Struggling with processes that aren’t tailored to your business needs? Here’s where to start if you don’t have the right internal tools for your team.
When it comes to efficiency and a smooth workflow, one of the most important considerations (and potential roadblocks) is what tools your team uses to get the job done. For businesses across sectors, this includes internal software for task management, project oversight, and other critical processes.
Alas, many pre-built, ready-made “solutions” are, by necessity, generalized. The developers of any software want it to be marketable to as many users as possible, so workflow tools are often designed to accommodate vastly different organizations and industries. In short, they aren’t designed for your niche because your niche is too specific and limiting for their profit margin.
You can’t blame the software developers for targeting a broad customer base. But this means that many companies are left trying to implement one-size-fits-all tools to a unique business model. Or, worse, they discover that there is no single tool that ticks every box and must then try to integrate multiple technologies or management platforms — none of which are a perfect fit.
It begs the question: why should your team have to bend their workflows around the imprecise features in your own internal tools? Shouldn’t your processes be tailored to your needs?
When your software tools are creating friction and inspiring employee complaints, that’s a sign that it’s time to make a change. So, where should you start if you don’t have the right internal tools for your team?
Evaluate Your Current Internal Tools
As with any major business decision, the first thing to do is to take the lay of the land. In this case, that means evaluating your current tools to identify the high points, the low points, and any tools that are just taking up space.
Once you have a comprehensive understanding of how each internal tool is contributing to your team’s workflow, you can begin dividing them up into clear categories:
- Keep — These tools are living up to their promise and helping your staff do their jobs efficiently.
- Lose — These tools are adding little to no value to your team’s productivity. Basically unnecessary, they can be removed from your processes without consequence.
- Replace — These tools are necessary but underperforming. You may want to revisit the current market for similar software and see if there’s a better option.
These designations will give your IT decision-makers a place to start revamping operations. However, there’s always the possibility that the right tools for your team don’t integrate neatly or simply don’t exist yet. If you’re struggling to capture efficiency with internal tools that aren’t the right fit, it may be time to reimagine your operations with software built to empower your team from end-to-end.
Consider Bespoke Internal Tools
Despite the difficulty of finding that just-right workflow tool, many businesses never consider the possibility of custom-designed applications. This is an unfortunate oversight, as custom-built apps and platforms tend to offer far more value than their generic counterparts.
All the Functionalities You Need (and None You Don’t)
Most of us have used software that included a feature or two that we never used. But some internal tools become so bloated with functions to appeal to every industry that your team may only use a fraction of the features you’re paying for. This is a waste of money, server space, and employee time as they have to wade through irrelevant menus and interfaces to get to the things they need.
On the other side of this issue, we’ve also all used software that could be just a little better if it included a few extra features. When a critical functionality is missing from our internal tools, that means we end up doing one of two things:
- Supplementing that function with yet another software tool.
- Finding an imperfect workaround to make up for that function’s lack.
Custom applications address both of these issues, intentionally providing every functionality your business requires while leaving out any it doesn’t. This results in internal tools that are more comprehensive, streamlined, and well-matched to your day-to-day operations.
Built to Fit and Empower Your Specific Workflow
With bespoke internal tools, you can empower your processes with system architecture that makes sense for your business and team. Arrange features in the order they’re needed in your workflow, connect features that your staff often use together, and place your most vital information front and center. Because custom applications are designed specifically for you, they can be tailored to iron out your particular inefficiencies and pain points while making your easiest tasks run even more smoothly.
Eliminate the Need for Multiple Software Suites
Right now, your company probably relies on many different software tools. These may include task managers, chat platforms, email clients, CRM tools, inventory managers, employee databases, IT support ticketing…the list goes on. And these are just the tools general enough to apply to almost all businesses. Most likely, you also have special tools that are industry-specific.
With multiple, perhaps even dozens of programs required to keep your company running — none of which can get the job done on their own — employees are left leaping from platform to platform in a workflow that can best be described as “scattered.”
By instead integrating your primary software needs into one customized internal tool, you can dramatically cut down on the number of programs needed to fulfill each process. Not only does this save your staff time and help them focus, but it can also be a cost-saving move in the long run as you ditch multiple software licenses or recurring subscription fees.
Prioritize Better Internal Tools for Better Productivity
To help your team stay happy and productive, give them tools that enhance efficiency rather than get in its way. Your company’s unique workflow deserves highly specialized solutions, and Populus Technology is here to help.
We can help you discover which technologies best meet your needs, then design, develop, and deploy customized software solutions that support your entire company’s processes. We can also help your business address all manner of IT and operational inefficiencies with additional services such as vendor management and change consulting.
So, if you’re ready to streamline your processes from start to finish and get the most out of your internal tools, contact Populus today to learn more about our bespoke application development.