This is not another build-versus-buy debate. This is an if-you-build-it-you-are-going-to-overpay-for-an-underperforming-system-that-will-be-an-ongoing-nightmare-that-you’ll-regret-forever discussion. So, if you’re looking for reassurance that devoting the time, money and resources necessary to build and maintain your own revenue operations management system is a good idea, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is a reality check about what you’re really up against and why it’s not worth it despite perceived benefits like control or compatibility. Let’s examine a few considerations.

Cobble together a system or approach using a mix of spreadsheets and basic accounting tools.

Plan-a-Plan-b

Companies that patch solutions together may be leaving significant money on the table and miss opportunities for innovating their revenue cycle, including accounts receivable and revenue recognition, through automation and integration. Even if you’re still getting by with a traditional approach to revenue operations, some of your competitors are likely either using or exploring options that bring them the ability to do things like:

  • Speed decision making and reduce risks by gaining real-time and clear visibility of data across revenue-impacting operations
  • Accelerate innovation by removing friction from the introduction of new products, services and business capabilities
  • Respond quickly to dynamic business demands and solve problems as they emerge without being limited by resource constraints
  • Increase revenue by maximizing value from every opportunity

Spend thousands of hours writing code from scratch about something that is not your company’s area of expertise.

Revenue operations management is a complex, multi-step process and—even with a team of exceedingly smart people and deep financial resources—it’s a steep hill to climb. Especially if what you really need to be doing is focusing on your business by improving your offerings and further differentiating your product or service. Today there are enough accessible, best-in-class solutions that the chances of you efficiently creating a better solution outside of your area of expertise are very slim. Moreover, a lack of revenue management experience will likely leave you exposed to greater risks.

Assume you have a handle on all of the ongoing complexities.

Even if the initial cost savings estimates of building your own system are enticing, most projects take twice as long and cost twice as much as anticipated. Just getting started, you will need to consider system and process integrations and build application programming interfaces (API) for connecting several related systems. Over time, upgrading processes for new scenarios or regulations can strain development teams and lead to ballooning costs. Security and compliance for financial systems can be especially difficult and costly to manage for non-specialists over the long term. Then there are server and storage considerations, including maintenance and scalability requirements. And that’s only the beginning.

Rest assured that your approach to revenue management will be constrained and remain mostly static.

Custom-built solutions can do a great job of managing a few key processes in a certain way for a finite time, but internal resource constraints can make modifying the processes an ordeal. Given the speed of change in today’s markets, however, it’s becoming increasingly important to be able to modify billing and accounts receivable processes quickly based on competitive considerations and customer needs.