Database/Business System Development

Do you need more insight about what's going on in your organisation?

Would you like a lightning fast database, accessible throughout your business?

Do you want to reduce manual data entry and duplication?

Few organisations can operate efficiently without using databases. Whether your business runs on custom software already or if you use shared Microsoft Access databases or even a collection of spreadsheets - your business runs on databases. The question is not whether your organisation needs databases (it almost certainly does), but whether you're getting the maximum value out of them.

What a Database Can Do For You

A well developed database solution will allow you to:

For most organisations, this means having a custom database solution developed. Spreadsheets and Access databases may be a handy way to organise things when you're starting out or when only a handful of people need to use the system, but they are quickly outgrown — whether it's because they become slow, corrupted or fall out of sync with other versions. Additionally because they aren't developed by database professionals, they may not be well structured, complicating any new uses for the data.

Method B Ltd are designers and developers of well-structured database applications. We learn about your business processes and your existing solutions. Once we understand the situation in depth, we use our industry experience and knowledge of database architecture to design cost-effective software to meet your needs. This is usually a web or intranet application backed by a professional-grade database server like PostgreSQL.

As necessary, we can clean up and import your existing data into your new database solution. We know that you won't want to import any of the problems from your existing arrangement, whether it's a ring binder full of paper or an electronic database — so we carefully plan the import process to ensure that everything conforms to the design of your new system.

Take a look at what we've helped an SME in the aerospace industry achieve, read our case study about Aercomp Precision Engineering Ltd.

All the Bells and Whistles

According to your needs, we can provide features such as:

We understand the wider context that you'll use our software within. We know that you might be using our systems to help meet external requirements. A common example of this among our customers is using software that we develop to meet and demonstrate conformity to ISO 9001 requirements. Our experience of developing database systems for business means that we can point out potential pitfalls that you may have missed when brainstorming your own requirements.

Built for You

We serve a diverse range of companies and understand that the requirements and budgets for a system vary significantly depending on what the system is for, the size of the company/department and similar factors. We know that a company employing hundreds of people across multiple sites will want different controls and analytical tools to a company that employs twenty people at one site. This is something that we discuss with you in the initial stages, to make sure that we are working to provide you with a system that is appropriate to the problem that you're trying to solve within the budget that you have available.

We want to deliver a system for you that provides much more value than its cost. In all cases, we want to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with our customers, supporting your growth, profitability and service quality over time and in the long term.

Why Avoid Off-The-Shelf Solutions

Many companies are tempted to buy all-encompassing "off-the-shelf" solutions (like ERP or MRP solutions) instead of having custom software developed. The problem with these systems is that while it seems you get a wealth of features, these features aren't tailored to your business, which takes away a lot of their value. A good custom solution eliminates unnecessary work, an non-customised off-the-shelf system just digitises that work. It is telling that so many companies that buy off-the-shelf software eventually pay significant amounts of money to expensive consultants to have it modified to better suit their needs or indeed wind up having a 2nd "shadow" system for things that the software does not suit.

If you do have an off-the-shelf system that you already use or plan to use, we can potentially integrate with it in order to get the best of both systems. Where we think an off-the-shelf system would better suit part of your problem, we will suggest that to you and work to connect it with the bespoke solution that we build for you. This is often the case with accounting software because commercially available software has reached such a high level of maturity. We play well with others.

Agile Development

As an agile development company, we prefer to build your application by regularly delivering you with new versions. This allows you to start to use the software as soon as possible, to start to see the benefits and to provide us with valuable feedback as we continue to develop and deliver the rest of the application. Our agile strategy reduces the risk to the customer in software development because it provides a tight feedback loop and ensures that any kinks or changes of heart that need to be worked out are handled early on with the minimum possible disruption and cost for everyone involved.

We'll Support You

Once we've developed the software for you, it's your application and you're welcome to do whatever you like with it - we don't tie you into recurring licensing costs. We recognise that many organisations will prefer to have a turn-key solution that they do not need to worry about maintaining - for this, we offer support contracts.

We can provide you with support for the application once it's in place. Our most popular support option is a low-cost monthly plan (usually including support for the server and, optionally, back-ups as well). We also offer pay-as-you-go support when that is more appropriate. When helping you to choose a support plan, we can consider what in-house expertise (if any) is available, how critical the system is to your business and, of course, what your budget is. We can provide you with an estimate for support at the same time that we quote to develop the software for you so there are no surprises.

We hope that our customers will continue to invest in the solutions that we've built for them and it is our experience that our customers do exactly this. We work with our customers to regularly enhance and upgrade their systems to continue to evolve and fit with their changing business needs and technology requirements.