Evaluations to Make Before Switching Solutions

Eric Madura, Ytel |  

Evaluating new business solutions is an essential part of efficient workflow application. There is so much to consider; cost, efficiency, productivity, transitioning, the downtime, dealing with a new product, the learning curve for your entire time, etc. This post breaks down the evaluations necessary to make before switching business solutions, and how to be best prepared in doing so. 

Evaluating new business solutions is an essential part of efficient workflow application. This post breaks down the evaluations necessary to make before switching business solutions, and how to be best prepared when doing so.

The Evaluation Team

Set forth a road map through a project advisory team. Sponsor a team with one of your key executives to ensure that solutions the team finds are easily implemented. You may also want to include an outside consultant with an expertise in the systems you are testing and the workflow you are improving. You should not need to move your staff away from their core tasks in order to test your solutions.

Mapping Information Sources

The content that you are looking to manage should be identified by its physical dimensions, samples and sources. Make sure that you include the end users in the process of evaluation. In the modern business landscape, the end user expects to be a part of the evaluation process, and they may reject your new solutions if they are not consulted.

Reviewing Your Current Processes

All of the processes that your business is currently using should be documented with an eye to a philosophy of continuous improvement. First, does the process provide maximum benefit for the company; second, can the process be improved in real time based upon feedback? You will likely have to alter your processes based on this feedback. Your users will also need to be trained if you are considering processes with different workflows. End users will also want to know how the new system you are implementing will work for them, and you will need a standard for comparison.

Prioritizing the Needs of Your Business

Prioritize the features that are mission critical, desirable and nice to have. At first, ignore any constraints of manpower and finances. This will reveal more potential features. List the pros and cons of the inclusion of each feature, and rank them in order of importance. It's important to know your company's KPIs (key performance indicators) to analyze each feature list. Once you have prioritized these new feature sets, introduce your constraints back into the equation. This criteria will help you focus on the features that are truly important to the company.

Your Solutions Shortlist

Have your team reduce your solutions to a maximum of four potentials. Dig deeper into the values and features of each solution. Do not be afraid to request additional information firsthand from the company and have a call or two with a representative to test customer service.

Make sure that each solutions provider has fully reviewed your company requirements, especially your mission critical processes. Each solution that you are considering should be able to demonstrate solutions to those requirements. However, be wary of canned presentations that have been scripted to sell you without actually giving you what you need.

Get References

The secret to a great reference is to ask that reference to refer you to others. No company is going to send you to an unsatisfied customer when you ask it for a reference. You need the word of other users.

Implementation

Work out the level of service, price and support plan with your new provider. Make sure that you choose a business solution with the ability to shore up the holes in your in house staff. You may be on a budget, but do not prioritize price over service level.

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About The Author

Eric Madura, Ytel

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Eric is the Ytel Customer Support Manager and believes in a “Customer First” approach to servicing clients. He has spent his entire professional career in customer service, including managing a variety of call centers over the past 16+ years.


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