3 Ways Custom Software Improves Productivity & Effectiveness

Two things business managers want to improve in their employees are productivity and effectiveness.
Unfortunately, these are two of the most difficult things to find solutions for. There is no one method that works for every situation, or every employee, and that is where the biggest roadblock lies. What is needed is a method or even two that is designed specifically for the employees and situations that are unique to your own environment. That is where custom-created software can enter the picture to help solve your productivity and effectiveness issues.

Why Pre-Made Methods Aren't Effective

If you need a calculator program, any pre-designed one is likely to work. After all, they all perform the same functions and provide answers that are universal. Unfortunately, unless your employees are spending the day adding up columns of figures, productivity requires more than a simple calculator program. 

Most pre-programmed software is based on the concept that every time a certain action needs to be performed, it can be done the same way. For example, a program designed for sales tracking is based on the concept that everyone sells the same way, has the same method of advertising and can base success or failure on the same statistics. This is far from the truth. 

When it comes to productivity, pre-programmed software fails because:

Every business needs to perform a different set of tasks

Consider this: Joe and Frank are both in charge of sales in their businesses. Joe sells cowboy hats and Frank sells high-end jewelry. Both men have to focus on a different segment of society, advertise in different venues and measure their sales efforts based on different criteria. They need two different kinds of sales tracking software. Joe needs to be able to focus on brick and mortar hat sellers and Frank on his company's online jewelry store. One program is not going to work for both.

Every group of employees has an individual working style

One company may be made up of employees who basically think creatively, while another is a business requiring employees to be extremely detail-oriented and consistent. One needs software that is adaptable and open to creativity. The other needs software that will take care of speeding up routine tasks that are basically the same, but are time-consuming.

Even common tasks take a different place of importance in each business

Two businesses may advertise on social media, and both have a presence on Facebook, so there is a need to keep track of content, people and comments there. However, Business A has a clientele that is based mainly on Facebook and Business B is targeting customers who mainly hang out in forums. Both need a way to keep track of the Facebook information, but Business B doesn't place as much importance on that task as it does its forum marketing.

The terms productivity and effectiveness take on different meanings for each scenario

This one is self-explanatory. What one business considers a productive day may be considered only a drop in the ocean to another. Effectiveness is also a term that is defined by the individual business.

The learning curve for off the shelf software can be intense and take time away from regular tasks

In addition, what is available may not work with a company's current computer software. When you are trying to increase productivity, you don't need to have a program that crashes your system, only works on part of your employees' computers or requires setting up hours of training time.

This is only a partial list of the most common reasons ready-made software can hinder productivity and effectiveness. Let's see how custom-made software can solve these deficiencies.

Solving Your Productivity and Effectiveness Issues

Increased productivity requires finding a way to effectively automate tasks that are the same, yet take up a lot of time. An example of this would be having information in one program transferred to other programs automatically. It needs to be designed to work with all your other software and be usable by every employee, regardless of where they are. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Custom software helps productivity in the following ways.

  1. Does what you want it to. Custom software does the task you have it designed for, such as automatically taking care of payroll tasks, taking information from one program and automatically adding it to others that need it, without requiring manual transferring, or doing any number of time-consuming tasks that are important but take up time that can be put to better use. This software, however, doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles that aren't necessary. It does what you want it to and nothing more. This means it doesn't require more room on your system than is absolutely necessary, which frees up that space for important tasks.
  2. Is created specifically for your business alone. Before any work is done on the program itself, the designer gets to know your business, your employees and what it is you are seeking to accomplish. Those who are going to be using the software know best what they need and they are the ones who help test it, make sure it works with your particular system and actually saves time and energy. It also gives you the advantage of having something that none of your competitors have, which means you gain the advantage of becoming more productive than they are if they are doing things without the benefit of special software.
  3. It increases communication. One of the greatest ways to be productive and efficient is to be able to work on projects over a wide variety of places, all in real time. If you have offices throughout the country, or even overseas, you know how difficult and time-consuming it can be to share works-in-progress and get feedback. It is also time-consuming when different people are working on different parts of a project. Custom-created software can bridge that gap and make it possible for team members in different places, doing different tasks on the same project, to work together in real-time. This speeds up getting things approved, avoids the need to wait for parts to come together and allows for solving any issues immediately, before they become big problems.

Final Thoughts

Having custom software that plays nice with your current system yet works in the way your company needs it to work helps increase both productivity and effectiveness. This in turn creates happier, less stressed employees. Happier employees are able to give their all to their work, further increasing productivity and effectiveness.  

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