Custom ERP Software Development: Is It Worth It?

Most business organizations today are quickly adopting the use of custom ERP software solutions because as opposed to the common use of manual procedures and legacy applications, ERP programs are cost-effective and efficient. The Enterprise Resource Planning program is a system of integrated applications that are designed to automate different department/office operations (product planning, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing) to a single database.Nevertheless, not all ERP software will meet to every requirement of your organization. Therefore, when deciding on the ERP software to adopt, you need to choose the most reliable one as far as your business needs and processes are concerned. In turn, here are the two types of ERP systems:Off-the-shelfThese are systems easy to implement due to the fact that they are developed out of the experience of other organizations (user groups) other than yours. From the discussions on how each of those companies’ best use the system, you acquire information on how best to adopt the system for your business.Custom ERP softwareWith custom ERP, the system is developed based on your company’s experience. A programmer gets to design the ERP system in accordance what exactly you want the software to be able to do and ideally, the process it should follow in order to do perform and facilitate your operations.WY COMPANIES CHOOSE CUSTOM ERP SOFTWARE
There is a greater chance of a company meeting its user requirements when it goes for custom-built ERP software other than a generic system solution. This is so despite the high upfront costs and time consumption to get the system started. You can always start small and add the essential layers as you go by and in the end meet, the target software for your business. Plus, it is also a way to spreading the initial expenses throughout.Custom ERP software is also designed to fit your business processes instead of the business fitting into it, this is somehow relieving since as far as training of the company’s staff is concerned, there will be less of it. All they have to do is make little adjustments to coordinate with the system.A good example of such approach is Tesla, who carefully evaluated all pros, cons, and risks and decided to build custom ERP solution having above mentioned benefits in mind. Tesla CIO Jay Vijayan calculated the costs of SAP implementation in “millions of dollars” and a year to perform all the required integrations. Tesla managed to achieve same functionality within 4 month and much lower budget with custom built ERP. As the result, they’ve got independence from third-party vendor and Enterprise Resource Planning System that is tailor-made for their established internal business and manufacturing processes.HOW MUCH IT WOULD COST TO BUILD CUSTOM ERP SOFTWARE
It is obvious that the cost of custom ERP software development would depend on what you require, the number users and its complexity. For instance, if you are going for a sophisticated custom ERP system, you might not find complete designs that fulfill your needs. Therefore, you will have to incur extra cost for complimentary products to ensure the software fully functions.Nevertheless, the general cost of the ERP system will range between $25k to 75k. The extra incurring costs for future modules or top-up services and tools would go for $5k to 25k.RISKS OF DEVELOPING CUSTOM ERP SOFTWARE
The solutions and services that custom ERP software development is meant to provide, is usually not in box therefore, it requires a lot of time and finances to initialize the design resulting to high upfront fee.Since development of a custom ERP software is on basis of your requirements, to get a high-quality system that maneuvers around future changes easily despite it being a first-time project, you require a developer with experience. Such resources are hard to come by as you are outsourcing.In addition, your contact with the developer who initialed the system needs to be consistent. This is because they would understand the system better during the development cycle: design, testing, QA/ testing, and training. This may be hard to do especially if the developer is not reliable.Despite that, custom ERP software helps to save an enormous amount of money in long-term perspective. You may ask how is that possible. Each company counts on continued growth, including the number of employees, field force, and offices. In many cases, a bigger number of users means the continually growing expenses for the licensed ERP solution. Enterprise support packages are often sold as extra services and are way more expensive than support from the custom software development provider whose support is often included in the contract. Also, it is worth to mention that your organization will be the only one supported for the product which means better and faster communication.So, the expenses for the existing user licenses, new licenses, and support of the off-the-shelf solution is growing exponentially and completely overlap custom ERP software development costs in a couple of years. In its turn, custom ERP software will justify its high upfront costs, because your enterprise won’t be locked to the provider, will own the solution and all the data stored in the cloud as the result, and won’t pay for licenses when new user accounts will be needed.CUSTOM ERP SOLUTIONS EXAMPLES IN DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES
From the advantages of the existence of a software that can meet your business requirements and solutions, most companies have been seen heading to custom ERP system development for the management of their operations. Below are a few of such companies:Oil and Gas Companies
Oil and gas companies have a great plus with custom ERP software development but, it is usually a tragedy if the system does not support the operations efficiently. Therefore, when going for a tailored system for such a massive company more considerations are put in place other than the obvious; meeting the user needs.Custom ERP software for gas and oil companies should most importantly have applications to handling the environment safety. Energy companies are known to be hazardous to their environment and if not taken care of it would cause damage and to some extent shutting down of the organization. Therefore, the system should be able to provide data to the technicians as warnings in case of any threat so that they can mitigate the risks.Also, other than facilitating the operations of the company, a custom ERP software development should be able to open up opportunities for high profit returns investments for the business. That is, it should have a cost management application too.Finally, oil and gas fields are known to be really massive and some are usually in dense remote areas but since it’s business, every asset should be accounted for. In turn, a custom ERP software with good networking is essential to integrating and managing all the company’s operations regardless of the location. Such location difficulties are curbed with high-tech optimization tools to managing all labor and resources throughout.Manufacturing companies
With manufacturing firms, custom ERP system are saviors when it comes to saving costs, eliminating office paperwork, tracking business performance and improving customer experience. This is made possible by integrated custom applications platforms for management of its operations.Nevertheless, managing a national or to some extent international business operations can be a challenging task. A centralized custom ERP software can however, bring light to all your businesses processes as it enables management of creation of product, marketing and availing of the product across all the decentralized outlets. In addition, it integrates all that data thus incorporating workflow and control automatically.Education (schools)
Schools that are going for complete computerization of their functions and processes have custom ERP system development to opt for. A great number of schools have been seen heading to this direction with use of highly tailor-made programs to handle the school management and they are known to be very successful.Whether it is nursery/ kindergarten, high school or colleges, custom ERP systems have proven to provide efficient management of the institutions.WHAT ADVANTAGES WILL YOU GET IF DECIDE TO DEVELOP CUSTOM ERP
A custom ERP software is more of a prototype system whereby you can start designing the most basic and important features and function that you have in mind then later, during testing and maintenance, you can add other essentials bringing you to a very efficient software.

