Custom Built/Bespoke Systems

(for medium-large businesses)

Imagine increasing your productivity by 10%. Now imagine doubling it.

If you could half the amout of time it takes you to do a task, how much time (and stress) would you save?

Eliminate tedious processes and create space and time for higher quality thinking and a happier, more productive workforce

Fits like a glove

That feeling of clicking on a button and it responding just the way you want, updating that particular file and letting your colleage know about it all in one go.

No more diving into different programmes or documentation, sending unnessary emails getting stressed looking at a waiting icon because you computer decided to freeze. Everything you need now is only 2 or 3 clicks away.

You breathe out a sigh of relief as you feel yourself relax, welcome to your own bespoke business system.

Be Mindful

Having a bespoke system is the best thing a business or organisation can do.

It's important, however, that it's done correctly as it's sometimes not as straightforward as you might think. Particularly if you have many users of the system doing different tasks. Some problems that have to be overcome are:

  • Staff sometimes see it as they might lose their jobs.

  • Mapping the system accurately is a huge stress and money saver.

  • Getting staff to adopt the new system can be a challenge if not executed right.

Whilst a new system may seem like the best idea to you, just be mindful that not everyone likes change so spend your time early on with a strategy for those employees who may be resistant. We can help with your approach on this front as well.

It more than likely, however, that you'll have a workforce that's crying out for a new system and the demand is high.

In either case, it's important to execute it correctly to ensure a seamless transition onto the new system. The culture needs to be flexibile enough to make the change so keep this in mind.

What is a custom built system?

A custom built or bespoke system connects your customers with the mechanics of the business though a website with two ends.

The frontend is what the customer sees (to them it's just the website), whilst the backend is where you implement everything you need or order to streamline your processes exactly as you want them for maximum efficiency.

The backend usually consists of all the customer data sorted in an intelligent way so that you can manage the information efficiently and cut out any unnessary emails or processes that can be automated. If a system is designed well enough, it can drastically reduce the time taken to do certain tasks leaving you with a lot more time to do things that matter most.

It's a big change so you've got to do things the right way

A bespoke system can be a big change for a business or organisation so it can sometimes include meeting the staff and getting a sense for how they do things.

From our experience, over time, roles evolve and often small changes get implemented without the senior team's knowledge. It’s important to pick up on these nuances as when they are included, it builds trust within the teams.

If you introduce a new system without factoring in everybody's ideas and opinions (even if they aren’t all implemented), they can feel left out, underappreciated and could affect the adoption rate.

Have staff meetings

This is why it's imperative for good adoption that you have regular meetings about the system and make sure that everyone is heard and all ideas are carefully considered. You'll be surprised what you learn from listening to the staff.

During meetings about the new system, this is also your chance to come clean with your objectives of the system - at least 1 person will be thinking about job cuts. So if there are job cuts coming, you'd better come clean at this point to prevent distrust spreading amongst the staff.

Generally though it's a great time to recalibrate where all the staff are at. Review all the processes, find out what's working and what's not. Share your vision for the next 6/12 months and be clear on people's parts in that vision.

It's also a great opportunity to have meetings with individual staff members and ask them how they are and if they think they are getting everything they need from the job. There are many things besides money that will make employees happy in the workplace, you just gotta ask!

Great communication is KEY

When looking for a bespoke system make sure to have clear goal posts and that the pricing is as accurate as possible. You don't want to be stung later down the line due to some miscommunication either. Having a clear communication channel with a people person is critical when building a bespoke system.

As a trained NLP coach and therapist, Paul specialises in translating information from casual conversations into systems and processes that later get turned into information that the developers can understand clearly. This is how we remain competitive.

Our development process

1. Initial specifications.

As a client, Paul would work closely with you to establish firstly what you want the site to do - a dream board! Here you write down everything you can think of into a shared document that you would like the ultimate system to achieve. The system specification that solves all your headaches around slow processes that you know can be automated, freeing you up to be able to work more ON the business rather than IN the business.

2. Phase Mapping and final specifications.

The processes are then mapped into systems thinking for the developers to estimate how long it's going to take.

Before a quote is given, the requirements are checked with you first and at the same time we break in down into phases - the core build and then phases that will act as milestones and leaving the more outlandish thing for later once you can see a return on your investment and make a business decision if things are actually worth it or not.

