If you build it, they will come may have been a pinnacle moment in the movie Field of Dreams, however that doesn’t necessarily mean everything you build will be financially viable. This is especially true when it comes to subscription management software. Your ability to bill for subscription software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings efficiently and accurately is, without a doubt, the single most important thing that keeps your company operational. When it’s time to replace your subscription management software, do you encounter (or are you anticipating) the build versus buy debate?
While there’s no right answer and much of the decision depends on your industry, whether you’re a small- and medium-size business or enterprise, products and services offered, and pricing models; you need subscription management software that allows you to expedite monetization of recurring billing.
Subscription Management Software Boosts Profitability
Whether you build or buy, there are some key capabilities your subscription management software needs to provide, including:
- Pricing Agility: Your business needs to quickly develop pricing schemes, modify pricing, packages, and bundles, implement promotions and discount plans, and handle upgrades and downgrades.
- Billing Automation: Easily launch new recurring revenue models and increase invoice accuracy with automation leading the way.
- Payment Gateways: Your subscription management software should provide the payment provider of choice with multiple payment gateways.
- Dunning Management: Minimize involuntary churn by automating customer communications regarding payment failures, credit/debit card expirations, subscription expirations, credit/debit card retries, etc.
- Regulatory Compliance: Establish tailored billing practices domestically and internationally and ensure revenue recognition aligns with ASC 606 and IFRS 15. Additionally, if you operate in the EU, be sure the subscription management software enables GDPR compliance as well.
- PCI Compliance: Ensure safe online payments with subscription management software that follows the PCI security standard for credit card payment processing.
- Seamless Integration: Create a fully integrated financial ecosystem and deliver a frictionless customer experience by connecting up- and downstream systems. This includes CRM, ERP, BPM, RPA, general ledger, tax solutions, etc.
- Self-Service Portals: Provide the best experience possible by allowing customers to serve themselves. They should be able to easily select features or subscriptions, view usage, download statements, view past payments, pay bills, manage payment methods, make changes to their details, upgrade/downgrade subscriptions, cancel subscriptions, etc.
- Intelligent Insights: Increase visibility into operational performance with customized reports and dashboards. This allows you to understand customer behavior, analyze performance, and develop strategic future plans.
This list captures the essential elements of subscription management software, but there are a few more considerations.
Build vs. Buy: Considerations
There are two common beliefs when it comes to designing and developing your own subscription management software. Cost savings and not having to conform to a new business model to suit the commercial billing software top the list. While both are true to varying degrees, one very important aspect to consider is human resources.
Subscription management software solutions require seasoned resources with billing experience. Even with extraordinary talent at your disposal, there’s also the time factor. Subscription management software is complex, and chances are it will take more time than anticipated to develop. Additionally, there are design risks to consider. Your team of expert developers may inadvertently overlook important subscription management software aspects such as validation, transaction consistency, rollback, re-rate, and many others.
Every commercially available subscription management software solution is built to solve specific billing problems. So they may not perfectly align with your unique business model. Since many of these solutions are rigid and inflexible in their billing and rating functionality, then you may find yourself needing to compromise.
On the flipside, if you choose to buy subscription management software, you can save on development time, and benefit from the years of experience and improvements that went into the commercial solution. For some companies, it may make sense to adopt the methodology presented by an off-the-shelf solution.
What if there was a third choice?
Get the Best of Both Worlds With the Right Subscription Management Software
What if you could purchase a subscription management software system that provides all the financial features needed to run a diverse subscription and recurring revenue operation? All while providing built-in customization tools enabling you to rapidly make modifications to support even the most challenging and specific billing and rating scenarios.
BillingPlatform helps take the guesswork out of the build vs. buy decision. Our configurable platform is designed for flexibility and rapid change. Expert knowledge and support, robust features, built-in customization tools, the ability to support your specific business needs, and the capability to easily support tomorrow’s business changes are just five key benefits of BillingPlatform’s cloud billing system.
Our subscription management software solution was designed by industry professionals who are experts in high-volume billing and rating. WWhen it comes to implementation, our cloud-based solution can be deployed in as little as 8 weeks so you save time and money. Request a free trial to see more for yourself!