When buying field management software, every detail matters. You want to be sure the new software performs the tasks you expect it to. To avoid purchasing field management software that does not meet your organization’s needs, below are 12 questions you should ask.
1. Is It Appropriate for My Industry?
Some software only works in specific industries. Get as much information from specialists in your industry to find out if the field management software you’re looking at is ideal for your industry. Make sure it works in your industry before you buy it.
2. What Does the Price Cover?
The software-pricing model varies from vendor to vendor. It also depends on the number of technicians using it. Getting a clear and honest quote will save you the headache of purchasing software that will later require expensive upgrade options to meet your needs.
3. Will the License Renew Every Year?
Some field management software requires a yearly renewal. Before purchasing software, makes sure you understand whether it’s a one-off purchase or if it will need to be renewed every year.
4. Will the Price Change?
If you are buying a SaaS (software as a service), you need a written guarantee that the price will not change within a certain duration. You don’t want to purchase a SaaS software only for the cost to go up after you have just spent resources to train your staff on how to use it.
5. How Much Does After-Sales Support Cost?
You need to establish how the vendor charges for support. Find out if you will be required to purchase a support package and the cost per hour. Knowing how much a service contract costs helps you prepare for future software-related services and support.
6. What Is the Ratio of Customers Who Renew Their Support Contracts versus Those Who Don’t?
If more people are renewing the service contract, this is an indication the support is good, affordable or both. However, if only a handful are renewing, the support may not be worth your money.
7. Are There Coding and Implementation Problems?
You need to establish if there are bugs and other glitches that could potentially slow down your field software implementation. If a vendor insists the software has no glitches or any problem at all, persist until they tell you the truth.
8. Is the Software Scalable?
This is another key question for which you must get an honest answer. The field management software should provide upgrade options to accommodate progressive growth. It should grow with your business and allow for upgrades as your demands expand.
9. What Is the Frequency of Upgrades?
Find out how often the vendor upgrades the software. Also, establish when the last update was released. When is the next one due? You also need to establish if the upgrades are free or whether you will be required to pay a fee. Upgrades are crucial when fixing software bugs and adding new features. You need to be sure the vendor updates the software frequently to address minor glitches.
10. What New Features or Fixes Are in the Pipeline?
If there are too many fixes in the pipeline, the software is buggy. This is an indication that the software has too many glitches and therefore a risky purchase. Minor fixes, however, aim at polishing the software and making it better. New features demonstrate the vendor’s commitment to improving the software for better value.
11. Does the Vendor Have a Refund Policy?
You need to know you can get your money back should you not like the software.
12. What Is the Implementation Curve?
Implementation can take quite some time, anywhere from days to months. An indication from the vendor how long it will take to implement the software may not be definitive, but it will at least give you an idea of the kind of learning curve you are looking at.