As the world around us deals with various forms of lockdowns and the definition of “business” as we know it changes day to day, the fact remains that we still need to do the meaningful work that keeps our businesses operating and bills paid. Part of that work is making sure your business is operating at its best and in today’s business environment that means making the most out of business software. In fact, given rise or remote work and need to access business-critical systems and information from locations outside the office, business software selection and utilization has become crucial.
So if you, like many businesses lately, find that your current accounting and operations software lack the functionality to allow you to operate your business to its fullest, then it may be time to evaluate a new solution. We have helped clients evaluate, select, implement, and support the industry’s best software solutions for over 20 years. We’ve written about this topic before and Here is our high-level guide to picking the best ERP product today.
You know your business better than any software provider. Once you identify that you need to make a system change, start identifying the specific reasons why. Is the performance of your current system slow? Are you or your team manually entering data or handling processes that a software solution should be doing for you? Are you missing key deadlines because of the time it takes to accomplish routine activities? Get specific here and document what things you need to resolve in a new solution. Few things are more frustrating than going through the cost and time of a new system implementation and not resolving your key issues.
You have 3 main options for the evaluation process in which you will start identifying potential solutions and moving into discovery processes. These impact the time you and your team invest in this process as well as the overall cost of the project in totality. Here are the options:
Every software company, big and small, will have a sales process to help guide potential clients through their solution offerings and demonstrations. This will almost always involve some version of the following steps:
These are all essential steps so you should not plan on skipping any one of them but you can set the expectation early on of what you want to see and when. It is important to get every one of your questions answered throughout the process so feel comfortable pushing beck when necessary.
Be Wary of “Special Promotions” – Large companies are known to offer amazing year 1 deals but make up those costs in year 2 and on. If they offer any kind of promotion, get them to tell you what your annual costs would be without any promotion. This number will likely be what you end up paying for the bulk of your time on their product.
Ongoing Partnership and Support – Business software is more powerful and complex than ever. Because of this you want a partner or software publisher you can work with easily. Confirm how their support works. If it’s a very large company you may get triage-type call center support which can be frustrating and leave your team more likely to try and fix an issue on their own rather than through recommended support.
Future Projects – Invest in a software that can last for the next 10 years of your business. You may use it longer or shorter but either way you don’t want to do this process more than you need to. Consider what you want to accomplish in a large span of time when making this decision to ensure your investment is meaningful.
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