WHAT IS THE COST OF NOT INNOVATING?

Current research has shown that business entrenched in the status quo earn 15% less revenue, are
35% less profitable and have 19% less market value than their competitors.

Icon_LightbulbINNOVATION

Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. — Peter Drucker

What new technology could completely disrupt your business?

The biggest motivator for our clients seeking pure innovation in their business is the consequence of doing nothing: the status quo. They feel that if they don’t transform their business that their competitors will beat them in the marketplace with innovation and they will loose business. They see the trends in their business. For example, one customer told us that they understand that the millennials in business today will soon be leaders tomorrow. These future leaders will expect to do business on their mobile devices. So, they feel that if they aren’t able to connect with their customers via mobile, their competitors surely will, and they will ultimately loose the business.

Is your business the next:

  • Taxi business replaced by Uber or Lyft?
  • Book publisher replaced by Kindle?
  • University replaced by Distance Learning?
  • Yellow Pages replaced by Google?

What innovation will transform your industry and make your current business obsolete?

AREAS PREVENTING YOU FROM YOU
FROM GROWING YOUR BUSINESS

Business are held back from growing or beaten by their competition by being stuck in the status quo in the following areas:

Icon_Manual ProcessesMANUAL PROCESSES

Are you dependent on manual processes to keep your business operating well?

⇒EXAMPLE 1: INFORMATION BUCKET BRIGADE

Many of our clients have come to us because they are frustrated with inefficient processes where people are handing off information between departments and reentering it into separate disconnected systems . We call this an“Information Bucket Brigade”. Besides being inefficient, the practice introduces human error and information loss.

We have helped our customers solve this problem with custom software that fits their unique processes, reduces costs and increase cycle time.

  • Are you frustrated with too many of inefficient hand-offs between departments and disconnected systems?
  • How quickly could you respond to your customer if you had one end-to-end system working to make your business easier to manage?

⇒EXAMPLE 2: EXCEL HELL

It is surprising how many businesses we’ve worked with that use Excel spreadsheets as their main business system. We call this “Excel Hell”.  There are a few understandable reasons why Excel Hell happens:

  1. Excel can be customized to fit their unique business process, and
  2. Excel is easy to learn and adopt as the accepted business process.

But, there are many down sides to running a business in Excel:

  1. It’s impossible to keep the business’s critical operational and financial data in sync because a simple change has cascading effects.
  2. There is no easy way to analyze or report on historical business data to see trends and opportunities for improvements.

As an example, we’ve worked with a couple of logistics companies that have managed tens of millions of dollars in business and hundreds of thousands of load annually on Excel spreadsheets because they couldn’t see trends like what activities were more profitable, or a loss. Or the client couldn’t scale their growth.  We built a custom solution that eliminates the spreadsheets so they can scale their business.

Are you in Excel Hell?

Icon_Decision MakingDECISION MAKING

Do you have visibility to real-time Key Performance Indicators in your business?

One of our customers asked us to replace a manual process for tracking their KPIs with an automated system. Weekly they gathered operating and financial data from all their offices, nation-wide, and built a massive spreadsheet on the statistics to evaluate each locations performance. Our client’s investment paid off in the first week it was put into operations because they saw an opportunity to change performance in one of their offices that they weren’t able to see prior to automating their KPIs and sharing results within the business.

We build KPI dashboards that are unique to our customer’s business processes that automatically extract data from their accounting and operations systems to provide dashboards for all employees to see. Making the information available for everyone to see, such as on a flat panel display in the lobby, helps to keep employees focused on what matters.

The payout for a KPI dashboard is almost immediate because the visibility of their performance changes behavior.

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CONNECTIVITY

How long does it take to respond to your customers, colleagues and suppliers?

One of our clients had better quality and service than their competition, but they were frustrated that they lost business because they were perceived as not being as technologically advanced as their competitor. They feared they would lose more business because their clients wanted access more up-to-date information faster than they could provide.

We built a customer portal that automatically extracts information such as invoices, documents, and certificates that their customers can access directly. which increased cycle time for everyone. Our customer’s customer loves the new system.

How long does it take to deliver your product or service to your customer?

How long should it take?

HOW VALUABLE IS CUSTOM SOFTWARE TO YOUR BUSINESS?

CUSTOM SOFTWARE MAKES YOUR BUSINESS MORE PROFITABLE

The right software that fits your business processes like a glove can improve your business efficiency by 10 to 100 times.
It increases revenue and profits, businesses efficiency, improves processes and quality, reduces cost and cycle time making it a great ROI. 

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CUSTOM SOFTWARE IMPROVES YOUR MARKET SHARE

Custom software improves the services you offer your customer, improving your company’s reputation and image, making your business more competitive and visible in the market place, distinguishing you from your competition.

