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5 Business Management Software Investment Tips

5 Business Management Software Investment Tips

What to Know Before Investing in Business Management Software

There comes a time when investing in business management software is necessary to take the next steps to grow your business. Business management software is also referred to as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software and offers a solution where you benefit from fast and seamless information flowing across all departments and operations. Growing businesses makethe investment to upgrade from something like QuickBooks when they better business insights and reporting, streamlined operational and business processes along with many other benefits. Business management software helps save time with so many functions in the business to help increase efficiency, revenue and profits. There are 5 important things to plan for before you consider making this important investment.  If your business is struggling with outdated or non-integrated systems, you may want to check out our previous article, “5 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Accounting Software.” 

5 Tips for Investing in Business Management Software

1. Don’t Waste Time

While cost is an important factor in your investment decision, time is the most important when it comes to affecting your growing business. You can't waste time getting your people up to speed on the new ways of working with the system. As such, identify the needs of each department and estimate the time commitment you'll need from everyone involved; by “involved,” we mean the employees who will be most affected by the new functionality as well as those who will help implement and test its usability.

2. Open Communication 

Small and mid-sized businesses communicate faster and better than larger competitors. Take advantage of your high-level ability to communicate with your teams and explain the importance of a business management software investment. People support major initiatives when they feel 'in the know' regarding what will happen, why, and how it will improve their individual job and the company.
To achieve maximum buy-in for the potential investment, provide a question-and-answer opportunity for employees. Not only will they appreciate the transparency, they may also bring to light new ideas and questions you should use in the product/vendor evaluation process.
3. Set Goals
The only way to know if an investment makes sense is by measuring its expected return. It's not enough to say that the system will make people faster and more efficient. Instead, establish operational and performance goals to measure speed and efficiency over time.

This may include goals such as:

• Reduce monthly stock-outs by 50% after one year
• Cut month-end financial close time from 3 days to 1 day by the third month of use
• Increase monthly revenue from cross-selling opportunities by 25% after six months

When you establish goals, you gain a better understanding of your investment drivers. Moreover, communicating the goals to employees demonstrates how the system directly benefits them, resulting in more support for the change when you make a final decision.

4. Account for Resources

Which of your company’s resources will be involved in bringing in a new system, implementing it, testing it, and ensuring usability/uptake? Underestimating the number of resources ─ and the time each must commit to the system ─ could hurt returns. Fortunately, if you've documented your goals and department-specific needs for the system, you should find it easy to identify the key people you need as resources and the effort required of them.

One additional tip: we've found that each department should have its own ‘go to’ person others can consult with usability questions. This dramatically increases system uptake and user satisfaction, so invest some time in having your vendor’s software experts or your own internal experts train your ‘go to’ people.

5. Consider the Costs

By now, you recognize that cost (in dollar terms) isn't the only driving force behind your investment decision. By understanding the goals you've set for the system and the resources necessary to achieve them, you gain insights regarding the cost you can justify to obtain the right system for your business.

Costs to consider may include:

• software purchase price
• licensing fees/monthly subscription fees (if it's an SaaS solution)
• maintenance fees
• consulting fees
• third-party vendor fees
• post-implementation support fees

You may find that a higher-priced system with broad integration capabilities costs less in the long run when you factor in each department’s core needs.

At Southeast Computer Solutions, we know that investing in business management software will be a game-changer for your business. If you're struggling with your investment decision, contact us today – we can help.

About Southeast Computer Solutions

Southeast Computer Solutions is based in Miami, Florida, and has additional operations in Mexico. For over 30 years, we have positively impacted the success of small and mid-sized businesses with effective business management implementations that improve our clients’ operations. We listen, we are accessible, and we care. Learn more by visiting our website or calling 305-556-4697.

Another version of this blog was previously published on Southeast Computer's blog5 Things to Consider before Investing in Business Management Software 

Photo courtesy of by "bluebay"

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