With a custom-tailored system, you are likely to achieve the solutions or attain the services you are going for from a software seamlessly.

The staff is usually at an advantage of comprehending how the system works easily because it was designed in accordance to the business practices and language. In turn they have little to adjust on their side.

Custom ERP systems are usually flexible in terms of future technological or even business changes. There is always a capacity for incorporating any developing trends.

Unlike the offshore system, you get to own the custom ERP system and its design is made specifically to meet your needs. Therefore, you need not to wait for feature requests and enhancements as you are in complete control of the system.
In summary, the basic things you need in hand while planning to adopt custom ERP system is you have to budget for high upfront fees. You will require a team of tech-experts from programmers, quality controllers, database engineers to designers and probably more. Then there is patience needed too, developing software that uniquely fits your business, just like Rome cannot be built in a day. It will require a lot of work which will consume time months or even year.In addition, you need to be fully aware of the company you have set your eyes on to work with because that would be a tragic decision as well as a blessing even before you start. The expertise, as well as a software development company’s stability, is very essential to check while assessing them. Have they done this before? Do they understand your business needs? Are the type of questions you should have answered before moving forward with them.

Business Advertisement

Business advertisement brings profits in sales. The key goal of such advertising is to convince the potential buyers to purchase manufactured goods and services. There are various avenues through which the customers get information about the true marketable products and services. These are television, radio, newspaper, magazine and recently online advertisement. The truly marketable product brand has now brought forth a novel integrated tactic that proves rewarding. The maintaining and cultivating the strategy by using the right tools at the right moment and in the right place is extremely necessary. The actual aim of the advertisement is to make people aware of products and services accessible under the brand name rather than selling the product.Significance of AdvertisementProduct publishing plays an important role in creating brand awareness among the general public. The potential buyers are persuaded to reach out for the products. In addition, the satisfied buyers make verbal publicity among the neighbors, friends and relatives. This leads to the increase of profits of companies by increasing its revenue. The expenses of advertisement in turn get good height in earnings. The popular modes of publishing goods and services are newspapers, pamphlets, brochures, magazines, journals and books.Advertising in print media is comparatively cheaper than availing through electronic media. By using this, one can cover a wide range of audiences belong to different age groups. For example, if a brand name is advertised on television the brand would get access to every home and offices, and also in other public places. With time, advertising on the internet is getting more popular. The internet is the most workable platform available till date not only in case of an advertisement, but in case of sharing new and creating universal awareness by sending them to every corner of the world.What Advertising Agencies Do?Many of the firms advertise their products to the potential buyers through their own advertising department. But, others depend upon some advertising agencies for promoting their brands and services. Organizations pay to these agencies for promoting their brand name. They are always there for recommending, and making the most of your advertisement costs of promoting your brand name on the right place.Advertising, therefore, is proper promotion of the products, not selling of items. It helps to give proper information about the brand. On the other hand, it facilitates general people know about the products and to buy the advertised brands more consciously. So, advertising is the link between company and their customers. Advertising not only gives the proper awareness of the products but also offers a nice introduction of the company. Attractive advertisements create demand in the public mind that in turn boost sales of the brand.Online AdvertisingOnline publishing of products and services promote the products in the best way as it is not limited by time and space. The different kinds of advertising sites are available for promoting products. We can select them based on our needs. The different kinds of methods available are Pay Per Click, banner ads, text ads, intext adds, link ads, flash ads, slider adds, hovering adds, pop up ads, pop in to add etc. You can take up as per wish. Online advertising is very specific to the audience. The advertisers use keywords or phrases in their online ads that are employed by the potential buyers in order to search for the products and services. More is, the online ads are region specific also. Banner advertising is a popular form of online advertising. Advertiser can advertise their banner by coming to an arrangement with online companies and publish their banner. It is more cost effective than other forms of advertising. There is just one time start up cost of creating a website. There are no associated costs like postage, storage, repeated design fee etc.A study by Google confirms that nearly 30% of internet-users read newspaper and they are likely to go online to research at least one product that they find in a newspaper. Internet advertising when combine with newspaper advertising can help advertisers to reach to targeted audiences. Whatever may be the media, without advertisement, business owners experience a much harder time to orient the business field in their support.

