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Business Management Software or Something Else?

For Business Software we almost always recommend utilizing our in house developed PACManager as the foundation for your custom business management solution. If you have a different kind of custom software need, we can help there as well. The below information should help explain the difference and feel free to call us to get more information to help make the right decision between our PACManager platform and developing from scratch.

The Advantages Of Utilizing PACManager

PACManager is great for getting you up and running quickly and saving a ton of up front costs.

The Advantages of Utilizing PACManager

During the assessment and throughout the life of Spud supporting your business management software, us having a template to start every meeting, every needs assessment and the screenshots with the call outs explaining how everything works already created is a huge time saver. 

PACManager is a big software solution  and has many behind the scenes code libraries and features that allow our development team to quickly make modifications or add entirely new features into your instance of PACManager.  

When we designed this most recent version of PACManager we took into account all 25 years of our experience helping hundreds of clients to create a database that won’t have to be re-engineered for any customization needs.  With the code library in place to handle this very rebust database, we can quickly modify fields and add entire new tables to fit your business needs.

Script testing is an automated testing method that runs through the entire software prior to pushing the code to the pre-production environment for client review and production for going live.  This is extremely powerful because the cost to have a person do the testing from start to finish every time a code update is made can easily add hundreds of hours to a project and it continues to repeat those costs with every code deployment. 

The point is, every software project should have script testing but it is very expensive to implement and to keep the budget down, clients usually opt out only to push those costs down the road.

PACManager has it built in and it saves the additional costs to you, plus makes sure our code is thoroughly tested before you even see it in action.

Anyone that has used a software package has run into issues when their phone updated or a new Internet browser update came out and broke something.  This can get very expensive to address.  We designed PACManager to support the most popular mobile devices and browsers and as they evolve we will evolve PACManager to handle it.

It would seem making software work correctly across time zones would be easy, but when you talk about automated notifications, GMail/Outlook Calendar integration, payroll and time tracking, it affects just about every screen in the software.  Having PACManager designed and coded to handle it was a large investment, but our clients really appreciate it.

PACManager already has over 20 reports built and we can quickly tweak the reports to include those additional fields of information, formulas, etc. needed specifically for your business.

Several of the reports are in dashboard format which are awesome for putting on TV’s in your office or viewing on your phone.  Most of them have drill down ability to deep dive into the data if needed.

Rate increases are normal with any business, but we want to make sure you understand the discounted $150 rate is here to stay for a while. That is another huge cost savings for utilizing PACManager. 

The Pro's And Con's Of Developing From Scratch

If you have a non-business process custom software need, this is the best option for you.

The Pro's and Con's of Developing from Scratch

Software project assessments start at $8,000.  Most assessments can be done to the point where we can provide a budgetary cost without additional costs to you.  If the project is so large that additional time will be required we will let you know after we get started but before we go over your initial investment.

The design specification shows each screen mocked up (we call it a wireframe) and has call outs explaining everything (absolutely everything) that happens on that screen.  We then make a short video explaining the design specification and then send you the video and a PDF to review and approve.  

Your project is unique and if don’t go with the PACManager solution,  we write everything from scratch.  This is done because you will own the code at the end of the project and every from scratch software project we do, needs to start without any other code mixed in.

Custom databases are designed just to fit your needs.  We do our best to take in consideration future development needs, but to keep the budget as low as possible we don’t put in unnecessary tables / fields of data.

Script testing is a automated testing method that runs through the entire software prior to pushing the code to the pre-production environment for client review and production for going live.  This is extremely powerful because the cost to have a person do the testing from start to finish every time a code update is made can easily add hundreds of hours to a project and it continues to repeat that cost with every code deployment. 

The point is, every software project should have script testing but it is very expensive to implement and to keep the budget down, clients usually opt out only to push those costs down the road.

It would seem making software work correctly across time zones would be easy, but when you talk about automated notifications, GMail/Outlook Calendar integration, payroll and time tracking, it affects just about every screen in the software.  If your software solution is going to be used across time zones this additional cost is a must.

Because your project is starting from scratch all the reports need to be created and although a lot of reports can be done in 8 hours, the average ends up being around 16 hours per report.  Dashboards to be displayed on TVs or mobile devices with drill down data can be 32 or more hours to create.  The PACManager solution includes 20+ reports  / dashboards.

Spud currently charges $250 per hour for all work on a custom from scratch solution and every year as our costs increase we have to increase our hourly rate.  Historically the rate increases by $15 to $25 per hour every year or so.  PACManager locks clients in at $150 per hour through 12/31/2024.

PACManager Solution

Flat rate monthly licensing plus customization
$ 2,900 Monthly
  • All PACManager Modules plus 20+ Reports / Dashboards
  • Hosting
  • All Time is Billed the Discounted Rate ($150/hour)

Development from Scratch

All work performed at time and materials
$ 250 Hourly
  • $10,000 is required to get started
  • Hosting $500 / month
  • All Time is Billed at $250 / hour

PACManager versus From Scratch

Even taking hosting in consideration, PACManager has a higher recurring fee compared to development from scratch so when does one make sense over the other? Note: If you need something other than a business management software solution then custom from scratch option is the way to go.
Following shows the first 12 months with PACManager vs from scratch for a large and small business management software solution.
The years following the first 12 months won't be much different because if your business is expecting to grow and evolve to stay competitive meaning updates will need to be done to PACManager or your from scratch solution.

PACManager can save clients as much as 60%

on large software projects

$176,800 – The First 12 Months using PACManager 

  • $2,900 x 12 Months
  • 240 hours of Project Management
  • 720 hours of Design Time
  • 80 hours of customizing PACManager 
  • 120 hours of training / ad hoc user support / questions

From start to finish should be less than 4 months.
$34,800+$12,000+$108,000+$4,000+$18,000 = $176,800

$446,000 – The First 12 Months creating a large software solution from scratch 

  • $10,000 Project Assessment
  • $500 for hosting  x 12 Months
  • 240 hours of Project Management
  • 720 hours of Design Time
  • 640 hours of development from scratch
  • 120 hours of training / ad hoc user support / questions

From start to finish could take a year or more. Most likely there will be less features included in this solution than all the features that are included with PACManager.
$6,000+$60,000+$180,000+$160,000+$30,000 = $436,000

PACManager can save clients as much as 40%

on small software projects

$104,800 – The First 12 Months using PACManager

  • $2,900 x 12 Months
  • 120 hours of Project Management 
  • 360 hours of Design Time
  • 40 hours of customizing PACManager 
  • 60 hours of training / ad hoc user support / questions

From start to finish should be less than 4 months.
$34,800+$6,000+$55,000+$9,000 =$104,800

$178,000 – The First 12 Months creating a small software solution from scratch 

  • $500 for hosting  x 12 Months
  • 120 hours of Project Management 
  • 360 hours of Design Time 
  • 320 hours of development from scratch 
  • 60 hours of training / ad hoc user support / questions

From start to finish could take up to a year.  Most likely there will be less features included in this solution than all the features that are included with PACManager. 
$6,000+$24,000+$72,000+$64,000+$12,000=$178,000

Call Us To Get Started - (810) 695-0001