Paper is dead - building custom business systems
Transfering your unique business processes into a SAAS solution
Every successful company needs to put effective processes in place. I’m known as the ‘Process Guy’ at Webscope and it’s a nickname I wear as a badge of honour. We have a healthy obsession with process here, and by healthy I mean process that allows us to move quickly, deliver in a consistent way, and stay stable as we grow. Process for process sake is not healthy and can quickly suffocate an organisation.
But Webscope is lucky; we were born on the web, we work on the web, and we are the web (okay that last bit sounds like it’s from a Terminator movie). Our whole team works completely remotely two days per week, which required us to develop our processes using modern web services and online tools, right from the very beginning.
A lot of well established medium size companies, usually over 10 years old, weren’t as lucky as us and their processes were developed using the technology that was available at the time, mostly spreadsheets and paper forms backed by cheap office printing. Many great companies have been run very well using these simple tools, enabling them to put in place the unique processes that have helped them to operate successfully for years. But eventually as demand grows and industries change, those processes begin to break down.
There are three main issues that arise once a company reaches that breaking point, issues that will force a review of how these processes are handled and require immediate attention:
Inefficient paper based systems cost time, time is money, and that’s money that’s going the wrong way. Money that’s going out of the business. They are prone to data duplication, loss, and errors, things which will negatively impact your business. Moving to a digital system will maintain the integrity of your data, increase your business’ efficiency and reduce expenditure and risk.
Paper based systems are difficult to scale when there’s a sudden increase in demand, and when the business is distributed across multiple locations. With no convenient central repository of data or the ability to work remotely, the size and effectiveness of the business is hampered. Migrating to an online, cloud solution (SAAS) enables the business to operate anywhere and scale as needed, increasing the potential for revenue growth and better meeting customer needs.
To make informed business decisions you need real time operational data, visibility into how your business is running to allow you to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons. Digital systems can produce strategic insights to enable you to make decisions to help your business reduce expenditure, and increase and protect revenue.
Business Process Automation - turning inefficient paper systems into effective digital solutions
Building a custom software business application that you own and is tailored to your unique requirements used to be a massively expensive and overwhelmingly complex thing to approach, something that seemed to only exist in the realm of large corporations. But that's not the case today. Modern, open source web tools (such as Laravel and AngularJS) backed by lean agile development processes and insightful digital strategy, have reduced the cost and risk of undertaking these types of projects. Significant return on investment can be reached much faster, often resulting in an increased revenue stream to fund ongoing development out of the cash flow or savings the solution produces.
The majority of the work that we now do at Webscope are these types of high value business applications - the digital processes and tools that enable our clients to do better business.