Data is at the core of all modern companies big or small
Business customers and their employees expect to view and access services online such as booking systems, online purchases and so on. Online services empower them to do many things with a few clicks. Hence, even a local restaurant would use a range of software tools and web apps, e.g. booking system, electronic till, apps for taking customer orders by the waiters, online accounting software.
Many software tools but still struggling to get the job done
Many businesses face the challenge of internally coordinating the data flows and business processes between these tools. Most software vendors for B2B applications specialise in particular areas, e.g. Quickbooks or Xero in online accounting. Such software typically offers lots of features and integrations with the top 1-2 software packages. However, SMEs use at least 4-5 different tools without obvious ways of transferring data between them. Customised features from software providers are usually expensive (>£10k per feature) and come on top of the subscription fees. So clients often need a bespoke app that sits between all the different software products. These apps are specific to their business and follow their business rules.
Modern enterprises must consider automation as a strategic investment rather than expenditure. Once the initial implementation costs are covered, business process automation proves to be a worthy investment. Automating redundant activities reduces the need for extensive labour, minimises paperwork expenses, improves accuracy, ensures consistency and reduce maintenance costs.
Automation through bespoke business apps is the answer!
We believe in helping our customers run their business more efficiently through digital transformation. This is why we develop bespoke business apps to automate the data flow and integrate the specific business logic of the SME. Software vendors offer an easy way to create integrations with their products using application programming interfaces or APIs. An API is a pre-defined language to communicate with a given server. It allows us to retrieve the data from the client’s software, then we create the internal data flow and add the business logic. The cost of our bespoke business apps starts at around £10k-20k plus any running costs for the underlying hardware, which is typically in the cloud. The upfront cost for such apps is still much lower than multi-year software subscriptions. Moreover, the job only needs to done once and the app can work for years without significant changes as long as the business requirements remain the same. Only 1-2 days a year for maintenance is needed.
Challenge: A client struggled to generate invoices for their customers. The billing tool did integrate with the accounting tool but did not send sufficient data to complete each invoice. Hence, the client had to manually match every single transaction and manually add extra information inside the accounting software.
Solution: We designed a simple UI allowing the client to pull all the necessary data from the invoicing tool, then automatically reshape it and send it to the accounting system.
Challenge: A client had four different software tools: bookings system, POS software, online marketing tool and a managed WiFi system. Every week they would download the data, cleanse it and produce reports out of it. The process was laborious and prone to errors.
Solution: Techccino in partnership with JumpDatа built a bespoke data-integration server to do this job automatically through API integrations. There was also a catch. The customer was using an extra layer of categorisation for their products. This information was specific only to them and it was not possible to store it inside the vendor’s system. Hence, they would manually add this information to the downloads every week. We created a simple way for them to do this automatically using Google Sheets. The ability to store specific business logic is one of the main reasons such bespoke apps are so valuable.
In a nutshell, we take advantage of the API economy. Here is a link to a technical guide for developers on how to build a simple app using Python, which is the first step for our bespoke app.