The Showcase Workshop Blog

Custom App or Customizable App? The Answer May Cost You

What’s the cost of developing a custom app?

When he was transitioning the sales team from print to digital materials on iPads, Ray Whitley, Multimedia Manager of Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), was surprised to find out that it cost a lot.

A report from Savvy Apps found that, on average, a simple app for one platform starts at $25,000 – and more complex apps easily cost six figures. And that’s not counting the cost of maintenance and updates!

Commissioning your own app is cost-prohibitive for most companies. Whitley certainly found this to be the case as he reviewed app options for his sales team.

Still, he needed something easy for his sales team to use on their iPads in the field.

Not Every Sales Rep Works in an Office

LIC offers a diverse range of products to farmers across New Zealand. Before transitioning to iPads, sales reps were lugging heaps of printed materials out to their sales meetings – on rural farms.

“It was always a challenge, making sure they could easily access the information they needed when talking with their customers, on farm,” said Whitley.

His list of app requirements wasn’t long, but it was non-negotiable:

  • Easy, code-free branding
  • Total functionality without a Wi-Fi connection
  • Pushed updates that automatically replace older versions of assets with new ones as soon as reps accept them

Selling to farmers brings a whole new meaning to “field sales reps.” It also brings some unique challenges. Rugged terrain and lack of internet connection are two of those challenges. But also, by the nature of the industry, sales materials go out of date very quickly.

To solve this pain point and save on the cost of commissioning a custom sales-enablement app, Whitley encouraged LIC to give Showcase a try in February of 2013 …

… and they never looked back.

Within one month, LIC’s New Zealand field sales reps were all outfitted with iPads loaded with Showcase.

Making Showcase the frontline sales tool was a snap, too.

“We made the transition without any external help,” said Whitley. “We started by uploading about 100 documents to our Showcase content library. That alone dramatically cut into printing costs. Now, there’s no lag time between production of materials and distribution to the team. We send out updates on a daily basis. Our whole team loves the convenience.”

Today LIC’s Reps Love the Convenience – and Their Customers Love the Presentations

Digital Media Advisor Sarah Middleton recently shared, “Most of our field staff use Showcase during their sales conversations.”

And Ray Whitley’s comments about the sales team’s experience paint an even brighter picture of how Showcase has changed the game. “Our customers are clearly more engaged in our presentations. Our team loves the convenience.”

LIC’s field sales reps currently use Showcase as a:

  • Sales library – so they have the most up to date sales material wherever they are
  • Host for a number of sales apps and calculators
  • Training resource for new staff members

For LIC, Showcase is constantly evolving – and it just keeps getting better.

Could they say the same about custom-developed app? Maybe. If they still had the budget left to pay the sales team.

Download this case study as a pdf.

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Wellington, New Zealand
Millie is President and Co-Founder of Showcase Workshop. She rides a Pashley, knits on aeroplanes and boasts an unenviable typing speed of 48 words per minute.