5 Questions to Ask When Purchasing Business Software
Tags: ERP   CRM  
14/09/2011 6:31 PM

In the modern business environment, electronic data storage is becoming increasingly essential. However, taking advantage of Business Software – in particular, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software – requires knowledge about what your business is looking to achieve, and what advantages you can gain. In this article we'll look at five questions to ask when looking to purchase ERP software.

Was the software Australian made?
This is about more than simply showing pride in your nation by 'buying Australian'. When it comes to your business, you'll put yourself at an advantage by purchasing software that was designed with the Australian business environment in mind.

Additionally, when something relating to your software requires clarification, you'll want software developers that are instantly contactable. The help file can only go so far, and even if your overseas business software does have a support line, the chances are your problem will occur outside of their business hours – and that's not even considering the exorbitant costs of calling overseas.

How does the installation process play out?
The biggest cost you'll face is the initial capital outlay and setup of your business software. Eventually, ERP software will pay for itself as your business efficiencies increase through integrated solutions. It makes sense, then, to see that the initial installation goes as smoothly as possible as well. Ask your software provider how the business software will be installed, whether or not you'll be able to begin taking advantage of your new system from day one, and whether the installation process has been properly planned. You don't want to get trapped into paying for unforeseen services because of poor planning.

Is the software scalable?
When you purchase business software you need to think about the future. What are your plans? Is the business going to grow? The business software that's suitable for your purposes today may not be suitable five years in the future. ERP software should grow with your business – as you add more staff and resources, the ERP Software should be able to accommodate these demands.

Does the software cover everything?
Business software should be about more than just keeping track of accounts. However, many small businesses don't realise this and take the inefficient route of 'keeping books' in non-electronic format. Or perhaps they take the path of installing separate software for resource planning, customer relationship management, accounting, job tracking and other areas of their business. Much of the time, these separate software packages do not integrate well. It makes sense then, to utilise a software package that combines all the aspects of your business into one – something which quality ERP software can achieve.

How often will the software be updated?
In the world of technology things move fast. Very fast. Even the most cutting-edge ERP software will need regular updates in order to ensure it keeps up with the fast-paced modern online business environment. Additionally, your software developer should be taking its customers' feedback – including your own – on board to help improve the software over time. If your business software provider doesn't offer regular software updates, you should be cautious about taking on their system.

Leave a Comment:
Name (required)
Your URL (optional)
Comments (required)
Add Comment