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CUSTOM SOFTWARE INCREASES YOUR BUSINESS’ STRATEGIC VALUE

Custom software has a strategic advantage as a proprietary intellectual property tailored to your unique business processes by increasing your business’s market value when you sell or exit. This value is a high multiple to the initial investment.

HOW WE WORK
We following a 4-phased approach to building custom software for our clients

HWW_Discovery

PHASE 1 – DISCOVERY

During the Discovery Phase we meet with your business’s key stakeholders to gather business and process automation requirements. Requirements gathering is done by one of our experts who has knowledge and experience of your industry, as well as of software development, to reengineer your current requirements into an improved process design.

HWW_Design

PHASE 2 – DESIGN

In the process of fleshing out the requirements we transform what we learned about business (the “as-is” state), to the improved way to run your business (the “to-be” state), in an improved process design. This results in a requirements document that includes the following deliverables:

A business requirements document that defines each requirement down to an “atomic” level, where each statement is a simple plain-English sentence describing a single requirement, described in the “to-be” state.

A wire-frame design of user interfaces and screens or process flow so you can see a design prototype of how the custom system will work once developed. For mobile apps, high fidelity graphical screen designs may also be done.

A fixed price quote of the cost to build the new software based on the stated business requirements and design. This estimate also includes project duration.

We review these deliverables with your key stakeholders to ensure accuracy. If the fixed-price quote is a good return on investment, we proceed to the next phase.

HWW_Development

PHASE 3 – DEVELOPMENT

During this phase we program the application according to the requirements and design. During this phase you will see the application take shape, and you will test each function as it becomes available to provide feedback based on requirements and design.

HWW_Acceptance

PHASE 4 – ACCEPTANCE
During the Development phase you have been reviewing the application and doing incremental testing, so that by the end of Development, you will just need to do a final acceptance testing to make sure the entire application is working as expected to meet your requirements. You then sign off accepting the application and we will put your application into production for you to use in your business.

Construction

WHO WE ARE
We are a Houston-based team of experienced business practitioners who are also technologists. We are passionate about making our customers more profitable by eliminating work and reducing cycle time by building custom software that fits their unique business processes like a glove.

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OUR TYPICAL CUSTOMER

Our typical customer is a fast growing business that has become highly profitable by being unique in their market. These niche businesses have unique business processes that don’t fit off-the-shelf software solutions. A custom solution makes their business run more efficiently and create a competitive advantage.


WE ARE BUSINESS PRACTITIONERS

We have hands-on experience in areas such as accounting, finance, procurement, materials management, logistics, HR, and service delivery; basically most areas of business administration across multiple industries.

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WE ARE SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS

In addition to our business practitioners also being experienced programmers, we have a team of 400+ programmers in Costa Rica with experience in most mainstream technologies, providing both scalability and technical coverage.

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WE’RE BILINGUAL: WE SPEAK ‘BUSINESS-ESE’ AND ‘COMPUTER-ESE’

Our customers have told us that we are the only software development company that understands how their business runs and how to build the solution. In other words, we speak both languages; our customer’s language, “Business-ese” and “Computer-ese”, to bridge the gap between the business and technology.

Our Articles

What does Custom Business Software do?

Here is our firm at a glance

 

This 60 second video explains why many of our clients have come to us with their frustrations and what exactly we do….

We’re the experts at custom business software

It’s time to focus on your core business activities

 

We don’t expect our clients to be the experts at software or even IT. In fact, we want them to focus on what they know best, their own business. This 45 second video explains why you should bring us in to be the experts at technology and innovation in your business…..

Get a 6% increase in profits by using KPIs correctly

How much would a 6% bump in your business’s output be worth to you?

Businesses that have systems that automatically gather and report their real-time Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) boost their output by 5-6%, according to research by MIT1 . Research also found that companies with a culture of data-driven decision-making had a higher market value. Businesses who fail to collect accurate, timely data on their performance make slower decisions, resulting in higher costs, lower productivity, and higher risk…

Excel Hell…what is it?

The Four Signs You’re Stuck in Excel Hell

Businesses reliant on Excel are vulnerable to time- and money-consuming errors that restrict growth and put their business at risk. We’ve worked with many businesses who are stuck with broken business processes because they run their main business system from spreadsheets. These businesses are unable to grow because they have reached their limit for process improvement. We call this Excel Hell…

What is the Cost of Not Innovating?

The three mistakes that are killing your business and the digital innovations you need to survive

Businesses who fail to innovate generate 12% less revenue, are 32% less profitable, and are worth 17% less, according to independent research carried out by MIT and Capgemini Consulting1 . With more than 500,000 new businesses created each year2 , SMBs face a tough environment in which only the strongest and most innovative survive. Like the shark, which suffocates if it stops swimming, businesses must innovate and grow, and in the face of rapid change, it is inevitable that some businesses will die…

Data Migration

What are the risks of migrating your data?

