If you run a business, no doubt you have been approached countless times by companies claiming to have developed software that will solve all of your problems and save you a lot of money. The problem is, if you aren’t knowledgeable about software yourself, it’s very easy to be sold something that you actually don’t really need or could have got cheaper elsewhere.
There’s no doubt that the right software can definitely add a great deal of value to your business, but you need to ensure that it is the right software and not just an expensive annoyance.
Ensure you aren’t fixing something that ain’t broke
First, you need to know where the pain points are in your business. Particularly if a software provider has approached you with a solution to an issue that you didn’t know you had, do your research independently and see if what they are proposing to fix for you is actually a problem. Otherwise, you could be spending a lot of money on software that you don’t need.
Ideally, software shouldn’t be purchased off of the back of someone approaching you. If you are looking to upgrade your business then do a thorough audit to identify processes that are time consuming or inefficient. Rank these in order of importance and then, armed with this information, start your search for a software solution.
Automation and efficiency
Unless you have a pressing issue that needs to be resolved, your highest priorities should be on using your software to automate as many business processes as possible, as this will save you time, improve accuracy and efficiency, and free up your staff members to be doing more creative work that will drive your business forward, and keep them more engaged into the bargain. Nobody actually enjoys data entry surely?
According to Forbes, Intelligent Automation typically results in cost savings ranging from 40 to 75 percent. Payback may take anywhere from a few months to a few years, but automation is almost always worth it.
Be sure that you speak to staff members at all levels of the business for an accurate picture of what processes are costing your business time and money. Management often doesn’t have a great idea of the issues faced by front line staff.
Once you have decided what you want to achieve with your new software, you can start shopping.
At this stage, it’s important that you don’t just take the software provider’s word for it. Ideally, you’ll want to see testimonials from their existing customer base that show their solution to be robust, and working as advertised. For example, TruQC has provided examples of customers who have used their field service management software to reduce inspection time by 50 percent, and of customers who have tried competitor software but ultimately come back to them.
If possible, it’s a good idea to speak directly with the software provider’s other customers and get a real idea of what they think of the product, what they have gained from it and crucially, any issues that they have experienced.
Compare with other providers
Finally, be sure that you are checking out multiple providers. This will ensure that you are getting a fair price and will give you a better idea of what is possible with the right software solution.