Business-to-business, or B2B, companies are those enterprises whose customers or clients are other businesses. B2Bs can be found in a range of industries from sales and marketing to manufacturing to consulting services and beyond. Every B2B company has a choreographed cast of moving parts that come together to fulfill the business objectives, and software has become a pivotal part of this performance. B2B software can and has been tailored to address a number of business areas: marketing, resource planning, eCommerce, customer relationship management, accounting and payroll, inside sales, data storage and management and more.
It used to be the case that utilizing software gave you a distinct advantage among your other competitors, but now it’s almost mandatory to invest in some kind of software for your business lest you risk falling short of the standard for your industry or the market in general. When it comes to B2B software, the question isn’t if you should use it – you should absolutely take advantage of technology to improve your company – the question is whether you should use a prepackaged software already available on the market or invest in a custom product.
You may be tempted to opt for what you deemed the less-risky and more immediately gratifying option of an off-the-shelf application. If you take the time to learn more about custom software development, you’ll find that a custom solution affords your business many worthwhile advantages.
Invention and Innovation
Custom software will be made the way you want it. You’ll have the opportunity to improve on existing applications, optimizing features already available in pre-packaged products on the market or create new features your B2B company needs. You’ll be able to create a tool capable of managing large quantities of information or integrate multiple, unrelated processes, for example.
Uniqueness and Exclusivity
For companies who have unique requirements when it comes to the technology they need, an off-the-shelf option probably won’t check all the boxes. While there are normally similarities in business structure and processes among business entities – especially those in the same industries – businesses are not all carbon copies of each other. If every company has its own individual quirks, expecting everyone to use the same exact software technology doesn’t make a lot of sense. It can feel a lot like fitting a square peg into a round hole.
Building from scratch guarantees that your B2B software will fit your unique B2B business model. Moreover, you can make the software look just the way you want it to with your branding and design specifications. You’ll be able to offer an exclusive, one-of-a-kind experience to your users, whether they are internal employees or your customers. Within your industry, your own software will help you successfully communicate your unique identity and customer service.
Many businesses have an architecture model in which the outputs of one process serve as the inputs for another. Therefore, integration is incredibly important to smooth business operations. Unfortunately, you may not be able to get everything you need in this department with something made for the general market. To use a certain accounting system or manufacturing program, you may find yourself contending with a patchwork of architecture to get the data to move the way you need it to.
Usually, many businesses must use third party apps and plugins to facilitate communication, but you don’t need to. By building a custom environment the way that most benefits your needs, you can ensure that the flow of information won’t have any obstacles requiring clever workarounds.
Making the decision to utilize technology in any form is an indication that you’re thinking about your business’s success and future. A B2B software solution should give you the push you need to grow and scale. As your business grows, your processes will likely change and become more complex, you may add new positions and departments and adjust your working model to accommodate these new puzzle pieces. You need software that is a long term investment, flexible enough to grow and change with you.
When it comes to designing your own software, you can do so with your own business objectives and goals in mind. You also have the ability to respond to changes in your industry or take advantage of advancements in technology. You won’t need to wait for a SaaS product to make updates on their timetable; when you need to make changes to your own software, you’ll have that ability.
Virtually every business has to store data of some form on the internet, so it’s normal for security and accessibility to be top of mind. Data breaches can have a detrimental impact on your business, whether its loss of trust with your clients or your own compromised information out there on the web. Security isn’t something you can make concessions on, but with pre-packaged software, you may have to.
No matter what application you work with, you need to consider both internal and external security protocols. Depending on the kinds of sensitive data your business touches, there can be certain legal requirements you must meet and industry standards you must be aware of. To ensure that the data you are responsible for is secure and flows appropriately through your internal processes, your business may find a custom option to be the best bet. It will allow you to gate content and restrict user accessibility and actions to your preference, a level of flexibility that isn’t available in pre-packaged software.
B2B Software Affordability
Often, we’ve seen that the decision to develop their own custom software or to make it work with an off-the-shelf application comes down to cost for B2B businesses. Using a product from a SaaS company feels cheaper, especially up front, but most of these applications require monthly or annual subscriptions, maintenance costs, extra add-ons for things such as support or increasing storage limits. In short, the dollar amount you see in the beginning is not what your total investment will add up to be.
Custom software may have more upfront costs, but your business will own this application. Think of it like renting versus owning your home. Much like you won’t need the landlord’s permission to repaint your living room, with your own software, you have complete authority concerning UX, features, user capabilities, etc. You won’t need to worry about limitations for your number of users or data storage, all without having to pay a subscription fee for the length of time you utilize the software.
You can also build only what you need in the moment. As your company grows, so too can your application. In fact, that is what our software engineers at Vice Software are dedicated to helping you do. Our lean development style allows us to quickly introduce a minimally viable product (your MVP) to your users, and from there we can gather feedback from stakeholders and users to continue developing exactly what your business model needs.
Through the assets we deliver, we put the value with the business itself rather than the individual employees. This means you will get more out of your investment in technology and have greater flexibility to streamline and expand operations. Regardless if you’re in the tech industry or want to modernize your workplace through proprietary software, Vice Software has got you covered.
To get started with our development team, you can request a quote or schedule a discovery call to share more information about your project!