Buying software to run your construction or real estate business is one of the most important investments you’ll make. But for many, the process of finding and purchasing the best solution to fit your business can be tricky and intimidating. That’s why we’ve created this article that leverages our decades of experience in the construction software industry to help you identify the most important criteria to consider before signing on the dotted line.
5 Buying Criteria to Consider
Here are 5 important things to consider when evaluating the various construction software applications on the market.
Fit and Function
It’s a good idea to start by documenting your business needs and requirements which help identify critical features and functions the software will need to have.
Next, determine what’s holding your company back today. Where are the bottlenecks and breakdowns? Make sure to consider all angles—including process workflow, analytics, operations, mobility, accounting, procurement, client experience, etc. It’s also important to identify the financial impact that these shortcomings are having on your company – in short, what are these inefficiencies or lack of visibility costing your business?
Pay close attention to topics like usability, product scalability (to support more users, revenue, and business growth), and the software’s ability to sync or integrate with other technology products you’re using today or might use in the future.
Ease of Use and User Adoption
How easy or difficult the software is to use will have a direct impact on whether your workers adopt it or continuing ‘doing things the old way’ and working outside the new system. Employees—especially younger workers who’ve grown up with technology—are accustomed to simple and straight-forward software experiences across commonly-used applications like Facebook, Uber, and Spotify – and they bring similar expectations to the workplace. When scheduling demos with software vendors, make sure to involve people who will use the software daily (not just executives and IT folks) to attend meetings.
Price and Budget
Once you’ve established a list of the features that are most important to your business, it’s time to determine your budget. Keep in mind the problems that you’re facing with your current software and pencil out what those problems are costing you on a recurring basis. Be sure to consider costs beyond just the ‘sticker price’ of the software. Your budget should include the full range of potential project costs including implementation, support, maintenance, hosting, upgrade fees, training, and even customization of the software if needed.
Implementation and Training
Just like any construction project, your software implementation should follow a well-documented plan, complete with a schedule. As you evaluate software publishers, consider whether they have regional consultants available to guide your personnel through the sequence of events and training that need to occur for the new system to be implemented successfully. With the right guidance, the software implementation and training process does not have to be a major disruption to your business.
Strength and Reputation of the Publisher
When you buy construction software, it’s not just an investment in the product itself. Your purchase also connects you to the software publisher for years to come because it’s the publisher that provides updates, support, and ongoing development to ensure the software stays current as technology changes. In addition, a strong software package will typically have a large user base which often results in built-in functionality based on feedback provided by users over a long period of time.
How Do You Buy Construction Software?
Many software products – like Sage 100 Contractor and Sage 300 Construction & Real Estate – are sold exclusively through a network of value-added, locally-based, independent partners. In fact, that’s a big part of what we do here at Accordant Company – we’re a Sage Authorized partner and independent technology provider.
What advantages does a local reseller and support provider deliver to you?
- Extensive, real-world, and hands-on experience working directly with companies in the construction industry
- Fast, professional, local, and on-site service and support if the need arises
- Personal guidance and consulting to match your business with a solution that best addresses your specific issues
- On-going consultation and value-added services (implementation, customization, training, networking events, local user meetings, etc).
Sage Construction Software Selection Guide
Are you considering a purchase of Sage Construction Software?
If so, this guide is for you. This comprehensive report provides all the guidance you need to ask the right questions, match your business needs with the software functionality, and get pricing guidance for Sage Construction solutions.
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