While there are many commercial packages and 'one-size-fits-all' services, most companies reach a point where they find that their needs are not specifically covered by any software package that currently exists.
Customizing our software packages
Drawing up a specification
The prices we quote on projects are normally fixed price for a fixed specification. This way, costs don't escalate during the build phase unless the project scope changes significantly. For this reason it is worth the time and effort to draw up a detailed specification document providing as much detail as possible about what is required, including features and performance requirements (such as the number of users per day or hour the system must handle). Mockups of how screens will look are even better. The more detailed the spec, the less uncertainty for us and hence the more competitive the quote we can produce. Time spent here will save time and money in the long run.
How proposals are prepared
On receipt of a spec, we will develop our proposal, costing the various stages of the project and even breaking down individual features into the number of hours (and hence the cost) that they will require. This can be extremely useful as it gives the client the opportunity to change or remove sections if it is considered that the cost does not justify inclusion.
We will also advise if we feel the intended design needs reconsideration in places.
Once the specification is agreed, we will schedule time and agree a deposit for the work. Most schedules will allow for an initial delivery followed by a run-in period of bug fixing and tweaking of the design. Most custom development agreements also include a period of technical support coverage.