One of the hardest parts of a construction management software selection project for a sizeable construction company is that of picking the right Construction Management Software vendor. Obviously, there are a number of suppliers of Construction Management Software who would like us to believe their product is the best there is. They go to great lengths to market the strengths of their products, and do their best to turn us away from competitor’s products. Such is the game of the free enterprise business system.
There are several things you can do, however, to help separate the players from the pretenders. Obviously, it is well worth it to do some research up front before you actually solicit demonstrations from vendors. There will be regrets if you fail to do thorough research up front and end up buying inadequate software from a vendor who happened to have a good salesman but has a product that doesn’t perform. Likewise, a little bit of research in the beginning will save you time in the end as you’ll be able to identify vendors that are not satisfactory before you spend time listening to their pitch. Some suggested ways to minimize the risk of getting a bad vendor are follow.
First, as has already been stated, do some research. Browse the Internet for reviews or customer experiences with certain vendors. Contact friends in the construction industry for recommendations. Check with the Better Business Bureau for records of complaints. Finally, look in financial newspapers, trade publications, and even online communities for news or construction software guides that will help in your selection of a vendor.
When doing your research, you’ll want to look for “red flags” that should immediately turn you away from a specific product. Check to see if they’ve been sued in the past for failing to perform up to par or being deceptive. Make sure the software package that the vendor is offering has been consistently updated to be on top of current technology and practices that your company uses or plans to use. Also, it’s important to check the company’s history for previos takeovers or buyouts. While these can be beneficial things, you’ll want to look in to what changes were made after the takeover to verify that they were changes that solved previous problems – and make sure you can verify these problems have been solved through reviews and other sources.
Also, don’t forget to look for green flags! If the software or the vendor have received awards or have been cited for community or public involvement, these are usually good signs. Or perhaps a trusted resource has pointed you in the direction of a specific software package or vendor.
Also, look at the history of the product. How often are new versions and updates made available? Where do you fit in when an update is available? Does the company have a history of making consistent improvements to their software? If not, you may find yourself hung out to dry by the vendor at some point down the road, and may want to look elsewhere.
When you finally makea decision, remember that it is important that you do not compromise with yourself. Remember that you will be the one that has to live with the final decision and that it will be costly to change your mind and start over. You are paying vendors for their service and you should insist on nothing less than the best. Check construction accounting software reviews for reviews of vendors that have performed well in the past. If you feel like you’re being taken for a fool, don’t be afraid to let the vendor know what your concerns are and walk away if you have to. The alternative, getting a poor product with poor service will be a problem that you suffer the consequences of for years to come.
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