Missing your Go-Live data, going live with bad data, missing skills, processes, or resources, and what the worst case scenarios after you go live.

Also, who we help, trigger questions, and our differentiator…

What is the Information Bucket Brigade?

There are 5 critical areas companies suffer the effects of Information Bucket Brigade

 

This 60 second video explains why many of our clients have come to us because they are frustrated with inefficient processes: people handing off information between departments and reentering into separate disconnected system. We call this an “Information Bucket Brigade”…

Why UI/UX is Essential

Four critical factors that make usability essential to software development

Almost 90% of users stop using an app if it does not perform well1, and 79% will seek an alternative solution from a competitor2. A lack of usability will kill your app. The biggest mistake developers make today is to assume that solving a problem is enough. It isn’t. If a customer does not have a fantastic experience, they will quickly find an alternative.Improving the usability, presentation, and interactivity of your product is essential for enhancing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. This is called User Interface/User Experience (or UI/UX)…

The Cost of Poor Requirements

The majority of failed software projects are caused by poor requirements

Have you experienced missed deadlines, blown budgets, or failed projects? These failures almost certainly originated at the requirements stage. 37% of project failures have inaccurate requirements gathering as their primary cause7 , according to a 2014 study by the Project Management Institute. Most other failures have requirements problems as secondary factors. Another study found that inadequate requirements and changes in requirements are the top two factors contributing to software project failure8

Why Do CRMs Miss the Boat?

Over half of all CRM systems fail to meet expectations and here’s why…

A survey by Forrester found that 72% of enterprises reported CRM projects failing to meet expectations1. So why are so many CRM projects so disappointing? In our experience, the process from order to fulfillment is much more for most businesses than just what a CRM typically provides. The actual CRM is just the tip of the iceberg: below the surface are many other systems essential for the fast completion of the order…

Broken Processes Cause Slow Response Times

…and your slow response is probably aggravating your customer

71% of customers say that valuing their time is more important to them than any other aspect of customer service1, and by 2020, customer experience will be the most important factor differentiating B2B brands2. Even if their products and services are high-quality, businesses who respond slowly face a significant and increasing risk of being replaced by a competitor.

Yet the average response time to a customer service request is 17 hours and 28 minutes, and just 22% of businesses provide an answer with their initial response3

Getting the Right Price for Your Software

Is Your Software Vendor Taking You For a Ride?

Software vendors who charge on a time and material basis put your project at risk and expose your business to uncontrolled, open-ended costs. It’s like getting in a cab and saying “let’s go to the airport” and not having a clue of the fare. Yet the taxi driver has driven to the airport thousands of times for many different clients and is the most knowledgeable about how much it should cost.

It’s unfair for the passenger…

Lee-Ann Perkins, Treasurer, QMax

Working with you we’ve had very prompt and efficient responses and I really appreciate it.

Lee-Ann Perkins, Treasurer
QMax
Wayne Lopez-Vice President Of Technology And Product – Insperity

You guys are very innovative and came up with ideas to make the user interface and experience surprisingly better than we would’ve thought of on our own. You added a lot of value to our product.

Wayne Lopez, Vice President of Technology and Product
Insperity
Josh Oren

Custom Business Software provided Sandbox Logistics with a business vision and roadmap for leveraging technology as a market differentiator. They distilled our business processes, spread across multiple phases – each phase incrementally automating a pre-defined set of business processes, at a fixed price, on quality and on schedule. The resulting custom-built system, which is still underway, allows us to exponentially scale our business while eliminating manual steps and errors.

Josh Oren, CEO
Sandbox Logistics
Steve King

I have never worked with a software development team that has under promised and over delivered as much as I have experienced with Custom Business Software.

Steve King, CEO
GrowthForce
Sherry Scritchfield

We are thrilled with the insights and improved operating performance our real-time KPI Dashboard gives us. It has given us greater agility with our decision making and our investment paid off almost instantly.

Sherry Scritchfield, VP
CRC National
Jason Roussel

We were astonished at how quickly CBS understood our niche business in depth. Better yet, they also brought innovative ideas to the project from other industries they work in. They are definitely worth the investment.

Jason Roussel, CEO
TeamSOS
Jim Johnson ActionMap Testimonial

What I was surprised and frankly thrilled to see is the new interface is more engaging and energizing than I could have imagined.  The new interface gives me much more confidence in taking the application to market. I believe it will have a major positive impact on customer uptake and retention.  To say that the ROI on this engagement is a no-brainer doesn’t put it strongly enough.

Jim Johnson, CEO
ActionMap

Contact Us

If you think custom business software would be a good idea for your business, please click here to fill out the form completely. We will then contact you to set up a call to answer your questions, for us to get an understanding of your business, and for both of us to decide if it makes sense to go further.