by improving access and control, an integrated e-commerce application helps you take control of your points of sale. Selling in one store and one online marketplace is difficult enough. As your business expands to multiple online points of sale and additional storefronts, you face further problems. It becomes all too easy to ship the same product twice, mislabel bookkeeping entries, and even lose orders through inefficient system management. A custom e-commerce application can solve all these woes and more.

Minimize App Juggling


Say you sell from three different points of sale. You have a small boutique storefront, a shopping cart function on your website, and a shop on Amazon’s marketplace. Without an integrated e-commerce application, you’re looking at three different points of sale that come with three different kinds of POS software. Amazon uses its own system, your pre-made shopping cart software uses a different system, and your physical point of sale may or may not communicate with either of them. Hopefully, none of them pull from the same inventory, though small businesses with handmade goods or unique pieces of art have no choice but to post the same item both online and in the shop.

Juggling so many different apps eats time. Since time is money, you are sacrificing revenue to app juggling. Rather than trying to watch three different apps and then trying to channel them into bookkeeping or shipping separately, you can tie them into a single bundle. With custom software development, you can take all of your points of sale and have each one send information to and receive orders from the same app.

Reduce Errors


The sad truth of app juggling is that sometimes you drop an order. It’s easy to confuse information from two different points of sale, especially if two different customers have the same name, a similar address, or simply purchased similar products. Pulling information from so many different sources isn’t just exhausting. It’s confusing. Imagine an app that automatically updates all points of sale when a customer buys an item. All inventories would automatically show the change in available items, and you need to never again, awkwardly explain to a customer that you are sold out, even though the website says you still have two items in stock. Integrated e-commerce applications can combine customer, product, and shipping information into one powerful system that not only provides rapid results, but also provides the right results.

Save POS Management Time


Until now, every business has had to upload every image, description, and price into every different point of sale manually. If you opened an Amazon marketplace account, you would need to add all information manually. If you launched your own website with a shopping cart, you would need to add information manually. Every new point of sale demanded the same meaningless legwork. An integrated e-commerce system does the legwork for you.

Reduce Overhead


If you don’t already run some form of integrated e-commerce application, you’re throwing away profit. An integrated app allows you to control every step of fulfillment, from the order to the moment the package arrives, within a single system. Jumping between apps allows product to fall through the gaps, information to become confused, and endless labor hours to slip away. E-commerce is so popular because it gives customers instant satisfaction, and sellers profit without overhead. By choosing custom software development to design an integrated e-commerce app, you trim the overhead even further back.

The Benefits of a Custom App


Your business is unlike any other, so no pre-made app can suit your exact needs. Many only work with specific e-commerce websites and software. By choosing a custom app, you ensure all points of sale can communicate, all systems are accepted, and the software has all the features you need. A shop selling any kind of food will need to integrate somewhat different systems than an antiques dealer. The only way to ensure all points of sale, customer registers, and shipping software work together is to build the system around them.

Many businesses only use a single physical storefront, but that doesn’t mean they only have one point of sale. E-commerce demands expediency, accuracy, and organization. Juggling apps or hoping that a pre-made app can support all of your different systems is an invitation for lost time, revenue, and even customer loyalty. Your customers should never have to wonder about how their orders are processed. Usually, they only ask questions when things go wrong. Integrated e-commerce apps connect the dots from order to delivery, allowing you to conduct a fluid transaction. E-commerce represents the future of shopping. Investing in an integrated e-commerce app allows you to keep pace with the new market.

 

How Custom Software Makes Your Business Safer

October 25, 2016
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Custom software development is the best choice for efficiency, longevity, and support. Did you know it’s also the best choice for safety? In the age of the Internet, you may feel like nothing is ever truly secure. Hackers make a living stealing trade secrets and confidential data. Their threat is ever present. Maybe you’ve even been hacked or hindered by a computer virus in the past. Unfortunately, companies can’t just lock their doors and use every computer individually. At the very least, you need links to printers, scanners, and other office machinery. Modern businesses also rely on email, websites, and video calls. A business simply can’t function without opening itself to attack.

The security of Custom Software

Choosing custom software development, however, gives you superior protection. Custom software makes hackers’ lives much more difficult by depriving them of easy loopholes and backdoors developed in regular software. The risk of buying regular software “off the shelf” is that many of these systems need improvement. Hackers have already found old software’s loopholes. You will spend hours updating that software after you install it, because there are bound to be endless updates that have come out since it was first published. Regular software companies are playing a constant game of catch-up with hackers. Many of these updates involve security. On the other hand, custom software gives you the latest security measures and updates. Rather than leaving your software vulnerable with outdated security measures and recognized loopholes, choose brand new software. New custom software comes with the latest security protocols. Developers also recognize weaknesses in the program hackers or viruses have exploited in the past and seal them off. Custom software in general follows this rule, so just imagine the compounded benefits of custom security software.