Like that button that instantly pays everyone at the end of the month with 100% accuracy whilst making you a cup of tea! It's possible, but might not be worth the hassle. Worth doing a cost/benefit analysis though as you never know! It might be really good tea :)

Depending on the size of your business or organisation, Paul may meet with the employees in order to draw up an accurate specification of all the needs of the project.

3. Project specification is quoted.

A price is given to you for the project along with expected timelines. We keep these very competitive and the price at final quotation is what we expect. We already discount any wiggle room as we like to be accurate with our pricing. We only create the best systems and you can't put a price on a system that does exactly what you set out for it to do.

4. Colour, design and user experience.

After you accept the proposal, you will liaise with Paul and start work on the look and feel of the system. You'll create a mood board of sorts to use as inspiration for the design. Paul will begin designing the front end of the site in a format that you can go back and forth easily with in order to get it exactly as you want it.

No more surprises on launch day where you get a design revealed only to be horrified as what you described over the phone was NOT THAT! (Yes we've seen that happen before!).

Things like button placement and wording will all be carefully considered at this stage to create a seamless experience for the end user - very important for getting the employees to adopt the system.

We all have smart phones and they are all designed to deliver amazing user experiences so it has to be good if not better than what they are already used to.

5. Development

Steps 4 and 5 run alongside each other. Whilst you're getting excited about the progress of what the site is going to look like, Shuan and the development team will be working on putting the parts together behind the scenes.

6. Show the employees the prototype

It's very useful at this stage to show the employees the designs of the software - a working prototype. This gives them the opportunity to say if something is off the mark or has been missed out entirely.

Generally new ideas come out at this stage as the working prototype sparks people's creativity. This is the part where you pray that any ideas aren’t expensive and fundamental to the core that somehow got missed off in the beginning! Yeah we've seen that before as well!

This is why we like to do the design process closely with our clients. Some web companies don't like to do this, they want the client to stay away from the design process and leave them to it but we see there is a trick being missed there.

After the feedback sessions, we then incorporate any ideas or suggestions that will improve the system.

7. Phase 1 sign off

When phase 1 build is complete, it will be built into the design Paul will have helped you create so it will feel familiar, however, pressing the functioning buttons on your ‘baby’ for the first time is quite exciting!

8. Launch and feedback

This is when you show the functioning software to the employees for the first time. Paying attention to how they use it and if they did anything unexpected - you just never know how the user is going to use the tool until you watch them.

We then tweak anything that needs tweaking.

9. Rinse and Repeat

Steps 5, 6 and 7 then repeat until the system is fully built and you’re toying with the idea of your super button ;)

The value of a bespoke system

An Annexus System can bring value in a number of different areas. It's advisable to know these metrics before the system is implemented so that you can then present a case to the finance department later when you want that special button!

  • Increased revenue due to better visibility in Google search results. Our websites are built to be fast and are built by the Google guidelines.

  • Happier workforce with more space to think and be creative rather than be tied down with outdated and time consuming processes.

  • Reduced staff turnover due to people being happier - this can save a lot of money.

  • Increased sales / better customer relationships do to staff morale being higher.

  • Might not have to hire another member of staff for some time due to the efficiencies of the system.

The initial cost of the system

The value of the system is determined by the money saved over time.

The cost of a bespoke system starts from around £25k and we have worked on a couple of projects that have gone to over £100k. How? Because they made 10x their money back in the first 6 months of the phase one system being built so reinvested into something even more ambitious.

Clients who get a bespoke system tailored to their business always get a return on their investment because we build it with that in mind.

So once you start seeing results and realise that the system and change is permanent, the only thing limiting your success is your imagination.


Whilst implementing a bespoke system is a science of creating the path of least resistance to a solution to a problem, how one gets there is more of an art (with psychology mixed in).

It can be a big leap for some to fork out for a bespoke system and from our direct experience, it's a big leap worth taking.

If you've ever made the transition from doing your accounts on a spreadsheet to proper accounting software, you'll know what it feels like! We have no idea how we would go back now. We're never having that stress again! No thank you!

At Annexus we pride ourselves in producing beautiful and efficient systems that stand the test of time. We love making our customers happy and we endeavour to get things right the first time.

We thrive on good energy and aim to bring a whole lot more to your organisation than "just a new system". The care that goes into it will be felt for years to come.

If you think you're ready for a bespoke system, or are just putting the feelers out, feel free to book a call and we can chat about some of your thoughts, ideas and potential challenges. =)