Dealer Software Company Size

dealer software company size

Size matters, but often not the way you think.

Common consensus is that doing business with big companies is generally safer. We think: "They must be good at what they do to have grown to be big company." This is a case where starting point is correct but reasoning is not. A lot of things change as companies grow. Expenses, liabilities, risks increase as the processes that used to be efficient become slower and slower. The company does not stay the same through the growth progress and we should keep that in mind for our decisions.

Smaller companies usually make higher quality software. Employee satisfaction and competency is lower in big companies. This is probably obvious from your own experiences but see here for details. As a company grows, management typically starts to lose touch with the employees. The people who built the company leave one by one. Their replacements are generally less competent. Incompetent people cannot make it small companies, because everybody knows what everybody else does. In big companies they can get away by blending in the crowds. Sometimes it takes years for bigger companies to get rid of dead weight - in small companies it is simply not tolerated and happens very quickly. As a company grows, this employee change results in a decrease in quality in the products and services - whatever they may be. Eventually of course it starts affecting the customer base. This happens in nearly all companies (except Gore-tex) but it is even more pronounced in companies whose work depends on highly qualified personnel - like software companies. When a McDonald's employee leaves the restaurant, it really does not affect the franchise much but when a major Microsoft engineer leaves his job, it hurts the company. Software engineers are not dime a dozen. Even if you get the best, there is typically a long warm-up period. See Peopleware book for an excellent discussion of why smaller it matters so much in software companies.

Smaller software companies generally provide better support. There are a lot of reasons dealer software company customers may require support. In smaller software companies, all support is typically handled by a small set of technical people - generally the same people who developed the product. As a result, they know everything to know about their product and they can answer any question you have. If you are calling about a problem in their applications, chances are you will get it fixed within the day - maybe even hour. As companies grow, these technical people start complaining about some support calls being "inefficient use of their time" since they can be handled by less technical personnel. Then as they grow even more, companies start putting processes and levels of support. For example, when you call a big software company about a problem in their product, the first level support will take all your information, write down a detailed description of your problem and ask a pre-determined set of questions and suggestions in the hopes that one of them will solve your problem - it does not matter if you tell them it is not your fault - it's clearly a bug in their software (in software world bug means a problem). If the first level support cannot solve your problem (it rarely does) you will be moved to level 2, level 3 and so on. The process may take quite some time - sometimes up to a week before the company admits that it really is a problem in their product. At that point, what you will be told is the issue will be prioritized and will be resolved at a future release. Depending on your problem this may mean resolution in a few months or practically never. By the time they resolve it, you will probably not be using their services. In smaller companies, the developer will typically fix it for you in a matter of hours - a few days at most. Quick support response time does not mean your problem will be solved quickly. That happens only in small companies.

Another argument for bigger companies is the safety - common sense dictates that bigger companies are safer because they have been around for a long time. With newer companies the future is unknown. It does sound plausible but big companies go bankrupt all the time as well as the small companies. Just look at the banks that closed in the last recession. When it comes to measuring risk of doing business with a company, there are a lot of factors and size is not necessarily one of them.

Does that mean all small companies are better than all big companies? No, but doing business with a competent small company is typically much better than doing business with a big company. Remember, all big companies were small at one time and they were good at what they did - which is why they grew. You want to catch them at that phase. Carsinia is one such company that provides excellent quality service and support. Contact us for more information and demonstration.

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