No two investigative agencies are governed by the same mission, structure and statutes.  That’s why each agency’s case management system requires upfront configuration to meet their needs.  Workflows, data types, user permissions, and reporting should all be configured to match an agency’s processes so the system can live up to its potential.

But there’s a difference between software that requires configuration and software that requires multiple new layers of development.  The best investigative case management systems have, unsurprisingly, already managed hundreds of thousands of investigative cases. 

Sure, there are enterprise resource planning platforms (or business process management platforms) that, with the right configuration of modules, can handle case management.  There are plenty of products can be used for investigative case management even though they weren’t initially designed with investigators in mind.  And there are plenty of application development companies that, given enough time, can design a brand new application for your agency. 

But it’s rarely a winning proposition for an agency to take the scenic route when it comes to acquiring software. If you’ve ever acquired (or used) highly customized software, you probably know how often the developed application meets all the promises made in a project proposal.  [Note: Decided to keep, but you may want to remove] And it’s not just the quality and stability of the application that you have to worry about; development projects also come with larger price tags and longer development timelines than off-the-shelf alternatives.

Don’t let a company sell you on the idea of a project when a product would meet your needs far better.  And don’t let a company try to convince you that their proposed development project is actually an off-the-shelf product! Here are three ways that truly off-the-shelf case management products do a better job of meeting agency needs than software development projects.

  1. Product Advantage #1
    To buy a software product, you pay for a license.  Other services may be required to get the most out of the product, including configuration, training and support.

    When you’re buying into a project, one of the biggest expenses is the time of developers who pull together your feature requirements into a single product.  That’s because the final product doesn’t yet exist.  Training and support costs will be higher as well, because employees must be familiar with your specific codebase.

  2. Product Advantage #2
    A product’s code base is largely the same for all of its users. Because of this, the user community benefits from feature requests made by individual agencies.  New features are incorporated into the product with each release, making the product grow better over time.

    Software projects don’t get better over time.  Projects often cobble together several layers of code that may not be used together by any other agency.  The codebase wrapping all of these pieces together is routinely abandoned as it ages and becomes harder to maintain.

  3. Product Advantage #3
    Once purchased, a product is installed, configured, and rolled out to users.  Its implementation is typically measured in weeks. 

    A project can’t be installed upon contract award.  It must be built first, which typically takes months or longer. Unexpected pitfalls are sure to arise, so projects must be managed as well, further increasing costs.

Don’t pay to be someone else’s beta tester!   You’ll save time, money and headaches by buying a case management product that’s already performing well for multiple agencies similar to yours.

To learn how CMTS can help your investigative agency track and manage cases with less effort and more efficiency, call us at 855-667-8877 or email us at