Like buying a kitchen, or a house you want to make the right purchase because this should see you through for a good few years. So how do you go about this? What’s the steps to consider? Well at Blue Bear we went one step further and designed and built our own software, Library Suite, so we know the stages of requirements verses what’s available at the time and also what’s parked for future development.
Ok so what to look for? Step 1
Identifying the software for you!
Well what’s the problem that your looking to fix? How do you know it’s a real problem? Have you any data showing how much this costs you currently and what it means to the business and the various departments operationally? This piece of work is essential to buying the right kind of answer. Otherwise you can be spending good money ‘after bad’ as they say and or you could just buy what seemed a good buy only to be let down on areas of technical support or ability to develop new functions etc.
So, as a Document Management tool what would you look for?
Here’s a simple table…. And ask yourself, when comparing what’s already on the market what’s the ability to add things from the Wish List and for the Future. Who knows someone may already have that feature now!
Step 1: What is the solution I am looking to find? What problem am I looking to fix? How much is this problem costing me/the business right now?
Its always good to be able to quantify these costs as they serve a reason not only to purchase but also the justify the purchase price. Some companies are ok with a 5 year pay back; others want to see it within 6 months. So, whatever the costs that this purchase is going to create needs to be offset against a saving as well as a problem to solve.
Let’s use Document Management as an example:
Step 2: What do I need the software to achieve?
At this stage it may be a good idea to list all the things you want it to do. You can add a couple of separate columns too, like a wish list of functions and also what might be needed in the future as a third column. As we say, ‘KIS’ to start with or ‘Keep’ ‘IT’ ‘Simple’ and then look to add other columns and features.
Step 3: What’s on the market already and what comparisons are there?
From this analysis Library Suite’s software comes up on top as providing the most features of them all, with training and a simple subscription for its users which covers up to 150 staff.
Step 4: What’s the costs? Look out for both hidden and displayed costs – don’t forget implementation costs too as they can be a bit misleading at times...
Now Let’s Map These Systems Against Costs