A business can live or die depending on the tools, workflows, and systems they have in place. Whether it's project management software, communication tools, or data management systems, internal tools are essential for streamlining workflows, reducing errors, and making scalability and growth possible.
In this article, we'll help you understand why businesses develop new internal tools, how to know when and if your business should develop one, and what you need to know before you build.
Businesses build internal tools for a number of different reasons, but the biggest one is that inefficiency is an expensive problem for most companies. According to market intelligence data provider IDC, operational inefficiency can cost businesses as much as 20-30% of their revenue each year.
Another reason is that as the competition for talent intensifies this year, companies are finding themselves needing to work harder than ever to hire and retain the best people. Innovation, even when it applies to your own internal tools and systems, can help you attract and keep better talent. Regardless of industry, high performers today want to work for companies that give them access to tools that make their jobs easier.
A final reason is that businesses have better access to affordable tools that make it possible for them to finally do away with outdated technology and systems that they’ve kept intact for far too long. App development platforms like Crowdbotics have introduced faster, cheaper, and better ways to help people within established companies take an idea and transform it into a functioning app.
How do you know if now is the right time to build a new internal tool for your organization? There are a lot of factors to consider, but thinking about these five questions can help you understand if the benefits will outweigh the costs.
For most organizations, the answer to this question is an easy yes. If you’re stuck using Excel spreadsheets to manage project data, customer data, or business intelligence data, you’re probably feeling some level of pain too.
If you’ve worked in your industry, company, or job field for a long time, you probably have a pretty good idea of what’s working well and what isn’t. Some of the best innovators we work with aren’t developers—they’re leaders within the organization that know, based on their experience, what problems need to be solved first to save time and money.
If you’re working day-to-day in the business and seeing first-hand where the bottlenecks are happening, it could be an indication that a better tool is needed. This is common as businesses grow, departments change, and industries evolve—what worked really well for a long time no longer works, and you need a new path forward.
A lot of the people we work with come to us because they recognize that innovation is happening in their industry, and they don’t want to get left behind. They’ve either seen how a competitor is innovating internally, or they’ve heard about it from someone. Either way, they're starting to feel the pressure to modernize their tech stack.
How often are you hearing from your employees about problems they’re having with the tools and processes they’re required to use? If you’re getting regular feedback and requests from enough people about a specific tool or workflow, it could be a good sign that it’s worth fixing.
At Crowdbotics, we work with existing businesses to build and launch a variety of tools, including:
BI Dashboards: Business intelligence tools that offer shared performance dashboards, data visualization, predictive analytics and planning, high-level data consolidation, machine learning models, real-time data sync via API, sales funnel metrics and automated reporting
Field Service Management: Field service tools that offer better communication and collaboration between home offices and people working on job sites and tools for site proposals, project management, and client communication.
Team Communication: Communication tools that offer instant messaging, live audio and video calling, and real-time collaboration.
Workflow Management: Workflow management tools that offer business process management (BPM) apps, project management tools, and project collaboration apps.
Data Entry & Logistics: Data capture tools that improve processes for capturing inventory and shipping data, shipping costs, and trucking routes.
Spreadsheet Killers: Any tool that effectively eliminates the need to use Excel spreadsheets to manage and retain complex information for the business.
The right internal tool can have a massive impact on the productivity and profitability of your organization. It can be a big undertaking, so make sure you have a good understanding of the challenges and advantages before you get too far along in the process:
Here are some challenges you may encounter if you decide to embark on the journey of building a new internal tool for your organization:
Here are some advantages you’ll see if you have the courage to say goodbye to the old way of doing things and build an internal tool that embraces the new:
Are you ready to build the internal tool that your organization needs? Reach out to the Crowdbotics team and tell us about the app you’d like to build.
March 8, 2023