Anyone who has ever tried to purchase a car based on gas mileage knows that real-world results are different from what’s written on the sticker. It’s even harder with custom software, because there is no sticker. One thing is for certain: done right, a new business software system is going save you money, and will, in fact, pay for itself in no time. But how do you determine just how fast that shiny, new custom software will improve your bottom line? Here are some clues:

Time Savings
This is, perhaps, the only thing you can come close to calculating. You have some quantifiable resources that have a specific cost associated with them: employees. Not only is this the most expensive resource you have, but it’s also the one that probably costs you, personally, the most time ? communication, management, handling benefits and payroll… Luckily for you, we have provided a handy Savings Calculator to give you some idea of the ROI on your new system based on time savings for your employees.

Improved Customer Service and Error Reduction
One of the ways that we help our customers is by identifying points of failure within current systems and providing safeguards to prevent them from happening. We employ everything from requiring data entry in the proper places (thus solving a surprisingly common problem) to improving communication within/between offices and between sales staff and customers. This leads to fewer missed or late orders. Then there’s the fact that when a customer calls, your staff can provide instant answers. Because every business is different, this is a tough one to estimate, but if it provides a 5-10% improvement in your ability to serve your customers, it doesn’t take long to have a positive effect. Which leads us to…

Higher Profile and Customer Retention
Having a better way of doing things gets you noticed. I love doing business with great companies that clearly know what they are doing, and I am more likely to return to them in the future. When you are a leader in your industry, paving the way with new technology and better processes, all the others can do is follow. Again, this is a tough one to estimate, but at the very least, examine your customer base and ask yourself if you have lost anyone to the competition over the last year. If so, there might just be an obvious savings.

Higher Capacity
Several of our customers have been able to take on more projects, orders or even expansion just by having a better way to manage their company’s overall throughput. An efficient, streamlined system that automates previously manual processes can dramatically improve your ability to grow ? and to do it safely, based on good information.

Better Decison Making Capability
Expand into more offices? Buy out a competitor? Move into a new market? You can’t do any of these things if you don’t have good information to back it up. We design reports and dashboards that give CEOs and managers the birds-eye view they need to guide their companies. At risk of sounding repetitious, your needs may vary greatly from others, so it’s hard to estimate the ROI on having these tools at your fingertips. Let’s just say that there is clear benefit to be gained, and this should be factored into your estimation.

A Word on Longevity
At Alchemy Consulting Group, a primary focus is building systems with high longevity. We know that businesses change. In fact, most businesses are in a constant state of change, altering business rules and procedures little by little over time. We build every system keeping that principle in mind. We identify where flexibility and scalability will be most crucial as your organization grows and changes, and we design for that. This, too, is a way that your system maximizes ROI. The longer it lasts before needing updating, the higher the return you will enjoy.

As you can see, while it’s a dodgy business trying to calculate the exact payoff of adopting a new software system, there can be no doubt that you will realize significant benefits from doing so. If you are still looking for justification, start with our Savings Calculator and build from there.