Choosing Business Software: A Comprehensive Guide - part 2
1. Research the Market
Once you've defined the scope, desired outcomes, and budget, start researching the market. We believe that Google is the most suitable starting point. For example, if you're looking for a CRM system, explore the websites that Google suggests when you search for "CRM" and its derivatives – software, system, program. Similarly, you can search for document management, human resources management, contract management, etc. Examine the companies' websites and review their client base and recommendations. Check if there are companies from your industry in their client list, and reach out to them for feedback on whether the software works and if the implementation process went smoothly. Seek opinions from acquaintances who have gone through a similar process. If your industry is specific, try to gather information from your industry organization or conduct more specialized searches, such as "software for construction companies."
2. Send Inquiries
Send inquiries to the selected companies and assess their response – how long it takes to receive a response or a call from the company, their approach, and what additional information they require from you. Evaluate how communication with their team is. These are indirect indicators by which you can assess how well the company can deliver a service according to your requirements and expectations.
During software presentations, we recommend insisting on a "live" demonstration rather than just presentations. This way, you can gain a much clearer understanding of the system's capabilities. Ask your questions during the demonstration and evaluate how competently and comprehensively they can answer them.
3. Test Potential Software
When you've narrowed down your selection of software solutions and vendors, ask them to describe how their system can handle one of your specific processes. For example, if you're an accounting company, you probably need automatic reminders for approaching deadlines. Request a demonstration and try using the system yourself for a bit. Ask the vendor if you can visit one of their clients, preferably one whose business is closely related to yours, and observe the software in action under real conditions. Ask for feedback from the users of the system.
Also, evaluate how well the software you're considering can integrate with other software systems you currently use. For example, if you're choosing warehouse management software, you may want it to connect to your e-commerce platform and accounting software, or if you're selecting CRM, it should integrate seamlessly with your ERP system, corporate website's web forms, and email marketing system.
Lastly, request the opportunity to independently test using the software and involve your future users in playing through some standard processes. Gather feedback from the software testers.
We hope these brief tips help you in choosing the right business information system for you.
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