When is custom software the right option?

The decision to replace existing methods with custom software should be made like any other business decision. Consider all the options, add up the pros and cons, and make the best decision. As with many other decisions, there are costs and benefits that are unique to the particular situation.


The cost of custom software comes in three basic parts: the cost of the development; the cost of hardware and software that is necessary to support the database; and the cost of training employees to use the new software.


There are three basic benefits of custom software: more efficient work flow; reduction or elimination of errors; and the ability to do things you can not do currently.

An example of the first benefit, more efficient work flow, may be the use of colors to draw a person's attention to information they are responsible for. Thus a person responsible for preparing an order for delivery may see part numbers and quantities highlighted in red; a preson responsible for shipping completed orders may see address and priority information in red; and a person responsible for customer satisfaction may see quality related information in red.

An example of the second benefit, reduction or elimination of errors, may be the use of custom reports. Everybody wants reports: your customers, your bank, the government (city, state, federal) and your suppliers. Custom reports can give each of them what they want, when they want it, generated directly from your data.

An example of the third benefit, the ability to do things you can not do currently, may be tighter inventory management and more detailed monitoring of deliveries. Prompt warnings of low levels can let you place timely orders with your suppliers. Data access can be controlled so that your clients can check the status of their orders (via the internet!), without having access to orders that are not theirs.


The decision process involves a lot of tangibles as well as intangibles. Fortnight Software will be more than happy to work with you to evaluate how a database can help you manage your company and make it grow.

Phone: (818) 773-4640

Last Updated: July 1, 2005