Blog & Insights

Home > Blog & Insights > Configuration or Customization? The Best Choice for Third-Party Collection Agencies

Configuration or Customization? The Best Choice for Third-Party Collection Agencies

Beth Waters
June 12, 2024

Share This Article

Third-party collection agencies have plenty of choices when it comes to software solutions to run their business. When investigating new solutions, one choice immediately comes to mind – customized software or configurable software. Both options provide plenty of benefits. So, let’s take a closer look to see why configuration might best benefit third-party collection agencies.

Why customization?

Customization is just what it sounds like – creating a piece of software with specific features and functions. Often, the customer requests these elements, which fit specific business needs. But customization is an intricate process that can take quite a bit of time.

The steps involved in developing customized software include:

  • Discovery: This step helps the developer understand the client’s business needs, goals, and existing workflows. The developer identifies challenges, gathers requirements, and sets the foundation for the entire development process.
  • Design: The developers create a blueprint for the software, defining the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). They must consider key design principles to ensure usability and efficiency.
  • Development: Here, the developers write the actual code for the software. They choose a development model, develop prototypes, and refine the design.
  • Testing and quality assurance (QA): The software is rigorously tested to identify and fix any issues. It helps ensure functionality, security, and performance, and allows the developers to iteratively improve the software based on feedback.
  • Deployment: The software is moved to the production environment to train users and provide documentation. Here, the software’s performance can be monitored so the developers can address any post-deployment issues.
  • Maintenance: The software provider regularly updates and maintains the software to address bugs and security vulnerabilities.

Depending on the complexities of the requirements, creating customized software could take anywhere from a few weeks to one year or more. Let’s take a closer look at the time it takes for each of the above-mentioned steps.

  • Discovery and design: This phase typically takes 2-4 weeks. During this time, you’ll work closely with your development team to define the project requirements and design the software architecture1.
  • Development: The actual coding and development process can take anywhere from 2 months to 1 year or more, depending on the complexity of the project, the size of the development team, and other factors.
  • Testing and QA: After development, thorough testing is essential to ensure the software works as expected. But this phase can take 2-4 weeks or longer, depending on the scope of the application.
  • Deployment: Developers deploy the software to production servers once testing is complete. The deployment process usually takes a few days to a week.
  • Maintenance: Custom software development is an ongoing process. You’ll need to allocate time for regular maintenance, bug fixes, and updates. This phase continues indefinitely for as long as you have the software.

Customizing software to fit your needs is certainly an option for many businesses. But what happens when you need to make a change to the software? And what if industry regulations change? Changing software is not a simple process.

The ability to quickly make changes is hampered with customization as this approach requires expensive resources to test, update, and maintain. That’s because the code must be rewritten every time you want or need to make a change. For example, testing new releases can take up to 9 months due to customization. This approach slows the process of adjusting to new customer requirements. And in an industry where customer requirements and industry regulations are changing rapidly, customized software will not be able to keep up.

Why configuration?

Configuration allows for selecting programmable options that make the software function to the user’s preferences. It involves specifying parameters, preferences, and other customizable aspects to tailor the software to a user’s specific requirements. Then, the arrangement of various settings and options determines how the software operates.

This process gives users the ability to adjust the functionality of the software right out of the box to meet specific needs. Think of a customer adjusting the settings on a newly purchased laptop.

In addition, the development time for configurable software is shorter, as is the time to add enhancements or make adjustments. With configuration, the software developer tests and supports all the configuration options for new releases, reducing the expense burden on clients. This speed helps companies adjust to changing market requirements and launch new features faster. In addition, clients can quickly configure new features to maximize productivity — with no additional expense or resources.

Overall, configuration makes it possible for clients to take releases quickly while maintaining their proprietary processes by adjusting the out-of-the-box functionality. The ability to take releases as they are available also allows you to respond to ever-changing market conditions and take advantage of new technologies as soon as they are available.

The clear choice

Customized software and configurable software have their place among the plethora of software solutions. But third-party collection agencies that want…

  • To eliminate hardware and development costs
  • The ability to build the collections ecosystem that meets your business needs
  • The ability to identify and respond to revenue opportunities within a business
  • Compliance guardrails that help you adhere to industry, state, and federal regulations

…then the choice is clear. Configurable software is the way to go. It is designed to address your most important industry challenges and propel your business forward.

Want to learn more? Check out this video where I discuss this same topic.


Disclaimer: Finvi is a technology company and provides this post solely for general informational and marketing purposes. You should not rely on the content of this material for any other purpose or as specific guidance for your company. Finvi’s advice, services, tools and products described herein do not guarantee compliance with any law or industry standard. You are ultimately responsible for your own company’s actions and compliance efforts. Because everyone’s situation is different, you must consult your own attorneys, accountants, and/or other advisors to obtain specific advice on your company’s compliance, legal, tax, regulatory and/or other business needs. Despite Finvi’s efforts to provide current and up-to-date information, you need to recognize that the information contained herein may become outdated quickly and may contain errors and/or other inaccuracies.

Get to know the power of the Finvi platform