Starting A Photography Business: A Structured Approach For Success

Starting a photography business seems easy to begin with. All one needs is a good camera, an understanding of photography techniques, a love for photography itself, and the enthusiasm to turn a passionate hobby into a business.Unfortunately, it really isn’t as simple as that!The moment a talented amateur photographer makes the decision to become a professional, to earn money from their photographs, he or she ceases to be a photographer and instead becomes a marketer and seller of photography.The distinction between photographer and businessperson is crucial and understanding of this is essential if the would-be professional has a desire to be successful at selling their photographic work.Put simply, photographers do not make money taking photographs. They make money selling photographs.Sadly, the ease of entry into the photography business is so simple that many photographers find themselves asking the question, “how do I start a photography business” after they’ve already discovered that the reality is not as simple as they thought it would be after all!For those who are new to the photography business, or considering making the jump from being an amateur to professional photographer, there is a structured approach that could save some agony further down the line. This systematic methodology is called “The Six Pillars Of Success” and can apply to almost any small business.The six pillars are:
Mindset
Positioning
Marketing
SEO
Sales
Client relationships
MindsetBeing in business is not for the faint-hearted or thin-skinned. Because of this, it’s essential to maintain a positive mindset and keep your business goals firmly in sight. Commitment is a big factor here, too, and it’s important to be 100% committed to your success no matter the current circumstances. This also means investing in your continuing business education, and having a forward-thinking mentality that’s focused on your future growth.PositioningKnowing where to position oneself in the marketplace is something that will set the aspiring professional photographer apart from the competition. Identifying a photographic genre as a specialty, together with the demographic and personality of the ideal target client are a great start here. A pricing model also helps to determine which of those ideal clients will be willing to invest in the photography services and products on offer.MarketingIn its most simple form, marketing is the process of earning, and competing for, your ideal clients’ attention. Effective marketing helps to educate your photography prospects about who you are, your values and beliefs, how you conduct business, and how the client can most benefit from the experience of working with you.SEOSearch engine optimization (SEO) is critical to the success of any business in this day and age. A photographer might be the most personable and friendly person in the world and produce the most incredible photography their clients could possibly imagine, but that won’t matter one bit if no one can find them online. Even with the most amazing-looking photography website, it’s essential to ensure that the search engines have a good idea of what the website is actually about.SalesNo one wants to come across as the stereotypical used-car salesman, and if the client senses the photographer might be uncomfortable with his or her own prices or at all nervous about asking for the sale, they will instinctively become much more resistant to the sales process, making the sales job much harder. The answer is to learn how to sell from an ethical standpoint, and with the client’s needs firmly at heart.Client RelationshipsThis is where most professional photographers really trip up! They attract the right clients, create beautiful work for them, do a great job of selling it, and then never talk to the client again! This is a huge mistake, and can mean the photographer is stuck in a never-ending quest for new clients. The solution is to stay in touch with your family of valued clients. It’s easy to send them an occasional card in the mail, an email newsletter, or even call them on the telephone just to see how they’re doing.An Upward Spiral To SuccessAs you reach the last of the six pillars, you’ll see that a happy family of clients naturally causes you to be happier as a businessperson, which helps create an even stronger positive attitude.You also get to know your clients in a lot more depth, which then helps you when it comes to positioning yourself and your business in the marketplace.The process of marketing becomes much simpler and a lot less costly, since you’ll see a lot more benefit from word of mouth marketing.The SEO for your photography website is also made much simpler because your blog articles, for example, further help the search engines to see you as a local authority.The sales process becomes easier to manage because you’ve now created a good reputation within the community.Finally, your family of happy clients will love you more as your photography business becomes more established.