It is no secret to anyone that having a computerized business management system in an enterprise is one of the important components of success. What should a manager take into account when choosing a system?
How does a girl choose a car in a car show? Carefully interested in all the characteristics and as a result buys the “little red”.
Unfortunately, when choosing a computerized business management system, many managers do the same. Too many unusual parameters to consider. As a result, companies buy something that seems less complicated and more likeable.
The market for such systems is quite young, not settled, but at the same time saturated with proposals. In such a variety of offers it is not clear who to trust. There are no established and generally accepted methods of work. As a result, we study the characteristics proposed by the developer, which in general are not entirely clear, and choose the system where we are better told about it. It is sad that all CMMS-systems sellers without exception will say that it is their product that will solve your problems. Although in reality it often turns out that this is not the case.
Choosing a system to automate a company is a real challenge. But the choice will be more meaningful if you get answers to several very important questions before that.
- Is the system able to cover all the business processes of an enterprise?
In any company there are basic business processes (sales, marketing, service, production) and auxiliary (finance, human resources, and others). The introduction of a computerized management system is most often begun with the automation of top priority business processes. Therefore, the first thing to determine is which processes you want to automate and which ones do not. Select the key and create a task for the implementer of the system. If you choose the system for the first time, then most likely your requirements will be simple. You can come up with almost any popular system. Most simple and inexpensive systems automate only the most simple tasks. However, for competitiveness and as the company develops, you will miss these opportunities and have to move to a more functional system, and therefore, spend time and money. It’s always like this! A positive factor will be the presence of optional business processes in the system at present, but which you may need in the future.
For most companies, the main income and main profitability are repeat sales. Keeping loyal customers is more profitable than focusing only on new customers. Therefore, in addition to solving typical tasks, the system should be connected with the entire chain of business processes and use best practices in the improvement of each of them.
- What is the cost of implementing the proposed system?
The final cost of the product is a significant factor when choosing a computerized management system. Acting on a fixed budget, we need to find the right system that will perform all our tasks with a cost that does not go beyond the allocated budget. At the same time, it is necessary to divide the functions we need into “Mandatory” and “Optional / Future”. It is also necessary to consider that there may be additional costs that are not included in the initial package: technical support, maintenance costs, system updates, etc.
- What is the technical support and customer orientation of the system supplier?
The key factor is extensive and targeted training of the company’s personnel and it is important how well qualified personnel are trained, how adapted the training process is to the customer’s conditions to choose the best option for the future users of the system to absorb information. In order to achieve the best mutual understanding on both sides, a great advantage is the presence in the team of technical support of both the programmers themselves and specialists with experience in such enterprises.
Also an important factor is how quickly issues are resolved. The company supplier of this system should be able in a short time to send specialists to resolve issues or remotely and competently organize their solution.
- How is the integration of the system?
Ask your supplier for system integration experience. Ask the manager to tell about it on the example of other companies. How the system is built into the work of the company, what results and so on. How it interacts with existing systems. How flexible and understandable the system is to make the transition with the least stress for users.
Verify the capabilities of the system on the “pass-through example”. The system sales manager will most likely immediately say that his program will solve all your problems. Do not believe the word. Let the seller or implementer show with a “through example” how the selected system automates the business processes you need.
Modern systems are fairly easy to configure. If you are an expert, he can do it. Look carefully at how the system looks. Is everything clear? Will your employees be comfortable? If everything suits you at this stage, go to the next step.
- How focused is the supplier on product development?
The criteria for choosing a company were simple: it should be a reputable specialized company that has already had enough time in this business and understands that competitiveness directly depends on continuous improvement. All processes in any system, no matter how well they were originally established, require constant refinement and adaptation to changing market conditions.
Developers of this kind of systems should constantly monitor new developments and quickly use advanced international experience.
If you were able to answer all the questions and, most importantly, were able to show everything with a “through example”, it means that you are dealing with a pro, and the system you have chosen is not in words, but in fact meets your requirements. And if everything suits you, ask to prepare a project budget and proceed to implementation.