Inarguably, implementing new technology at a firm or business that replaces age-ing, complex processes can take time. For some businesses venturing down the path of software acquisition for the first time, it can be confusing, figuring out how and where new products can fit.
How can you tell that software is going to be a valuable asset to your business – without dramatically impacting the bottom line and causing a case of buyers remorse? Here are our top tips.
1. Know Your Requirement and Pain Points.
The first thing we recommend is know your requirements. It’s amazing how easy it is to set out looking for one type of product, only to come away with something completely different. If you know that you want a product that can calculate time spent on specific case-types, make sure it’s clearly communicated when accepting pitches whether it’s a negotiable piece of functionality.
Additionally, being able to identify pain points in your organisation will help give you an idea of how and where the benefits of a particular product might flow. These points may be easy or complex – a report that requires three hours and two stressed staff to complete, or a lack of accessibility to communications pertaining to a particular case when the managing team member unexpectedly absent.
2. Figure Out Your ROI (Return on Investment)
ROI is generally calculated as ROI % = net gain / cost.
Measuring ‘net gain’ for a service or software can sometimes be tricky – but not impossible. One measurable to take into account for new software is obviously time saved by staff.
Some ways to measure this include:
– If you’re looking at new software to automate a report, have the team member who manually runs it time how long it takes them to complete. Compare that to how long the new software takes to run the same report. Don’t forget to include additional factors, such as: does running this report occur in the evening or during peak productivity time – morning? Does it require complex thinking that doesn’t allow for other ideas or multi-tasking? Is the report draining for the individual to run, therefore reducing their productivity for the rest of the day?
– If you’re considering software that centralises communications for particular cases, you might consider how long it previously took staff to find relevant emails or case notes when the primary manager is away. How much frustration was caused by information being locked to a single individual and thus inaccessible? How many times was transparency required (perhaps for reporting), and how long did it take to achieve? Compare this estimate finding a similar case note in the proposed system.
3. Decide Whether the Product is Right For You
At the end of the day, the best person to determine whether a new system will work for your business (and bottom line) is you! If you want proof that the product works as well as advertised, don’t be afraid to ask for case studies, or to even to be put in touch with an existing customer. If you feel like the product is missing a key piece of functionality – ask for it! It isn’t unheard of for businesses to develop a symbiotic relationship with their suppliers, guiding their development roadmap with functionality requirements, both improving the experience of the business using the software and the wider value of the supplier.