Defending Online


There’s been a lot in the news lately about internet security. Several major search engines and browsers recently announced new policies to help make the world a little safer. Eventually, unsecured websites will disappear from search engines and popular browsers. While your company’s systems should only appear on the deep web, beyond the reach of traditional browsers, it’s still important to remember that these websites can provide opportunities for hackers. Web security is a separate matter, but if your employees use your hidden websites while at work for things like security checks, logins, and benefits pages, you are at risk. Using the right security software to protect your employees and hardware from online threats, blocks a critical entry point for hackers, spyware, and other online dangers.

Defending Individual Systems


The more programs and functions your custom software commands, the better your protection will be. When hackers plan an attack, they often access a single computer or system. They use this device as a stepping stone to reach the next system. This continues until the hackers find a computer with the information they’re looking for. Hackers turn your systems against you, using things like your own Wi-Fi and printer connections to gradually hack your entire network. In order to infect the first computer, however, hackers must be able to penetrate the system. By closing off all systems through custom software security measures, you make it extremely difficult to begin the hacking process. This level of protection is easiest to achieve through systems integration via custom software. If you have other, more vulnerable programs running on the same system as your custom software, you make it easier for hackers to sneak into your most secured software.

Defending Against Hacks


Custom software is more difficult to hack. While essentially all the points in this article support this statement, it’s worth noting the obvious. Since custom software is designed specifically for a custom software development client, then the software is unique. Hackers often use the same tricks to enter similar systems running the same software. If your software is different from everyone else’s, then you are immune to a significant portion of the hacker’s skill set. Since hackers rely on accumulated knowledge of systems’ weaknesses and loopholes, your system essentially forces hackers to start from scratch. Additionally, since your system is unique, they will be working blind, without guides or suggestions from their connections.

Custom software development sets you ahead of potential threats from the start. By maintaining a working relationship with your developer, you can continue to stay ahead of potential threats and system weaknesses. Custom software doesn’t just keep your business moving, it keeps your business safe. Since safety is a major concern of many customers, you can even use your business’s custom software as a selling point. It makes your business truly unique, presenting original challenges for hackers and safeguarding your system. Whether you’ve experienced the threat of an active hack, or you’re trying to keep ahead of potential threats, custom software development is the safest option for you and your business.

 

The Advantages of Custom Software

October 4, 2016
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Custom software development offers unparalleled opportunities for business development. No matter what industry your business falls under, software is a vital tool in the age of the Internet, and better tools make better products. Software controls everything from customer service to stock management, so it’s vital to find the very best software for your unique needs. Unfortunately, mass produced software isn’t designed to handle the features and challenges that make your business different. In order to get everything you need out of your software, you need custom software development. The best fit is always made to your measurements, and custom software is always developed with only you in mind.

Fit and Value for Your Business


Although the idea of paying for custom software may seem daunting, it is far more affordable than you may think. Not only is the initial price lower than you may expect, but the product will serve you better in the long run. You also receive more “bang for your buck” with custom software. When you order custom software, all costs go into making your ideal product. It has no unneeded features or extra bells and whistles. Software is tailor made to fit your business exactly. When you buy regular software with unnecessary features and add-ons, you are paying for the labor it took to make parts of a product you will never use. It’s like a chef buying a Swiss army knife rather than a good cleaver. The Swiss army knife won’t do what the chef needs it to do as well as cleaver will, and most of the Swiss army knife’s features aren’t meant for a fast-paced kitchen. Software works the same way. Regular software carries functions you will never need in your industry, or in your specific field. For example, you may have a separate billing system for your clients, and prefer not to use the built-in feature regular software provides. Why buy features you don’t need?

Development and Expansion


Custom software can have whatever features you need, including the ability to expand. Even if you do not want to pay for such features now, it’s possible to design software with future expansion in mind. After all, even the best business development plan can’t predict the future. If you plan to use the same custom software development company, then you can discuss plans for future expansion with them when you first order. This allows them to leave doors open in your software so you can add to it later. It’s easier to update a system if the custom software development team is the same, of course.

A Perfect Fit for Customers


As the above points discuss, custom software is the best fit for any business because it is tailor made to suit. However, custom software can also be the best fit for your customers. Multichannel selling has allowed unprecedented growth for small businesses. Even those without physical storefronts can use mobile and web apps in addition to ever-evolving online platforms to move product. Multichannel selling comes with some critical rules for success, though, and chief among these is a seamless experience for customers. Whether they buy through their phones, laptops, or in person at a trade show, they must enjoy the same experience. Your business has to present the same face and features, no matter which channel customers choose to buy through. Your apps must all look the same, and they must tie into any physical locations or branded banners you use. It’s important for all channels to present the same buying options with the same information, too. If you sell something like tea, can customers choose between different weights? Can they see the blend? Can they order a taste test? Do all of your channels provide thorough information about the product and its ingredients? Custom software allows you to create exactly what your customers expect to find. No cookie-cutter software could do this.

