If you have been relying on the same base technology for a number of years now, or if your establishment has grown rapidly in a short space of time, the chances are good that you will have outgrown your current software solution. If you are thinking it may be time for something new and more advanced, here are the signs to watch out for. If any of them apply to your business, it is definitely time to start seeking out a better fit.
Your operations are slow
Has it become evident that your company’s operations have become slower and more labored? Does it take longer than usual for a project to be completed? Perhaps your employees just aren’t being as productive as they once were? Or maybe your business has grown so much that your operations simply aren’t optimized anymore, and you are unable to operate at the capacity that you need to in order to keep your clients satisfied? Any changes in productivity and output are a sure-fire sign that it is time to update your software.
There are ‘gaps’ in functionality
Have you come to realize that your current software solution just isn’t capable of covering your company and its offering from start to finish? Perhaps you have added new service or product offerings in recent times, or you are operating on a larger scale and need to be paying greater attention to detail? Either way, you will need to ensure that your selected software solution is capable of filling all of these gaps, otherwise human error and inconsistency could result in sub-par product and service delivery in the long run.
Integration with other systems is impossible
You are likely to invest in new tools and systems as your company develops. Your software should be able to integrate with these new tools and systems seamlessly as you introduce them. If this is not possible, your company simply isn’t going to run as well as it should. Ideally, all of your company software and systems should integrate effortlessly so that it can all operate as one unit for maximum productivity and peace of mind.
Its reporting feature is lacking
A larger, more successful business will require more intensive reporting than the average, smaller business in the USA. As such, many basic or beginner software solutions will come equipped with limited reporting functionality. This feature is likely to be the first one to jump to your attention as your business slowly starts to outgrow the software and is a good sign that it is time to start researching alternatives.
How to find a new software solution
Ultimately, the first course of action needs to be gathering all of the stakeholders and employees within your business for an open discussion. This discussion should revolve around identifying gaps and various ‘weak points’ in your business. In other words, you will need to establish the areas that require attention, as well as the areas in which your software is failing or simply not even addressing. From there, you will need to enquire what aspects of the software are posing the biggest challenge to your employees and their processes, and how they see this improving with the right replacement software solution. Finally, you should also strive to highlight which aspects of your current software is working and which of its specs and functionalities the new software should emulate.
This discussion should give you a good idea of what you are looking for in terms of new software technology. The next step is to do your research into the numerous options out there, trying your best to source software solutions that have been specifically created for your industry. For instance, if you run a home inspection company, you should only look for home inspection software, steering clear of any solution that is ‘generalized’ or aimed specifically at smaller businesses. A leading resource for comparing different software options is that of AlternativeTo.net.
Finally, when you find a software offering that fits in with all of your criteria, be sure to trial it before investing. Most software developers will offer you a minimum free trial period of 30 days, which will aid you in establishing whether the software is a good enough fit for your business.
It is important to keep an eye out for the aforementioned signs. The earlier that you notice that a software switch-up is imminent, the faster you can commence the research process and the more time you will have to find the perfect ‘fit’.