When contemplating purchasing new software for your business, it can be easy to fall into a “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?” attitude. If the software you’re using has been working, more or less, for the past two decades, it can be difficult to muster the motivation to make an investment in new software. Change means cost, adjustment time, and the willingness to learn how to do something differently than you are used to doing.
But if you’ve been using the same software year after year, your process isn’t nearly as neat, streamlined, or efficient as it could be. Your software is outdated in ways you don’t even realize because you’ve been using it for so long. Something else you may not realize is that these inefficiencies could be costing you big time. You may be forced to search through drawers full of printed-out information whenever a customer has a question, which means not only are you creating unhappy customers, but the time you spend searching for this information and tying up the phone lines may force potential new customers to call other companies so that they can actually speak to someone.
These same issues may also be making you disorganized and inefficient in other aspects of your business. When you can’t keep track of your data efficiently, it’s easy to overlook important information or details. Other companies who provide the same services as you but have more current software will have the competitive advantage. If they can return information more quickly and more accurately than your business can, customers will be more willing to do business with these other companies.
Once you realize how much your outdated software is costing you, it will become apparent that it’s time to update. The next step is choosing the right software for your company. To start the search, make sure to involve whoever works the most with the software as well as the individuals in charge of other departments. This diversity will make sure that the software you ultimately select serves both the needs of the users themselves and the shareit for pc other departments that need their help.
After you’ve assembled the team to search for software, have them make a list of the functions the software must fulfill for the business. If you’ve been using software that’s decently out of date, this might require a little research: find out what similar businesses use their software for so you can be sure you know what it’s capable of. Just because your old software could only perform a few functions doesn’t mean that you have to use your new software the same way.
Be sure, however, to only list what you need, not superfluous applications that you know the software can perform. Just because the software is more sophisticated doesn’t necessarily make it right for your business. If you splurge on the most sophisticated software you can find, you may never use some of its more complex functions.
When you’ve found a system and software company that you think can meet the needs of your business, ask the company for some references. Ask the references the following questions:
- Did the company alter or modify the software when you needed it? If the company was unwilling or unable to modify the software, the company may not be flexible enough to meet your needs.
- Did the company provide source code and documentation free of charge? If they don’t provide code and documentation, you can’t change companies if they don’t meet your needs. These services should be provided free of charge.