Choosing custom software over regular options is like choosing an office made to your specifications over a place in a strip mall. One has everything you need, and you know this because you chose what it would contain. The other is formatted to host as many different kinds of business as possible, and you have competitors standing on even footing right next door. Business development demands expansion, control, and careful customer management. Custom software offers all of this and more. It’s one of the soundest investments available for any business, and since it’s made to fit your business, you can use it to solve essentially any problem. Custom software helps you keep up to speed with both developing trends and established trends, such as multichannel selling. It offers room to grow and even saves your business money. Custom software development can be updated, just like any software, and that means your custom software will never lose its efficiency. Unlike other software, however, custom software updates will always take you in the direction you wish to go.

Front of House Software for Restaurants

September 26, 2016
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Your restaurant serves amazing food. Your customer service is legendary. Between your product and your service, your restaurant has an unparalleled reputation. The only problem is, your software is a little dated. Your computers crash frequently. You have trouble accepting payment by credit card at random intervals. Maybe your customers have noticed the inconveniences, or maybe you’re thinking ahead; either way, you know it’s time for an update.

Ayoka can help you develop the right software for your restaurant. With locations in both Houston and Dallas, they are easy to find. There are so many new ideas and programs available that you may have trouble picking between available options. Fortunately, Ayoka can guide you through the process of finding the right restaurant software.


Systems Integration

Systems integration is more than just a buzz word. This revolutionary process has already changed how many companies do business, and it’s still a relatively new idea. Soon, companies who have resisted integration will also have trouble keeping pace with the majority of the competition. Systems integration services go beyond easing production behind the scenes. Much of the new software in development actually favors integrated systems.

Restaurant businesses handle a lot of different roles, including food production, customer service, food safety, food delivery, sales, cashiering, and all the joys of management. Many of those roles need access to each others’ information. You need supply totals for bookkeeping, but you also need them to ensure you can cook what you advertise. There’s nothing quite so disappointing as going to a restaurant, eager for a signature dish, only to discover they are out of that particular item. System integration allows different departments to access information in real time, or something very close to real time, depending on the system. This means the accountant, the cook, and the sales lead can all see what’s in the pantry without wasting time with requests, additional emails, and frustration. Your sales lead won’t make a sale for a dish that’s about to run out, but easy access to inventory allows them to make the best specials and offers to benefit your business. Say you’re nearly out of sirloin, but you have half a shipment of pork chops that are approaching their expiration date. Obviously, a sale on pork chops would prevent the restaurant from losing money in wasted supplies while a sirloin special would disappoint customers and cost the restaurant potential sales.

Moreover, systems integration services can make it easier to process payments. It’s easier to handle errors when you can see the big picture, and your bookkeeping staff will enjoy direct access to real time information. Integrated systems run more efficiently than divided systems. They help to streamline labor demands and make the complexities of any business more transparent and manageable.

Hosts and servers can also access information instantly in order to answer customer questions. After all, no matter how well your servers know the menu, items are bound to change, particularly specials and seasonal fare. Keeping not only information, but also communication open between departments helps everyone work more efficiently.


Software for Customers

You may not consider web and mobile apps as front of house software, however, they can quickly transform into customer-friendly systems within your establishment. Imagine digital menus customers can use to order from their tables via touch screens. Those same screens could provide entertainment while customers wait for their meals. in addition, they also offer nutrition information on available dishes, present feedback questionnaires, and even handle the bill. This may seem like technology of the future, but all of these components are available today. For example, a new app called Rockbot allows customers to choose the music your restaurant plays. The app functions like an old fashioned jukebox, pairing novelty with convenience. In order for the app to work, of course, the restaurant must host Rockbot. Allowing patrons to customize their experience at your restaurant is a simple, cheap way to make eating out more exciting. This app is only the tip of the iceberg. As a strong business center with a large student population, Houston restaurants need an edge to stay competitive.

Remember, in the age of the internet, “front of house” restaurant software has a fairly different meaning. Customers can order online via apps, make reservations through their phones, and provide feedback through the same methods. Making sure your apps are top of the line, ensures your business’s remote services represent the rest of your business well.

The right software improves production and customer experience, either directly or indirectly. Whether you want to improve communication and prevent errors with system integration, or you want to let customers take control of their experience, you can save on labor and avoid costly mistakes. Today, many of the best business innovations appear in the world of software. Using those innovations to enhance customer experience reduces the burden your employees shoulder and increases return business. You may have the most amazing food in the world, but your cooks shouldn’t have to do all the work.

