5 Software Selection Pitfalls to Avoid

The first step toward a successful project is selecting the right solution for your organization. Here are 5 pitfalls to avoid to achieve success.

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    The first step toward a successful business management software project is selecting the right solution for your organization.  In our experience of implementing almost 2000 solutions in over 26 years, we’ve seen the long-lasting effects that selecting the wrong software solution can have on an organization and from those experiences, we’ve compiled a list of the five biggest mistakes you should avoid when deciding on a software solution.

    Focusing on price instead of fit
    When price becomes your focal point of your business software selection, it can blind you to the true benefits of the solution.  If you rule out software based on price alone, you may be eliminating options that would save you time and costs over the long-term in order to save some money in the short term.  Plus, if you select the wrong solution because you are only looking at price, you can end up replacing your software, costing you more in the long run.

    Bring in outside consultants
    No one knows your business the way you do. Likewise, no one knows ERP and CRM solutions and the way they work for businesses like your the way the partners who implement them do.  Often the benefits of bringing in an outside consultant do not outweigh the costs.  An outside consultant will need to learn the intricacies of your business in order to help you select the solution, but then the software partner will also have to learn those same processes and requirements in order to customize and implement the solution to fit your needs.  The added step of hiring the outside consultants can add time and cost to the project as well as put you at risk for missed information.

    Don’t consider who you are buying from
    Business management software is intended to be a long-term solution for your business.  Therefore, ideally you will have a long-term relationship with your software vendor and partner. As a result, you need to consider the background of the organizations that you are working with and how their business will affect yours.  By selecting a solution that was created by a creditable vendor with a strong history and choosing a partner with integrity and expertise in your industry, you can feel more secure that your business solution and your business will have the support they need long into the future.

    Focus on features instead of value
    If you go into your software selection process with a checklist of features that you think you want, you can easily overlook the total value of the solution.  The right business management solution for your business will include functionality that enables enhanced reporting and business intelligence, leverages other investments you have already made in technology, and delivers a timely return on your investment.  All of these value-added elements cannot be attributed to a single feature in a solution.  That is why it is important to look beyond the features to the benefits that the total solution can provide.

    Bog down the process in time-wasting RFPs
    Many organizations think that the best way to find a solution that fits their business requirements is to send out a request for proposals (RFP).  They then use the responses to the RFP to conduct a side-by-side comparison of solutions.  However, the process of developing the RFP and reviewing the responses can be very time consuming and costly.  Additionally, a partner can give you a much more effective recommendation on a solution once they have spoken to people in several roles in your organization and seen your business processes in action than they ever could from gathering some basic background information off of sheet of paper.

    For assistance in avoiding these pitfalls and starting your business management software selection process on the right foot, begin with business strategy assessment today!

    Microsoft Partner & Change of VAR