In my experience managing a chain of photo departments for a large company, I realized that some of our software was really antiquated and would need to be replaced soon. We had this one system that tracked all of our customer orders, and would print out labels for their name and phone number. It was a system that worked pretty well for the most part, but it was a DOS program, and it tended to crash occasionally.
I looked into replacing it with a better program, but I was surprised to find out that there were no comparable programs on the market. As the program continued to get older, I could tell that the functionality problems were getting worse. A lot of labs stopped using it altogether, and so I started trying to think outside of the box a little bit. It occurred to me that we could probably hire a custom software developer to write us a new program.
I knew that it would be a little pricey, but I figured that we could all split the cost equally and then it would probably be pretty affordable. I found a custom software developer in our area, and started working with him to create a great new program.