I am a fan of using off the shelf sofware for managing internal processes wherever possible. Custom development nearly always comes back to haunt you in the end, tempting as it might be for talented programmers to believe that for them it will be different. Requirements
change, maintenance becomes a chore, and the solution gets brittle. Then the customisations that were so valuable become restrictive.
For example, a couple of years ago one of my companies struggled to improve sales team performance because the customised CRM system made it difficult to get decent pipeline information. We now run Salesforce and things are much better.
This quote from a white paper I’m reading captures what happens when things start to go wrong:
“What happens when short-cut solutions are overlaid on a rigid structure is that the cement sets harder.”
I like that.
Small businesses change all the time as they grow, and that means new processes and constant improvement in execution. Cement is the enemy.