Digital checklists and audit apps have proven extremely valuable to businesses who need to ensure consistent daily operations, like restaurants, groceries, and retail stores. And while it’s simple to purchase or subscribe to a pre-built application, some companies may think they’ll save money by building their own. However, before heading down that road, it’s important to consider the upfront and on-going costs of building and managing your own daily checklist tool.
Account for All Costs
Obviously, if you try to build your own application, you’ll pay for the initial design and development. These projects typically run in the tens of thousands of dollars. And costs often inflate over the course of a project. If requirements aren’t clear or well-understood, the app may not work as you intended, and it could cost you more to fix it. Or if you decide to add or change features and functionality, you’ll also rack up additional charges.
Modern internet-connected mobile applications require a suite of technical expertise. Your development team needs to include skilled developers as well specialists in networking, databases, security, and user interface. Many software contractors dismiss the need for a good user interface because it increases costs, but if your checklist is inconvenient or unintuitive for employees to use, they won’t. And your investment will never render the return you hoped for.
Related data storage costs
Checklist apps require more than the mobile-based interface. You need some form of data storage as well. You can purchase a server and database software, which requires in-house expertise for setup and maintenance. Or you can subscribe to a data storage service which will charge you monthly or annually to house your information.
Regardless of the database solution you select, the checklist application needs to communicate with it, both sending and retrieving information. Not all databases use the same language, so if you build the app for one kind of database and need or want to switch to another, you’ll pay for associated updates to the checklist software.
Almost all software applications require continuous maintenance. Mobile apps need updates when new operating systems are released about once a year. Web-based apps also need to accommodate changes in web browsers. If you don’t update the code when underlying technology advances, your app may perform more slowly, lose some functionality or become vulnerable to the latest security threats.
Finally, if your business is expanding, you’ll need to ensure the app and its data storage can handle more users. Depending on how many people you planned for initially, you may need to go back to the drawing board to scale up.
Consider Other Challenges for Internal Builds
Slow time to market
The initial build for your checklist app takes time. Plan to spend several months defining requirements, selecting developers, building, testing, and deploying the software. If there are any requirements changes or bugs in the initial code, that timeline will push out even further. Meanwhile, your business is still relying on ineffective paper and pencil checklists while competing against companies who’ve already gone digital.
If you hire contractors to develop the app, they’ll turn it over to you once it’s done. When you need changes, you may not have the same people working on the software. They don’t understand your application as well as the initial coders, which can cause inconsistencies in quality as the application ages. It can also lengthen the time needed for updates because the available developers are unfamiliar with the application.
Access to data-driven insights
When developing your own application, you may not know the best ways to analyze the data. There’s information in your checklist results that can help drive business growth, but how do you get to it? Large enterprises with many locations will generate so much data it’s almost impossible for a human to manage. But pre-built checklist apps often include data analytics in the package.
With a pre-built app, you can see trends and graphs for specific individual, checklists, departments, locations, and regions. It takes a data scientist to understand how best to organize and manipulate the information so you can draw meaningful insights. But unless you know at requirements time exactly how you want to present data, you’ll end up with limited access to essential information.
Getting outside your bubble
As an owner, you’re an expert at running and growing your business. And you’re always looking for ideas that will help you gain an edge. But if you build your own checklist app, you’ll miss out on the features and functions that other checklist users have innovated.
Owners using ready-made checklist apps have the benefit of seeing what others do with it. For example, there may be a checklist module that retailers typically use but grocery stores have found incredibly helpful too. Or some companies may have adapted checklists to improve training and increase employee loyalty. When you go it alone, you could either miss these opportunities or have to pay for them as upgrades.
Why Using MeazureUp Makes More Sense Than Building Your Own
MeazureUp experts have already spent years refining and enhancing digital checklists and audit apps for companies in your industry and similar markets. You benefit from a team 100% dedicated to building the most capable and flexible app based on years of experience and user feedback.
- Faster deployment: Put checklists in users’ hands quickly and start reaping the rewards.
- Lower initial costs: Get started with operating budget – no need for capital investment.
- Included data storage: No hassle about how to store data – it’s done for you at no additional charge.
- Included software upgrades: No worries about OS, browser, or database upgrades – MeazureUp’s team handles it behind the scenes.
- Consistent app ownership: MeazureUp’s development team focuses 100% on the checklist and audit apps to maintain high-quality and constantly improve performance.
- Data analytics: Based on MeazureUp’s extensive experience with checklist data analytics, the team has included a sophisticated dashboard that turns your data into a powerful tool for driving business.
- Innovations that help your business: MeazureUp listens to customers from all industries; when one group innovates a new module or feature, all users benefit from ideas they might never have come up with alone.
Another great benefit of MeazureUp’s app – you can try it out for free. Click here for a free trial.