Buying Custom Software? Don’t Make These Mistakes

May 12, 2016
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buying custom software

From time to time, you might realize that your generic software isn’t producing the results you had hoped. Maybe your company goals don’t quite fit within the results this software can offer, or maybe your company has grown, and “on the shelf” software no longer supports the data you wish to process. Whatever the reason your old software is failing you, it might be time to consider buying custom software. Before you purchase custom software, make sure you don’t make these common mistakes.

Expectations are impossible to meet

The idea of custom software can often send expectations soaring. When you have the option to design something specifically for your company, you might  believe that the sky is the limit. Custom software does offer great customization, but there are limits to what can be produced.

The first limitation of custom software is related to cost. More complex software takes longer to create and costs more than a basic software design. Businesses run on a budget, and the custom software you choose must fit within your budget.

Another custom software limitation is technology. New technology is being developed every day, but some expectations can exceed present capabilities. When you are buying custom software, be sure and discuss your expectations with your developer in order to make sure everyone is on the same page, so everyone will leave the experience on a good note.

Software is too complex

Another major mistake you can make when buying custom software is choosing a software that is too complex. When you work with a custom software developer, you have to keep in mind that your employees will have to be trained to use the software that is created. Sure, there are some amazing features that can be developed, but if they are too complex to teach to your employees, then your employees will not use the software.

The more training required, the more time will be taken away from production and/or services. The same can be said for features created for your company’s website. If the software is too difficult for the customer to use or understand, they won’t use it, or worse, they will choose another competitor to work with. It is understandable that flashy, new technology is eye catching, however, if it is too complex, it will not work for your company. Talk with your custom software developer about your company’s needs, and try to find the simplest way to solve your problem.

Deadlines are too rigid

In the business world, everyone lives and dies by the deadline. That’s not so with custom software. Your software delivery timeline often depends on which features you decide to use. New features bring more code, and because the features are customized to your business, the code is often new as well. Once the code is developed, there will have to be a testing period where all of the bugs will need to be worked out. There is no real way to estimate the exact timeframe for this. Several simulations must be run of all possible scenarios in order to make sure the software is running smoothly and correctly. If there are any glitches, the code must be corrected and tested again. It’s definitely good to set a date to shoot for completion, but it would be wise to understand that there has to be flexibility to receive quality custom software that can give your business the competitive edge.

These three common mistakes when buying custom software are easy to avoid, if you know they exist. Now that you do, hopefully, your custom software buying experience will be much more enjoyable and successful.

Three Signs You Need Custom Software Development

May 8, 2016
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custom software development

As Operations Manager, you are charged with making sure all aspects of your company run like a well-oiled machine. There are many tools you can use to make that happen, but sometimes your toolbox may seem overloaded, or worse, out of date. Here are three signs you need custom software development.

Technology is always advancing…without you

Technology is advancing at an exciting rate. If your business has a system that has been working the same way for years, it is often hard to change, but there may come a day when you realize that everyone in your industry has jumped on the technology train while you were left at the station. For some, that might mean finally adjusting your business operations and investing in software that can streamline of your business’s paperwork – from medical assessments to compliance reporting. For others, it might mean getting started in custom reports for your customers or collecting data from social media.

Now is an opportune time to consider custom software development. With custom application development, not only can your organization spring into the future, but software can be created specifically for your needs and for the data your company collects. Custom software design can also create solutions that helps you connect with your customers by utilizing the same technologies they do. This can help you stay relevant in their eyes and better understand what product or service would best meet their needs. If you see technology leaving you behind, it’s time to consider custom software development.

Current software can’t cut it

Another telltale sign that you need custom software development is that your current software is no longer supported (deprecated) or can’t seem to keep up with your current needs. Legacy software isn’t, in itself, a bad thing. It helps us with many established business tasks. For example, a custom windows application or desktop program works well if you are exclusively within your network, but falls short if you now want to use this functionality on a mobile device. Modernizing your legacy product into a more modular solution using custom programming can make this happen.

You shouldn’t have to use several different software products in order to get specialized data for your company, either. At Ayoka Systems, we work with your company to understand who you are, and we create software that can produce actionable data you need with efficiency and precision.

You need to be one step ahead

Custom software development can certainly give you a competitive edge – you don’t want to be competing against the leaders in your industry using the same old software available to everyone. If you invest in custom software development, you will gain an advantage because the software will focus on your business’s unique strengths and weaknesses.

In manufacturing, this is especially important. No company’s warehouse or procurement model is like any other’s, and you need software that can not only navigate your warehouse, but help it run more effectively and more efficiently.

Creative software engineering, performed in an open collaborative way with a local team,  is the way to go when it comes to helping your business thrive. Regardless of the reasons you choose to invest in custom software development, it will be one of the best decisions you can make to ensure your business is run more effectively, and that’s great for your bottom line.