How Custom Field Service Software Development Drives Innovation

Customer transaction Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

Point-of-sale (or POS) software is often fairly generic, supporting a process that is the same across many different types of stores. But there are notable exceptions. Apple’s retail stores introduced an innovative new approach to point-of-sale, with employees checking customers out right from their phones or tablets. This transformative shift shapes everything from the layout of an Apple Store to the fundamentals of the customer experience. And it’s supported by a creative approach to the software that drives the stores’ process.

Today, there is tremendous opportunity for businesses across industries to take a similarly disruptive approach to their processes. In a retail setting, this will mean finding new ways to connect to customers in the physical world — perhaps facilitating more direct payments through a phone. New approaches to business are often driven and supported by fine-grained insights about your processes, and the iterative, evolutionary nature of custom apps can do more than keep your software aligned with your needs — it can act as an engine for innovation.

Adaptive Solutions

When a company decides to explore custom field service software development, they often don’t know exactly what to expect – or exactly what they need to build. At the beginning of the process, you will typically sit down with a software vendor and discuss your current business practices: how they work now and how they could be made more efficient. What you think you need to build at the end of the conversation may look very different than the ideas you had in mind when you started.

More importantly, this idea can and likely will continue to evolve. Software isn’t like other products, so the idea of continuous evolution can seem strange to some people. When you build a house, you start with the foundations and the walls, and once you’ve built those you’re not going to deviate from the basic layout you’ve established. But software is a flexible medium. You can create the smallest chunk of code first, make sure it works correctly and look for opportunities to improve it; then make changes to the larger structure accordingly. You can iterate over your changes continuously for constant improvement, adapting the direction of the software to the evolving needs of your business.

That means your software solution isn’t going to be out of date as soon as you adopt it, reflecting months-old business realities. And the evolutionary capacities of your custom software don’t end once you start using Version 1.0 in the field. Once you implement the software in your business process, you and your development partner can continue to iterate as you identify opportunities for improvement, optimization, and innovation.

Better yet, custom field service software development can help drive this process by collecting and analyzing richer data on your processes. By identifying trends, points of weakness, areas of customer need, and other insights, your software can give you the information you need to refine your processes, develop new competitive edges, and transform your marketplace. More than a tool, custom software can be an ongoing engine for your business, helping to guide your business into the future.

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