Selecting a Job Management System
Selecting the right system for the company appears to be a daunting task. On the surface, when you first start to look there appears to be so many options. But in fact there are very few that are relevant. The key is to use a senior operations person to manage this process. Not an accountant or IT person as there is unlikely to be a happy ending if you do that. To whittle the options down actually isn’t that difficult if you break the process down to a few logical stages such as:
Preparation – The Initial List
- Make a list of the functionality you think you require, dont be too rigid as often you dont know what boxes are available to tick and different might be good.
- Identify 5-10 companies that are similar to yours that you consider successful or efficient and give them a call, find out what they are using and get feedback.
- Google ‘Construction Management Software’ then create a list of anything that catches your eye, dont spend more that 2 minutes or so on each at this stage.
- Cross reference your Google search with recommendations from similar companies plus add anything from your search you really like the look of.
Stage 1 – The First Short List (you should be able to get these answers from recommendations and/or websites and LiveChat)
- Does the software appear to be the right type of software without detail (a surface look)?
- Is the software cloud (written for a web browser)? as server based software is likely to have a short life span
- Is the software compliant with local legislation including retentions?
- Is the software locally supported?
- What is the turnaround time on support, is it less than an hour?
- Is Training available locally if requested?
Stage 2 – The Second Short List (you should be able to get these answers from LiveChat)
For software to reach stage two you need to have “Yes” as an answer to all questions in stage one above. So now it is time to look a little deeper to establish if the content and functionality appears suitable and that the software is affordable. At this stage you will probably need to approach the vendor unless this information is on their web page which is unlikely though live chat will often provide the answers you seek. Find out the following:
- Does the modules and functionality listed for the software meet your outline requirements?
- Is the pricing module SaaS? Rather than Purchase which needs major investment
- Get ballpark pricing for SaaS and Purchase, in both cases the software vendor will need to know user numbers preferably with roles. Is it affordable?
- What is the price for support and upgrades? Is it affordable?
Stage 3 – The Final Short List
To reach stage 3 you need to have “Yes” as an answer to all questions in stage two above. Now it is time to actually look at the software. We suggest you request an overview demo for yourself initially to establish if this is a path you want to pursue before you involve the wider team. After the overview demo and general chat the software vendor should be able to give you a formal proposal for you to consider.
Typically this overview demo will occur interactively on line. Beware if it is on premise as invariably this will reflect in the price of the software and ongoing costs. Once you have been through an overview demo your shortlist will likely be only 1-2 software systems so now you are in a position to present to the wider team with a full demonstration.
Stage 4 – Making a Decision
After the full demonstration there are likely to be a few questions. These should be gathered and put back in writing after the demo. This will be a mix of functionality questions that were unanswered during the demo. Plus questions on a couple of technical things such as:
- Where is the data stored?
- What is the situation with backups, when, where and can we access backups?
- Security statement and what style of security is in use?
- What is the turn-around time from confirmation to Go Live
- What is the expected / historical implementation period?
After you have gone through the above process the selection will be straight forward.
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