Tailor made systems for Suriname
Everywhere in the world the importance of good automation has been recognized, in Suriname as well. Business automation improves both efficiency and effectiveness of processes within the organization. This results in increased returns and higher turnover. Companies that consider taking the automation step can choose from an abundance of standard software. Why then choose custom made software?
One size fits all?
In Suriname, most small and medium sized companies choose small standard software packages. Purchase costs are low, they can be bought at regular computer shops and in most cases implementation and configuration can be done quickly and easily by employees of the company’s own IT department. These packages contain extensive functionality which in most companies can be applied with just a few simple mouse clicks.
But things that work perfectly at one company can completely fail at another. Standard software often needs adjustments because otherwise it cannot be used within the existing company processes. If additional custom software is built, to try and close the ‘functional gap’ between what the package offers in terms of functionality and the company’s functional needs, chances are that in the end the final implementation turns into an expensive investment.
Companies choosing custom made solutions get software which seamlessly fits their company management, demands and plans for the future. The software is built based on a thorough analysis of the company processes, and contains no superfluous functionality. That alone can lower the price considerably.
The main advantage of tailor made software is of course that it is possible to get a system which exactly matches the demands. With a standard package that is only possible within the limits of the available options of the software, which often results in a mismatch between the process and the system. Users will therefore always consider custom made software to be more user friendly than a standard package.
In addition, some packages are so comprehensive that large parts of them are never used. For example, what percentage of the functionality of a word processing program like Microsoft Word do you use? Watermarks, styles, macros… everyone pays for them, but who uses them?
Because custom made systems fit seamlessly, no functionality is wasted. The functionality being offered is handled more efficiently. That is why the size of the system can be kept in check and because of that, maintenance need certainly not be more expensive than for a package that is larger than necessary and contains many unused features.
Custom made systems are also more easily integrateable than packages, if they are built using the right technology. The reason is that the building blocks of the custom and the external systems to be integrated can be handled more flexibly. Even more so if the same technology is used. This applies, for example, to internet access, which in many parts of Suriname is not available or reliable. For organizations with employees in the field, custom made software based on distributed databases can be developed. As soon as someone checks in at the office, the information on the laptop can be synchronized with the central server, and subsequently processed.
The growing certification trend of companies in Suriname perfectly matches custom made automation. An ISO certified company has unambiguously recorded and documented all its processes. That documentation is the best guideline to develop a custom made system that exactly suits the company, with automation facilitating existing processes.
Of course, the reverse is possible too. A custom made system can help with an ISO certificate. Because while the software is being developed, the company and the software supplier jointly record the company processes. Those processes can also be used as a guideline for the ISO certificate.
An important group which is often overlooked in automation is the end users of the system to be developed. A new software system has a major impact on their day-to-day work. If these employees are not involved in the development process from the very start, it can cause strong resistance afterwards. Custom made software must therefore be developed in cooperation with the employees. The processes being automated arise from their usual working habits. By engaging them in the development process they become better informed about the software, which in turn positively influences their acceptance. They get the feeling it is ‘their’ software. The learning curve will be lower too; employees are already familiar with the processes and recognize the actions they were used to. The extent in which employees are informed in advance about the future software determines for a great part the success of automation.
Is custom made software suitable for Suriname?
Yes. Custom made software is without any doubt a must for companies in Suriname. No money is wasted on huge standard packages of which often less than half of the functionality is used. A strong focus on functionality which is indispensible for the company processes will lower development costs. A clear problem definition and explicit automation goals will ensure that specific demands surface unambiguously. The result is a system which not only exactly matches company processes, but is also easily accepted by the users.
Custom made software can only be a success if the software supplier and the company work together. That is another reason why it is a perfect solution for Suriname. People in Suriname greatly value personal contact and a good working relationship. With a local partner, after sales and service support is always close at hand. It is now up to you. What will you choose?
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