Many software development houses have a policy of "one size fits all." As a result, they attempt to convince their clients that it is important to change their company's business processes to fit the software package instead of customizing the software package to fit the company's business processes. Is this point of view correct? Is it essential to change your company's business processes to fit a generic software package or are there other options?
Another important point to note is that management and developers at these software development houses tend to forget that a business is built around it's processes. This is what makes a company unique and provides the competitive edge in the market place. Will a company that has forced its way of doing business into generic system maintain its competitive edge, or will it become like every other company in its niche?
What is custom software?
Customized Software, also known as bespoke or tailor-made software, is a computer program that is specially designed for a particular purpose... Customized software is written and designed to meet the client's specific business processes" In other words, custom software development does not force the client to fit his company's business processes into the generic software, but either writes a completely new package for the client, or customizes the generic package to suit the client's needs.
What is fleet management?
Fleet management is the management of all aspects relating to a company's vehicles. Fleet management can include the management of a fleet of vehicles used by the company's staff right up to a fleet of heavy vehicles used to transport goods all over the world.
What is fleet management software?
Fleet management software is a software package or system that is developed to meet the needs of companies who own a fleet of vehicles. This system usually comprises of the following components:
- Vehicle tracking
- Vehicle maintenance schedule
- Driver behavior logs
- Advanced diagnostic software which collects data on fuel consumption, distance travelled, etc.
- Reporting on all aspects of the day to day management of the fleet of vehicles
Because the scope of the management of a fleet of vehicles is so broad, it makes sense to develop custom fleet management software to address the needs of each individual company. In my opinion, it is illogical to expect companies on both extremes to force their business rules and management processes into a generic system. Some companies only require a small system because they only own a few light motor vehicles. On the other hand, a company that owns a fleet of trucks that transport goods from one side of a continent to the other, requires a large system with many different components from time management right through to invoicing.
When considering the purchase of a fleet management system, it is crucial that you find a company that is prepared to consider the option of developing a customized fleet management software system for your business. Without this option, you might destroy the competitive edge that your business has.