By Emily Gerson, Content Marketing Specialist

Each transportation organization has unique needs, which means you need a software built to anticipate those needs and adjustments. An easy mistake to make when searching for software is to settle for customization without configuration.

Woman working on virtual screen to customize software.What is customization?

Coding customization means that the code of the software will change to something it was not previously intended to do in order to accommodate an organization’s needs.

The crux of it is that a customizable software means the software isn’t originally intended to perform the features your agency needs, but that there are developers to add those features specifically for you. While this can get you the functionality you want, it also often requires a waiting period while the software is being re-coded for your needs. Then, depending on the extent of the work needed, you may also face extra charges for the in-depth work required.

Man configuring software for client's needs.What is configuration?

Configuration is when a software has anticipated desired changes and adjustments to features that can be switched for each organization at the click of a button. There should be no changes to the code required.

When you purchase a configurable software, that indicates that the company has ensured that all features the software could provide are essentially on an “on/off” switch for each user. Therefore, if you indicate the features you’re interested in, the software team simply clicks that feature on for your company’s portal upon inception. No waiting period, and no additional cost. The best part is, it feels like customization.

What you actually want

Knowing these definitions and their differences are important to ensure you don’t end up spending extra time and money. There are definitely benefits to both configurable and customizable software, which is why we offer a unique perspective.

Although configuration is more important to look for because it offers all the advantages and none of the extra time or cost, customization obviously has benefits. So our advice? Find a configurable software with all the main features you’re seeking, but that also offers customization opportunities for business processes.

For example, our software, NueGOV, is fully configurable, allowing our clients to select which features are available on their portal. However, we know that agencies have other needs, and we want to better our software; that’s why we offer free customization for our clients, so long as the features being added could be beneficial to other users. In essence, we can take the client’s desired customization and make it a configurable feature for all other users.

We chose this configuration and customization practice for a three key reasons.

  1. We believe that our clients should be able to adjust their views and features according to their agency’s needs.
  2. We want our software to be the best it can be and offering free customization for replicable features helps us do that.
  3. One of the best things about technology is its lack of limitations, so at Navjoy, we encourage the innovation of our technology for the betterment of transportation as a whole.

Be your own advocate when it comes to software and your agency’s needs. Click here to learn more about how our cloud-based transportation collaboration platform could work in your agency.