Determine the budget
Business Management systems can be expensive, and companies need to determine how much they are willing and able to spend and most importantly, the ROI. The company should be sure to factor in the cost of the software, hardware (or cloud costs) and services such as implementation, training, and on-going maintenance when determining the budget.
Assemble the Selection Team
A business management solution is only as good as its selection process. For starters, it’s best to create a selection team that represents the different functional areas of the business. Each person on the selection team should gauge the strengths of the solution and if will meet their requirements outlined during the needs analysis. Since the system you choose affects all aspects of the business, ensure you get buy-in from all stakeholders, including users and upper management.
Determine Your Business and Functional Requirements
Before you select a Business Management solution for your company, determine what your specific needs are. It will help you to develop criteria for choosing a business management solution that fits your company best.
Be sure to “interview” all department heads to ascertain what each group is looking for in a business management solution. Speak to upper management to determine what they are looking to accomplish with a new solution. Break down the requirements by business requirements vs functional requirements and “need to have” vs “nice to have”.
Vendor / Solution Shortlisting
After identifying the requirements and assembling the selection team, gather information about vendors that you may want to consider. Evaluate vendors based on price, experience, and their products’ viability. This will help you narrow down your shortlist to the most appropriate vendors. Companies typically will research solutions that appear to be fit and narrow the list down to two or three.
Vendor / Solution Selection Process
After narrowing down the vendors to two or three, plan on a process that will typically start with a discovery call with each vendor. The discovery call will confirm the vendor should be on the shortlist and provide them with information to demonstrate their ability to meet the requirements. In some cases, it may make sense for the vendor to come on site and do a “walkthrough” of the business. Either way, this step is vital to the success of the selection process and should be given high priority.
Ideally, the business management solution you select should integrate seamlessly with your company’s existing systems and technology stack. The new system should help you minimize business risk and scale as your business grows.
Remember, not all software is compatible with your existing technology stack. You may want to consider the type of hardware you currently have in your company. Will you require faster processors or more memory to run the software? Will you move to the cloud or hosted solution? For this reason, read the solutions system requirements and begin to understand the IT infrastructure requirements.
The logical next step in the process is a high-level executive overview demonstration of the software. This is an opportunity for upper management to weigh in on the solution and validate the solution will meet their requirements and will have an ROI.
The next step in the process after the executive overview should be a series of department demonstrations. Having identified the requirements for each department, the vendor should demonstrate their ability to address each requirement for each department. As an example, you may gather the CFO, VP of Finance, Controller, and other users in the accounting department and refer to their departmental requirements during the demo that were identified during the needs analysis.
As a final step request a full proposal from each vendor outlining the total cost of the solution including the cost of the software, hardware (or cloud costs) and services. Evaluate vendors based on their features, ease of use, and compatibility with the company’s existing systems. Consider the vendor’s reputation, customer support, and experience.
Business Management Implementation Project Considerations
A Business Management system is a large investment, and a poorly implemented solution will negate any benefit that the software may have provided.
In line with this, you should keep some project considerations in mind. This includes configuring the system and migrating data, which is an ideal opportunity to clean up your data. Also consider the training employees will need to successfully use the system. As an example, you may take a “train the trainer” approach or request the vendor do more of a classroom approach.
Be sure to have an implementation project plan that the project manager from your company and the vendor agree to. The project plan should include a timeline, checkpoints, milestones, task assignments, and regularly scheduled status update meetings.
Return on investment (ROI) is a critical financial indicator for evaluating how your company optimizes its investments. It helps you analyze how much you’ve invested in your Business Management solution and the outcomes.
Ideally, the Business Management solution you invest in should provide a return on your investment within the first few years, The business management solution will only be viable if it helps the company reduce costs and generate addition revenue that exceeds the cost of the software.
To calculate the ROI for a business management solution, list areas where your company can generate revenue, minimize costs, and improve customer service using the software. Some of the indicators you can use to estimate a Business Management software’s ROI include:
- Software operation costs.
- Revenue growth opportunities through client acquisition, etc.
- Financial risks related to predicting, avoiding, and managing problems.
- Reduce operational costs.
- Ability to retain current customers and generate new leads.
Generally, software investments impact internal processes and can help you gain a competitive advantage in your industry. Nonetheless, that will only happen if you invest in a Business Management solution with an ROI.
Implementing a business management solution can help optimize your company’s operations and profits. However, finding the right solution for your business entails an in-depth selection process to identify what suits you best. If you’re looking for a business management solution for your company, MaxQ Technologies is your go-to vendor. We are an independent software vendor and value-added reseller focusing on distributors and manufacturers. Contact us to learn more.