We have decades of experience in developing innovative custom software systems, from simple data capture forms to large scale end to end software applications, that have transformed and improved how companies function. We are experts in building solutions that exactly match companies business needs and overcome their technical challenges.
We can help you with:
- Converting Excel spreadsheets into custom online applications
- Database management, cleaning, removing duplication and converting and consolidating your existing databases into one central system
- Automate your data entry
- Online stock control, goods in systems including barcode scanning
- Membership and training platforms
- Custom CRMs
Modernising existing systems
- PDF generation, such as certificates and invoices
- Improving your internal and external systems
What do we mean by bespoke?
When buying a suit, many people visit their local M&S and pick a suit from a selection available. There’s a choice of colours and styles and they come in different sizes. It can a bit baggy in the middle and the sleeves are too short, but then it wasn’t made with you in mind. To have a suit that fits you perfectly, you need to get the suit from M&S adjusted or better yet you can visit a tailor and have a suit made to measure.
The same is true with computer software. Whatever your business, there will probably be some computer software out there that kind of fits your needs. Except that it’s missing a few key features that your business needs and it comes with a whole host of functionality that has nothing to do with your business.
Benefits of a bespoke solution
While off-the-shelf software looks like an affordable option, you need to have it adjusted to fit your business. A software developer needs to work on the software to remove sections that you don’t need, move around features you do need to fit your workflow and then finally start building the missing functionality. All these adjustments take a long time and cost far more than expected at the beginning. Then at the end of the process you have a system that kind of works for you but is no longer really compatible with the original software and you probably have to change some business processes and retrain staff to suit the way the system works.
That’s where bespoke software development comes in. Bespoke software is like having a tailor-made suit that fits your business and yours alone. Built from the ground up, it’s designed with your business in mind, to make using it intuitive to users and a seamless experience. Management and KPI reporting can be built to give you the data you need, the way you want to see it. 3rd party systems can be incorporated to enhance the system in a seamless way.
Barcodes to scan in deliveries, judges inputting scores into iPads and winning entrants being able to instantly download certificates and logos have been gamechangers for us here at the Guild of Fine Food. It makes organising the World Cheese Awards a lot easier, meaning we can be more accurate and get results back to entrants in about twice the speed. Enabling entrants to update their stockists online also helps ensure more people around the world can find where to buy their winning cheeses – which is a win win for everyone!.
Christabel Cairns from The Guild Of Fine Food
How do I know if my business needs a bespoke system?
Computer systems are supposed to work for you. If you need to change the way you work to suit the software, you are probably in need of a bespoke system. If your business is off-the-shelf, then a standard one size fits all solution might be the way to go, but the reality is that most businesses do things differently and a bespoke system is often the right solution. If your business is straight forward and the way you work very standard, you probably find an off-the-shelve system that is right for you. If not, you should consider the benefits of your own tailor made system rather than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
How can the AB development team help?
The team at AB have many years experience of building different bespoke cloud-based software systems, tailor made for a variety of very different businesses.
After failing to find standard software that could work with their extensive and varied dealer network, CLAAS, one of the leading global manufacturers of agricultural machinery, came to AB to build them a bespoke website content management system that could support their entire dealer network in the UK and Ireland and run multiple websites and sales channels.
If you and your teams keep having to use Excel to manipulate data or have legacy systems, you will benefit from our expertise .
The Guild of Fine Food promote artisan food and drink across the UK, supporting thousands of retailers and producers as well as running both the Great Taste Awards and World Cheese Awards. They needed a system capable of seamlessly joining up all of the various different business processes, including managing and judging the entire awards process from start to finish. The team at AB evaluated their entire business, before designing a bespoke cloud-based system that could transform their old data and systems into one integrated system that was very personal to their business.
Whichever industry you are in, AB can evaluate your unique situation and advise if a bespoke system is the right approach for you.
Off-the-shelf refers to ready made generic software. It usually forces users to comprise and work in a set way that may not suit them or the way your business operates. Quite often off-the-shelf software suffers from bloated features and can be over complicated because it’s trying to work for lots of different types of use cases. Off-the-shelf software is also pre built and you can’t request changes or new features.
Yes, we can help modernise or replace your legacy systems. Often outdated systems can slow the growth of your business and stop you reacting quickly to changes. Other key issues are security, speed, unused feature bloat, system knowledge, integration, time and cost. AB can review your current systems and replace it with a solution specifically tailored to your business needs.
Yes, we’ll help to identify any time consuming manual processes that can be automated, such as data entry, to make inputting data as easy as possible – saving you time and money. We’ll also help your business to maintain good data hygiene by removing any duplicated data that appears in your systems.
We can make your internal processes more efficient by uniting your systems. We’ll help you to connect various pieces of technology in your business, such as accounting software and your website, to create a single system. Consolidating everything into one central system ensures you’re able to view data accurately and make better informed decisions.
Yes, from the way we configure servers to implementing security features such as Secure Certificates, Content Security Policy (CSP), Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), Malicious IP Address, Web application firewall (WAF), Cross-site scripts and bot blocking, we will keep your site safe and sound. We also use a specialist provider for Penetration Testing and implement recommendations across our servers and websites.
A native app only works on a specific platform or device, such as an iPhone or Android mobile phone. A web app works on a browser such as Google Chrome, Safari, FIrefox, Edge, etc. regardless of the device being used.
We have a consultative approach to bespoke software, working closely with your team, we’ll start by getting to know your business inside-out to ensure your software is robust and future-proof. We do this by talking to staff at every level, to make sure we understand the ambitions of your company and what’s important to your team.
We’ll also perform a technical review of your existing CRM and other business systems to discover what already works well (and what doesn’t) to help form the basis of our recommendations.
Yes, a number of our clients use and rely on complex systems that AB have developed for them. We excel in understanding our clients specific requirements and building the most appropriate and cost effective solutions.
The cost will depend on the specific requirements and scale of the project. Bespoke software can work out more affordable than you might think. It is often a cost effective longer term investment than needing to use multiple off-the-shelf solutions. Having a system that matches your requirements perfectly is both time and money saving.
Yes, we have helped many businesses move away from having to use disconnected spreadsheets onto a connected system that is simpler to use. Moving from data siloed away in spreadsheets, helps reduce duplication of work and means data can be used together to streamline reporting and improve decision making.