Is customization the way to go or is standardization better for you? Doesn’t it depend upon the solution you require?

For instance, if you think you require a solution that is specific to what you do, then of course the obvious answer is customization, right? Maybe not! Think of the type of work you do or product you produce whether it’s a report or a widget, it doesn’t matter – there are still steps to take.

Now consider the number of steps you are taking to accomplish a given task related to production. Count them – each one. Are there more than a few steps that are repetitive or is each new step or direction in which to turn determined by the previous step taken? Is there a decision to be made by someone other than you? These are just a few of the questions that should be answered before you make a decision regarding whether or not to fit your business into a system already designed or whether to design one specifically for your company or department.

If what you do fits into A, B then C every time, with no variation, then there is probably a standardized solution available to you or your industry. Check it out and weigh the cost of start up in terms of man hours at implementation and maintenance as well as monetary costs. If all are acceptable to you then it may work well for you. Standardization is not always a bad thing. However if there are usually variations with each A B C step and the associated costs of implementation, maintenance and financially are not acceptable then it is probably more cost effective and efficient for you to use a customized solution.

When hearing the words “customized solution” sometimes managers and owners get nervous and only see dollar signs. However when they realize that taking this approach will save worker time and company money over the long term they realize this is the best approach. Designing a system specifically for their needs can be the wisest thing to do.

So whether you decide to standardize or to customize, be sure you get what you really need to help solve the issues at hand.