How Do I Know if I Need New Software?
Everything You Need To Know About …Getting New Business Software #1
This is the first of a series of blogs which aims to help you tackle the questions you may have about business software. Questions which often arise include:
- How do I know when I need new software?
- How do I identify my requirements?
- How do I go out to market?
- What kind of software do I need?
- What sort of selection process should I use?
- How do I go about implementing the software?
- What happens after I have implemented?
In this series I hope to help you address some of the key issues, give you tips and hopefully guide you towards good choices and great results.
#1 – How do I Know I Need New Software?
It’s worthwhile asking this question. In some cases you won’t need new software. Even if there is better software on the market than the one you are using, sometimes you just won’t require it. There are some businesses which cope adequately with a series of spreadsheets and word documents. A good software provider will always give you honest advice about whether you have a need or not.
However, typically you will require something new if you are experiencing difficulties running your business the way you would like. This could manifest itself in some of the following ways:
- You haven’t got good business intelligence
- Increasingly, important things like tasks, sales, invoices, slip through the net
- Your business is expanding but your software can’t cope
- Your business procedures are dictated by your software rather than the other way around
- You keep adding new bits and pieces of software to your portfolio in a bid to “patch things up”
- Business information isn’t secure (can someone delete an important spreadsheet?)
- You’re concerned about a big change round the corner cause you know you’re business couldn’t cope in its current guise
If you recognise two or more of the above I would suggest you start to go to market for information on different solutions.
I’ll end with this:
“I used to write a 30 page report at the end of each month for the managing director. This report contained tables of information on sales; facts such as volume of customers, value of products, profitability, sales per employee which were produced by accountants and which I was expected to analyse and comment on. It was a very thorough report. Every commercial metric you could imagine was examined each month from a year on year, quarter on quarter, month on month perspective. I’d look at variance to budget, variance to forecasts and would examine what we should have done to get better results and how we would adapt moving forward. It seemed a bit odd that I would be commenting on things such as having more custom in the same month last year …retrospectively. What’s the point of getting that kind of information after it’s too late to affect the outcome? Now, I have all the tables and graphs on my dashboard so I can see all the measurements I am required to comment upon at the end of the month. Every time someone adds a sale into the system my graphs re-render and I have the opportunity to influence the results throughout the month before it all closes off”
Next in the series: I know I need new software…what next?
Written by Emma Stewart – Sales & Marketing Director Cofficient
If you recognise any of the difficulties described above please let us know and we can give you a steer