Our Associate Partners at simPro have laid out some important guidelines for choosing business software.
Choices are tricky; we all have to make them and some of those decisions are outside of our lanes. When you purchase a home, a car, a dishwasher, or a laptop, chances are you are doing some research and reading some reviews. Most of us want to make a purchase once and for the right reasons.
Field software is certainly no different. It's a big decision and an individual decision. Our Partner members at simPro suggest:
"1. Do your research
The software you choose can affect whether or not your business is able to compete in the modern world. This is a huge decision, so it’s imperative to take your time and research thoroughly. Read product descriptions, watch videos, participate in demos, and visit software review sites such as Capterra and Software Advice.
2. Map out your challenges
Do you struggle with managing inventory? Are your technicians constantly calling the office to get more details on a project? Are you constantly wondering if you’ve made enough of a profit after each phase of your projects? Whatever your challenges are, make sure you are looking for software that will solve those problems. After all, you’re not actually searching for software. You’re searching for a solution to help your business run more efficiently.
3. Talk to your peers
Think about the last time you tried a new restaurant. Most likely, you gave that spot a chance because you received a recommendation from a friend or you read glowing reviews online. The same way you would get a recommendation before trying a new restaurant, barbershop, or other service, consult with your colleagues to discover which software programs are working for them. Take that list of software options you’ve compiled and get opinions from peers in the field service industry or read verified reviews online. You can also ask software providers for references to contact so you can receive feedback from those currently using the software.
4. Talk to staff or team members
Once new software is implemented in your business, who will be the primary users? The project manager, the financial department, the technicians, or everyone on staff? Take the time to understand what their needs and challenges might be so you can make sure the software you choose will make life easier for your staff. Talking to your team before you make a decision will also help you better manage team expectations and concerns during the implementation process.
5. Take a forward-thinking approach
Don’t just think about the initial installation of the software and your immediate needs. You want to have an understanding of how your new software tool can help your business in the long run. When talking to sales representatives or when going through the demo process, ask how often the software is updated and how you can submit feedback and suggestions. Also, find out details about the customer support and tools that are provided.
Take your time, ask clarifying questions, and make a confident decision. Implementing FSM software for your business is an investment, but it’s an investment that can greatly pay off."
This is simPro's lane- stay in yours. Get the help you need when you need it, and get back out in the field!
Executive Director, IEC Chesapeake/IECC