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Assessing new software? Make sure it does what your existing software does well!

Too often we find businesses focus heavily on what their existing software does poorly but forget to review the good things.

For example your business has multiple stock locations and you have a need for this functionality as well as serial number tracking and barcoding. You find new software that does this well but later discover; after using it for several months, that it doesn’t allow for merging of stock codes, reversing transactions or changing codes. Your existing software did this very well, in fact, you took these features for granted and didn’t document them when assessing the new software program.

It’s important to list all of your business needs, in particular the quirky things you do, when you’re assessing new business software. Invite your entire team to put forward suggestions as to what would make their day easier, or more efficient. Ask them if they have a “wish list” of features, reports, processes that they would like the new software to achieve for them. Not only will you end up with the best program for your business, you’ll also find that your team will appreciate the change and be positive influencers in the critical first few months of using the new program.

Make a list and stick to it. Don’t be fooled by slick sales peoples banter, showing you features that look glossy but provide no intrinsic benefit to your business. If you have assessed a number of products and have ticks and crosses it will allow you to look at it objectively and make the right decision. Just as important as feature sets is the business partner behind the software, the people that install, train and support you. Make sure they’re local, have dedicated teams in consulting and support, and can provide you with good references. This can be the difference between a poor installation and a smooth one.

To find out more here’s a great article: Return on Investment