Apps can be great productivity tools, but do you ever find yourself flipping back and forth between multiple apps throughout the day?
Maybe one app has a lead-tracking feature you like, while another one has a really good calendar function that works well with your company’s email system. Add in a few other features from other apps and you have everything you need to get the most out of your day.
But instead of flipping back and forth across multiple apps all day, have you ever considered making your own custom app that has everything your business needs? One that would take the best features of the apps you like and put them all in one place?
A lot of companies develop custom apps for customer-facing uses, but don’t forget, they can also be productivity boosters for employees, as well. Imagine taking all the time-consuming tasks spread across multiple apps and combining them into one efficient app specifically designed for your business. Why try to adapt to someone else’s software when you can have the software designed to your specifications?
Here are some things to consider before you start:
What problem does the app solve?
An app needs to solve a problem, otherwise, it’s wasted effort. Don’t create an app for the “cool” factor, or it will not make an impact at your business. Define the specific problem the app will solve, and make sure it’s worth the investment to solve it.
Limit the functions to the top four or five needs
An app that tries to do everything is an app that probably does none of them well. Limit the functions of the app to only the most important ones necessary to achieve the objectives you’ve set for it.
Have a marketing plan
Creating the app is only the first step. Adoption of the app is crucial to see a return on your investment. You need to think about how you are going to encourage your employees to download it and use it on a regular basis. If they don’t, it’s a waste of money.
Treat your app for employees the same way you would for an app aimed at customers. How will you create awareness? How will you convince employees to use it? Create an internal marketing plan for how to “sell” the app to the employee base. Consider gathering testimonials from those who have used it and liked it to get others to give it a try.
A custom app can be a great way to increase employee efficiency, but to increase your odds for success, define a goal, focus the functionality and be prepared to market it inside the walls of your organization.
Mike Skimin is the senior web application developer at Emerge. If you have questions about custom applications, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.