There is an app for this, there is an app for that, there is an app for just about anything you can think of. So what happens when the demand for something moves so quickly the supply can’t keep up? No matter what the product is, this will be a problem. In retail, it may mean that orders are not being filled and customer satisfaction goes down. In the service industry, customers are having jobs not being done on time. In Development, it is much worse. When demand for technology reaches a high level, you get products built quickly and without much thought around security. Unfortunately, that is where the mobile app stands now.
A small Maryland town, circa 1989: “Billy, come check this out!", my friend called to me from the driver side window of his Trans Am. I walked over and climbed into the passenger seat and before I was even completely settled in, the sound system washed over me. The crystal-clear sound of Great White rocking “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” sounded all too perfect, and I could feel my internal organs thumping with the bass. I looked down at his dashboard at the night club-level light show emulating from his stereo system. My friend was saying something to me, but I could only see his lips moving. I was totally immersed. Once the show was over, he got ready to drive off. He turned the key in the ignition, and nothing happened. He tried again. Still nothing. He ended up having to replace the engine, but that stereo system was amazing.
When we designed PawnMaster we set out to build a total Pawn shop solution that would give pawnbrokers the tools they needed to operate and grow their business. We started with our Microsoft DOS platform and over the course of the next 30 years we’ve improved, evolved and enhanced PawnMaster Classic with the input and feedback of throusands of pawnbrokers.
When I sit down to write a blog about Development, I try to think of something that isn’t going to make people cringe. Let’s face it, the idea of reading a few paragraphs describing Agile Theory and Program Code workflows isn’t something that have most people on the edge of their seats. However, what I have found is that the process in which we decide on what gets put into these workflows is a better use of your reading time.
We don’t see too many new vendors throwing their hats in the ring to service the pawn broking industry. Why is that? It seems lucrative, right? Pretty straight forward? The loan payment calculations seem easy enough... It's quite the contrary. As far as software goes, this is a very niche or vertical market. That is to say that this market is very finite in the number of possible customers and very specialized in terms of operation and calculations. Not only that, there are also specific requirements state by state when it comes to regulatory mandates, controlling the rates that are charged and how they are calculated over a period of time. In the nearly 30 years that I have catered to this industry, I've seen over a dozen decent sized software vendors come in with high hopes only to fade away—some slowly, years later, and some abruptly. With every new vendor I met while attending any state, regional or national trade show, I always made sure that I sincerely extended my handshake and wished them good luck in their new endeavor. I always followed my well wishes with, “It’s not easy."
Having the largest customer base in the industry for many, many years (over 3,000 customers), Data Age / PawnMaster is proud to introduce PawnMaster Ignite. Ignite is the only true cloud based pawn software on the market. Data Age is known for building high quality, easy to use, "bullet proof" products. We have accomplished this by employing sound software development and testing processes. We don’t rush to market to capitalize on buzz words just to line our pockets and position our company, only to eventually get bought out. We have the resources, the firepower and the customer base, which could have seen us release a real cloud product six years ago. Cost, technology, and demand (among other reasons), saw us sit back and wait until the timing was right.
Over the years Data Age has always been known as the technology leader in the pawn industry. We invest a lot of time and resources to ensure every aspect of our clients’ business technologies are in place, updated, compliant, evolving and well-supported. We don’t rush our products to market to be able to capitalize on buzz words because this can be very costly to the end user and our first priority is putting our customers in a position for success. Having the right people and right processes ensures our company stability, and in turn, it ensures our clients’ investments are stable and profitable.
At Data Age, we approach software development as an Agile management methodology. The PawnMaster, CheckMaster, and Buy/Sell Plus product lines have continuous development cycles throughout their life spans. There are several reasons for this such as compliance updates, new feature enhancements, and system performance maintenance to name a few.