Developing vs Buying
When looking for a solution there are usually two sources to consider - internal and external. Internal solutions are developed within your existing organization and are created organically with all "relevant considerations" included in the composition of ideas and decisions. External solutions are shopped for, found, and purchased - meaning there will be a need for the organization to adopt it, and adapt to it.
If the bakery employees are not being trained very well, the owner can either create a training program internally (getting a veteran employee to teach all she knows). This will mean also measuring the new employees' progress, and helping her get better at training each new employee.
If the bakery owner doesn't want to take his experienced worker offline to train a new employee he can hire a training company to gather the knowledge, hold trainings, assess employee progress, and deliver a trained employee to the bakery when they are ready to work.
Either solution can be the better choice based on all the options, goals, and situational data available. What's important is to know what the long-term outcomes will be. This is where we can help.
Let's say a local non-profit (for example, "ABC4ED") wants to create a catalog of: education services, program suppliers, grant writers, various district departments and administrators, schools, parent groups, advocacy groups, community groups, other non-profits and their partners, and related political/governmental agencies. Such a project can be a huge undertaking if ABC4ED doesn't have the money and employed talent to pull it off. So, what should they do?
If they down scale the project and create a small database tool out of free open source technology solutions (like PHP apps) they can create a self-registration process where each entity can register themselves and create relational profiles. Each relational profile would cover two important functions - who we are, and who we are working with. Then as the database grows on its own ABC4ED doesn't have to spend the man hours to manage it. Also, once the app is available, it can be tied into a fee ($10/year) because it has unique market value. If the original app is copied before being populated, ABC4ED can sell it to other non-profits and collaborative agents anywhere in the world (~$250). Now the solution can pay for itself, giving ABC4ED more operating funds for growing its impact on local schools.
Let's say ABC4ED has money, but no developer talent. They can then go online and shop for a viable, affordable solution. This always results in a need for the buyer to adapt its vision to the purchased solution. Perhaps it doesn't allow for a fee to be paid. Or, maybe they only allow for original relationships, but not for requesting new ones. As a result, ABC4ED must accept a less-than-ideal solution in its pursuit to accomplish "something good enough" instead of abandoning the quest altogether. So, a solution was found and provided to the local education community. Great! And maybe that is the best ABC4ED could do.
What we do is help clients like ABC4ED determine ahead of time the likely outcomes and the cost/benefit comparisons to help them make wise decisions for the long term. What if the bakery training program became so good they could make money training employees for other bakeries? Would they have considered that option?
Whether hiring a training company for new bakery employees, or purchasing a pre-made database app, there is nothing wrong with buying a solution if it allows internal productivity to remain high and problem free.