You’re looking for new software and the edict has come down from on high, “Thou shalt not purchase software that needs to be modified”. After reviewing a number of solutions, nothing meets all your requirements. What are you going to do?
First of all, that’s not bad advice. It’s actually quite sound. Modifications do make it more difficult and expensive to apply upgrades and patches. However, you have a business to run and you need some mods/customizations that will save you time and money weekly. How do you balance these oppositional needs?
You develop a requirements document, with or without the help of a consultant. Whenever possible, I do recommend getting a set of eyes (consultant) that is not part of your company culture. They will often see things you don’t and help you resolve some of your issues outside of software.
Don’t forget to include your regular day-to-day stuff that “all” software supports. Don’t assume that every software package works the same way.
Prioritize your requirements.
DO NOT SHOP FOR SOFTWARE BEFORE YOU KNOW YOUR REQUIREMENTS.
Share your requirements document with your potential vendors and don’t look at a demo until they know your needs. It’s wasting your time and theirs to sit down to a demo that may look great, but does not really match your business environment. However, software vendors should also be prepared to help you dream a little too. At Clients First we want to show you a solution that will meet your needs today and into the future.
Accept the fact that no one system is likely to meet all of your requirements. Therefore, you will need to determine how easy or difficult it is to make modifications or customizations to your selection. Microsoft Dynamics NAV for example, is extremely easy to modify and upgrade. There are also report writers, such as Jet Reports, that can help you extract data on the fly.
Work with your potential solution providers to understand the scope of your modification requirements and to help you determine the cost and if you should use ISV (Integrated 3rd Party Solutions that are certified by Microsoft) or have your solution provider modify your software.
Make your Solution Provider your Go-To business partner. Once you select a business partner such as Clients First Business Solutions, become aware of all the services they offer. Generally, we can offer a full range of business consulting services to help you be successful. We don’t just install and fix your software. We are business professionals and it’s often less expensive to employ a business consultant who already knows your company and your software.
Verify that your software and solution providers have a long term track record. There’s nothing worse than calling your support line and getting the message “This number is no longer in service”. With NAV and Clients First, you’ve got both bases covered.
So don’t be afraid to purchase easy to customize software such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP software.
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