Posted on 12th August 2014 by Valorie Reavis
You have a smartphone (maybe two), a tablet and a laptop. On each of those wonderful new lifelines you have hundreds of systems running that help you stay plugged into the world. That’s right… hundreds.
Now let’s talk about your business systems. You have CRM, accounting and financials, a warehousing system, merchant services, payroll, human resources planning, file sharing programs, website content systems, email marketing programs, an app, a blog, a review management tool, a Facebook, a Tweeter, wait no, Twitter (what is that again?)… The list goes on and on. And at the end of that list, you still feel like you’re not sure you need most of it.
A recent study about the Microsoft Office programs, a core system used by the majority of the business world, stated that the average user only takes advantage of about 10% of the features in these products. That really makes you feel a bit sick when you consider how much we spend on technology.
So, when it comes to choosing software for your business, how do you make sure that you get the biggest bang for your buck? Partner with the right provider. One that knows the stresses and nuances of a growing multi-site operation. They will help you streamline, organize and prioritize a roll-out program that will ensure that you get more than 10% usage out of your system.
First, they’ll help you identify what you need by building a list of requirements. You may know it in your head, you may have a group of franchisees shouting for certain features, but putting it all in one document that also translates to how your technology should function will help save you time and money in the long run.
Second, a seasoned software company will help you identify potential gaps in your current technology and help build a plan on getting to where you want to be. Integrations are often necessary depending on your unique business requirements and bringing those to the table early can help to identify the full scope of getting a fully functioning technology system.
Third, your software partner will help you understand what you don’t need. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the different types of systems out there and all of their great new features, but chances are that those new features will end up in the 90% bucket of features that you don’t use. Prioritizing the features that will give you maximum return on your investment will help you focus on the prize.
Finally, they understand how to implement software from the top down. A project manager will help you to manage stakeholders internally and keep you tracking towards key milestones, keeping your project on track and meeting the expectations of the boss as well as your teams on the ground.