How to Choose Good Management Software Part 2
How to Choose Good Management Software. Everyone or almost everyone will have happened at one time or another to come across a small or large renovation of a home, office, or store.
Those who have been through it know very well that at that time we were forced to make a lot of decisions: from the type of fixtures to the bathroom fixtures, from the color of the walls to the carpet that would look so good in that room. There are decisions that we can take more lightly (for example, the choice of a piece of furniture) and others, on the other hand, that need more thought because they could accompany us for a large part of our lives: just think about the choice of tiles, for example.
If we do not have to remodel our house but need to fix up our company a bit or create a new one (and we are not talking about walls) the example seen just now is not that far off. One of the choices that in our opinion is of paramount importance is that of the program that will have to manage all aspects of our business. In this article, we will try to give some advice on how to choose good management software.
Analyze the needs of your business
One of the most common mistakes made by those who are looking for management software is not to analyze their needs but to start in fifth gear by contacting all the software houses in the area, taking a good tour on Google, and maybe asking friends and relatives for advice.
I am not saying that this behavior is wrong a priori ; there are a variety of excellently made management programs with lots of features. The problem is another one: before we go looking for something, we must try to understand what we need to avoid throwing away time and money unnecessarily.
Over the years we have often come across very similar requests from each other: a company contacts us saying that they have purchased a program for the management of their business and are not satisfied because it is always missing some functionality, the program does not do what they would like, or (even worse) they admit that they have purchased on impulse driven by a catchy advertisement only to realize after a short time that they have in their hands a product that does not suit them.
So what does it mean to “analyze the needs of one’s business”? It simply means to put down on paper all the features that the new program should have by breaking it down by areas. For example, if we have a car dealership business we might need 3 macro functionalities linked together:
Car dealership management;
If we think that tomorrow our business might also include rental, we should have the ability to add a new branch without necessarily having to replace the management software. What if we also added insurance to propose to our potential customers? Same discussion. The ideal then is always to inquire about purchasing management software only after we have taken this step. This might be taken for granted, but in these years of business and numerous IT consultancies, we can safely say that this is not always the case.
When companies do not want to replace management software
Another scenario that often happens is the following: the company has been using a management program for several years and has realized that it is no longer in line with its needs. After making all the evaluations and coming to the conclusion that the current program is not scalable new software is proposed. When faced with the proposed replacement of the management program, discontent among the employees spreads. The reason here is almost always the same: change often frightens.
Having to learn a new program from scratch is one of the main reasons that hold a company back. It is certainly not a pleasant situation, but if the new program:
Was more efficient;
would provide for new features;
would save a great deal of time when fully operational;
it would interface with other systems in the company
Would it perhaps be worthwhile to carry out the migration? The answer is undoubtedly positive as long as you are supported by serious professionals during this delicate process.
Standard or customized management software?
Once you have identified everything that management software should do, you need to move on to the next step: should you buy a standard management software that already exists on the market or have a customized one made?
Several variables must be considered to answer this question:
the business scalability;
the budget available;
the type of business.
If I have a standard business, such as a small perfume store, and I am looking for a program to manage my sales and inventory, I will probably find several ready-made solutions on the market that might suit me. Whether I have to manage 50,100 or 1000 items would change little: my business is well defined, as are my needs.
In case, on the other hand, I had a startup and wanted to focus on providing innovative services to my clients, the situation would be reversed. I may need to have specific requirements that do not currently exist in the marketplace. In this case, the choice of having custom software made for me would certainly be the most suitable.
Then there is a third case scenario that we could call hybrid: I have an activity that involves the use of several very specific software programs that cannot communicate with each other. In this case a custom software interface could be created to put all these programs in communication, perhaps managing some functions from a single panel.
To choose a good management software, therefore, one should always first do an internal analysis to understand one’s needs and then consider whether to adopt a standard management software or to have a custom one made.
There is no one solution better than the other just as there is no perfect management software. Every business is different and may have unique specifications that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Relying on professionals in this case should never be seen as a cost but as an opportunity to save time and money in the future, improving one’s business processes and looking for a solution that is as scalable as possible to avoid having to start all over again tomorrow.