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System Proposal

If you desire a genuine approach to sustainable business relationships, look no further.

System Proposal

After reading our ‘Five Features of a Custom System’ report, you’ve most likely made the decision to invest in a new bespoke platform. But now you’ve got to deliver on the findings of the audit and deliver it within a cost-effective framework.

Businesses who chose to do this themselves find it difficult keeping the project on time and on budget whilst still trying to meet their goals. That aside, we’ve often heard of another problem that self-managed builds incur, which is that the goals of the developing firm are often confused with the needs of the client. As developers build more personal affinity with your project, programmers, system architects, UX and QA personnel (who don’t control any aspect of the budget) undertake unnecessary work which can become chargeable to the client under a ‘time and materials’ contract as each of them ‘competes’ for your budget. An account manager contacting you for a new purchase order is usually the first time you hear about it. This is something we’ve heard time and time again. To prevent this (and having gained a thorough understanding of what the client needs through the preceding phases), we’re generally appointed as the project lead!

Having been authors of strategic documents for years we’ll compose a set of clearly defined, concise, professionally constructed documents that will not only act as the blueprint and brief for the developing team, they will also convey your level of professionalism for the project too, without you having to compile a single report. Such documents are vital to the success of the project and delivery of the system. Without them it’s all too easy to lose sight of the end goal and expose you to unnecessary and otherwise avoidable extra costs. Our documents will remove this risk and not only articulate what you expect through the system proposal, but also make it clear what’s not expected. They’ll include an appreciation of the current position, illustrations that depict our agreed system expectations and mock-ups of the overall appearance of the user interface (UI).

Five Features of a Custom System - Strategic Competitive Advantage

Although off-the-shelf (OtS) platforms may appear to be a lower cost at face value, there are significant and sometimes hidden risks associated with using them.

  1. The first is that an ‘OtS’ system has been developed from an understanding gained from your competitors, so any suggestions you may have to improve it for your own benefit, will in time, become a benefit to them, making it harder for you to find clear differentiation in order to compete.
  2. The second is that with your willingness to share your intellectual property, you are also fuelling the very software business you initially sought out, to help you.
    (Example: Mercedes Benz had for years been providing feedback to a supplier on faulty product components that were being fitted both on Mercedes vehicles and across other competing prestige car brands. Once they realised this information was helping their competitors and supplier, they began manufacturing these components in-house for a commercial advantage)
  3. It’s highly likely that you’ll pay more for the ‘OtS’ solution in the long run because you’ll lose sight of the total expenditure you’ve committed to over time.
    Fact: We’ve seen some of our bespoke solutions breaking even within months of acceptance testing, putting you in a far stronger position than the competition.
  4. With a bespoke system, it’s yours. You and you alone benefit from unique insights into your business processes, operations, sales inventory, customer acquisition and churn, reporting and automation of key tasks and analytics. Besides, you can make inexpensive or zero cost updates as part of a low-cost annual support agreement that will save thousands (£’s).
  5. You can currently benefit from rebates generated against the R&D Tax Credit programme, something you’re not able to do with an ‘OtS’ platform.

If you do make the decision to purchase an ‘Off the Shelf’ solution and you’ve not established that it will do precisely as you expect, or you’ve considered just the price of the software in its most basic form rather than what that price represents, you should consider this comment from 19th century educator John Ruskin… 

There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much money, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.
John Ruskin

Developed over the past 15 years our ‘Trident’ service has helped firms make strategic gains in Operations, Technology and Human Capital.

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