Build vs. Buy: The Dangers of Building Manufacturing Monitoring Software

Building in-house machine monitoring software to improve operational processes can seem like the best decision for most manufacturers. Many embark on the project with high hopes of ‘perfect fit’ customization to the operation’s unique processes and low development and implementation costs. In reality, most software build projects cost more than purchasing an out-of-box solution from a seasoned provider. Generally, the maintenance of a completely customized system outweighs the benefits gained.

Before you consider building manufacturing monitoring software for your operations, read the below risks ahead of committing to a large, on-going and costly project.


On average, large IT projects run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent over time, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted. Software projects run the highest risk of cost and schedule overruns”  – McKinsey Digital

The high costs associated with building manufacturing monitoring software is the primary reason manufacturers abandon the project. The large upfront cost of the hardware in addition to ongoing labor costs pushes most IT projects over budget. Resource dollars are spent on time-consuming R&D and many resort to outsourcing additional programmers and developers to meet timelines. Additionally, to test and implement home-grown software requires many rounds of trial and error; often resulting in mistakes with a high price tag to fix.

Partnering with a reputable manufacturing monitoring software provider to implement an out-of-box enterprise software solution ensures that the project is delivered on time, on budget with a faster ROI.


Manufacturing monitoring software providers spend years developing software solutions that meet the unique needs of a manufacturing enterprise. The dedicated experts behind the software continuously monitor and improve the program by, adding new features and capabilities to deliver the most progressive solutions for manufacturers. When buying out-of-box solutions, manufacturers can utilize years of expertise immediately.

Manufacturing monitoring software providers know standardization of manufacturing processes is key to operational growth. As a result, most out-of-the-box solutions are built to be easily scaled at an enterprise-wide, plant-to-plant level. A software provider will also release upgrades and new features to keep up with changes to i4.0 technology and processes. Manufacturers are able to easily add new features and modules to grow operations and drive continuous improvement.


Manufacturing monitoring software providers come with highly experienced Customer Support teams with technical expertise to support manufacturers with implementation, training, consulting and addressing any issues or concerns about the software.

The ability to see customer needs, issues, and concerns help support teams to maintain a complete connection and to see trends or catch bad habits and fix them before they become significant issues. They also provide resources and guidance to utilize the software to its full capabilities. 

With in-house, customized software, there are no external support teams. The lack of support means manufacturers are posed with additional tasks of troubleshooting fixes, training staff and maintaining the software. Manufacturers need to evaluate if there are sufficient resources amongst the team to effectively run day-to-day operations while handling unexpected fixes and maintenance of a customized solution.


Software implementation is not something that happens overnight. Tasks include setting up the software with your company’s existing information, users, and personal settings, ensuring current ERP, MRP, and accounting systems are integrated with the new software, setting up smart reports, and training employees to drive a smooth adoption. 

Partnering with a provider to implement out-of-box manufacturing monitoring software eliminates the challenges of integration and adoption. Operators and key stakeholders can depend on quick deployment, a seamless and reliable implementation process with minimal disruption to daily operations. Training provided by industry experts improves employee confidence in using the new system and drives a culture of continuous improvement.

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Out-of-box manufacturing monitoring software provides manufacturers with the ability to boost ROI, proactively stay ahead of competitors and operational downtimes while increasing plant efficiency from the moment of implementation. Save resources and money with an out-of-box software solution that provides real-time benefits to manufacturing efficiency, continuous improvements, and ROI.

We want to know your opinion when it comes to build vs. buy manufacturing software solutions. Share your comments below and connect with us to learn more about transitioning your manufacturing enterprise into the digital space. 

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