4 min read

Why a Standard Software Solution?

12.04.2018

Different user groups

An increasing turnover of spare parts, ensuring availability of parts (equipment/components), the supply of customised product information for individual products and other aftersales activities are omnipresent challenges and complex requirements.

In-house development in comparison with standard software

A tool that supports these processes has to fulfill spezial requirements:

  •  Real-time access to detailed and up-to-date product information or up-to-date customer-specific data
  •  Pooling data from all departments and publishing data in other company applications
  • Doubtles parts identification and automated ordering process
  •  Integrate product information in other company systems.

But, applications that achieve these requirements are often highly developed and specialised systems. At the end, that leaves us with two options: Purchase of a standard software solution or an independent developement of an in-house solution.

Standard versus in-house development

 

Cost and time effort

Advantages of standard solutions:

  • Lower costs: If the standard software fulfils many of the required functions and also meets the quality requirements, the costs for the introduction and operation are generally lower than with an in-house development.
  • Transparent cost: Pilot costs are predefined in the contract, i.e. can be planned. Recurring costs are foreseeable, can be planned and are transparent. Maintenance or upgrade fees are foreseeable, owing to contractual arrangements.
  • Time savings: Depending to what extent the defined requirements of the software solution are covered, the system can be used straight away or after a short time
     

Disadvantages of in-house developments:

  • Development costs: Depending on the complexity of the software the development costs may be very high. In addition, it may be very difficult to assess the development costs accurately at the start of a project as many problems only occur during the development process and cannot be planned.
  • Recurring costs for maintaining and improving the solution: Less predictable, due to the costs for human resources and the hidden costs in pilot projects
  • Service costs in the company beyond the IT department: Cannot be planned: Documentation of project, training for employees and customer support
  • Time requirement: Cost and time requirement are very difficult to estimate at the start. Additionally, an increasing development effort may also result quickly in a time delay.
     

Technology and future developments

Advantages of standard solutions:

  • Experience: The provider is experienced in working with and recognising users' needs as well as in the development of features and functions which solve your problems specifically. The software was successfully tested and is constantly enhanced to significantly increase productivity.
  • Quality: Because standard products are used by different users, many errors have already been discovered and eliminated. The quality is therefore higher right from the start with standard software than with in-house developments.
  • Regular improvements: Each individual benefits from the creativity and ideas of everyone with standard solutions. The development costs of new functions are also distributed among many customers.
  • Updates and upgrades: Regular updates incl. major releases guarantee that the standard solution is always up-to-date and continuously enhanced in line with market requirements.
  • Competitive advantage: With the right integration of a standard software, the use of an innovative software solution can be a competitive advantage.
     

Disadvantages of in-house developments:

  • Quality issues: The development of error-free software is not possible. And the more complex the software is the longer it may take until the system has attained the necessary stability in the pilot phase.
  • Infrastructure: Adding a new module to existing applications generally appears easier than it sounds. The process is extremely complex and may quickly impact functions of other modules.
  • Dependence: What is an advantage on the one hand is a disadvantage on the other. With an in-house development one becomes dependent on the employees or companies who have developed the system. Even with extensive software documentation a new employee or a new company must get familiar with the procedures or the developers.
  • Technology change: The technology change in the IT industry is very quick. As a result, the software or technology used can very quickly become obsolete. And the older it is the more difficult it is to find developers who are able to deal with the maintenance.
  • Up-to-dateness and further development: In general, it does not just stop with the introduction of a new module. This process is a niche market which must be satisfied for process optimisation and success. Writing and publishing and constant updating of user documentation; creating training courses and training materials; offering customer support (setup a hotline, FAQ page on homepage)

Our solution for you

Discover our standard software for digital spare parts catalogs and service information systems with customization options like those of an in-house development.

Spare parts catalog and service information system

Our solution is a standard software that permits all types of adaptations to individual needs thanks to its open system architecture. As a result, it combines the advantages of a standard software with those of an individual software:

  •  Continuous further development
  •  Calculable results with clear costs
  •  Fast introduction and merely education and training needs
  •  Little or low expense for individual project work
  •  Takes individual requirements into account
  • Integrates existing systems

Learn more about our service information system:

To the product page

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