Hope time is treating you in a wonderful way. Let me Introduce my self as a coexist in this world. There are many guys who can do it for you in a better way. Identifying right fisher man to get you the best fish is not big difficult. Take out a few minutes from your business professional life , make sure on the features what you are expecting to have in your app and award it to creative and innovative guy who can do it in a cost effective method. Then you will get the cheap app interns of price. Find the developers who are near to thoughts.
All the best for your app.
As an app developer myself I would advise you to look at what is "cheap" on the long term not the short term. I could just refer myself but I rather let you make up your own mind.
As mentioned by Mr Mendez mentioned, there are multiple platforms where you pay on a monthly basis but the catch there is that they are customizable to a certain point. If you would like something specifically for your business, such a solution might not be for you. Such platforms provide general features which can be easily implemented but the features are not designed to be very specific plus you're stuck to a monthly subscription as long as the apps are in the app stores. This could ultimately result in you spending more on the long run than when simply choosing a developer.
If you choose a developer you will also have a couple of options (two options basically). Apps can be developed "Native" or "Cross platform". Out of these two it is cheaper to develop an app through a cross platform solution. With this having been said, the cross platform solution provides the ability to develop apps for the top platforms (iOS, Android, Windows) with just one project of coding. When an app is developed native, it requires the app to be developed separately for all platforms. You would pay per platform separately.
This raises the question: Then why even consider going native? Most companies go native because they can afford it and because a natively developed app is specifically developed for that one platform, making it run without any glitches on a different device on the same platform. When going cross platform, the app might work better on one device than the other. Its kind of like buying a "one-size fits all" shirt, it fits all but it looks better on some. The biggest reason companies go for native is also due to the fact that they trust it more. Banks and other organizations with sensitive data always go for native, just because its air tight.
I do have to say that cross platform solutions have come a long way but that you still need to be careful what fits best for you. If you like, my guys can analyze the requirements for the app you would like, for FREE, and you can make your decision what you choose.
This company (BizApps - http://www.biznessapps.com/) provides a platform with a lot of features that are a simple past and play kind of product, and then they host your account for around $40 monthly. Something like that.
AppMobi (http://appmobi.com/) provides a platform that is usefule if you want to do a DIY project and you know HTML.
And then there are apps like Brightcove, which I think provides one of the best platforms for high-quality (e-commerce, High-Def, etc) websites for businesses, and you can find an app builder through their site (http://www.brightcove.com/en/).
Hi Doug, The most important thing is to find a great app developer that will make suggestions that are within your budget. You could probably find one on the Elance website but you should get references before you engage a developer so you can assess their work and feel confident they suit your requirements. You could also try innohub.ca. They have worked with major corporations and universities. Good luck in your quest.