As Canadian businesses are gearing up for a new year, they’re thinking about where they’ll make investments, and where new ways of doing business will be introduced. One area of focus is often on the implementation of new software that will streamline how businesses operate and make them more efficient.
That begs the question of how to choose the right software vendor the first time. If you choose the wrong vendor, you’re left with an unproductive relationship, and you’re likely to end up not even maximizing the use of the platform you’ve selected.
This is why it’s just as important to consider the vendor as the software itself. For example, if you’re evaluating critical features for expense management, you also want to make sure the vendors you’re considering will work with you to create a partnership.
The following are some tips to make the right decision with your next vendor.
Resist the Shiny Object
When it comes to software, there’s rarely a problem with a lack of options. Instead, the biggest problem often comes in the form of too many choices, and it can be tempting to be lured in by the “shiny objects” or basically all the new bells and whistles a vendor is offering.
You may see features that you didn’t even know you needed being promised to you when vendors are courting your business, but guess what? You probably still don’t need those features.
It’s important to drill down to the essentials and make sure those are there when you’re choosing a vendor you’re going to work with, rather than focusing on the allure of the newest, the latest and the greatest. Sometimes those things don’t always mean the best.
Create a Sheet of Your Requirements
Before you start talking to vendors, draw up a detailed sheet of what you need and what your technical requirements are. This is going to make it easier once you do start looking at specific vendors because they will be able to give you a price and make sure they can offer what you need.
The more specific you can get, the better.
Yes, you need a list of your requirements, but choosing a vendor is about forming a beneficial relationship as well. Sometimes a software platform may offer everything you need, and it may check all the boxes, but there’s something missing with the company.
For example, maybe they’re hard to get in touch with and lacking in communication.
Conversations are an essential part of the vendor selection process because if you don’t feel like a vendor is making your business a priority, what are you going to do when you run into issues or need help in the future?
Always approach the selection process as a partnership being formed, because that’s what it is. If you’re considering a vendor and they don’t make you feel like a partner, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.
Finally, avoid the overly salesy red flag. A vendor who wants a partnership with customers will want to make sure they’re the right fit. They won’t be focusing only on acting as salespeople, but they’ll be asking the right questions to ensure their product is even what you’re looking for and what’s going to meet the needs of your company.