Whether you’re looking at order to cash or procure to pay for a Finance system or candidate to employee or performance and compensation in an HR system, the best way to pick the right system is to define what is most important to you and your organization.
The decision on your next system is a crucial one; just ask anyone who has implemented a new Finance or HR system!
You may have what you believe to be a unique invoicing process across countries with currency and pricing elements or you may have a multi-level requisition approval and an employee engagement and hands-on on boarding process for candidates and new hires. Discovering what is most important to you gives you a foundation with which to validate and ‘knock out’ vendor systems.
With hundreds of systems out there you need a way to cut through the jungle of what is available. There are web sites that promise to compare software for you for free. These web sites only allow you to use generic options like company size or a list of the functions to be included like Payroll or Recruiting, etc. These sites will give you a large list – influenced by who pays the software comparison site for their referrals – but it will not help you determine what is the right system for your organization.
The points of comparison that really matter are those pieces of your processes that you discover when you drill into how things work, or don’t work, at your company. These discovery items will be:
- a true measure of the differences between systems,
- functionality that exists in every/most systems,
- processes that will need to be changed at your company to use most, if not, any vendor system.
In a recent selection project for a client Finance system, the discovery of real world requirements of currency, revenue recognition and invoicing proved to be a qualifier that not all systems could meet. These requirements made it easy to pare down the list from 10 contenders to 3-4 real options.
When you get to 2-3 real options, then the detailed selection process, including these items, begins:
- in depth demos using a client-based agenda and evaluation form for each company participant to complete
- interviews with the Implementation and Support teams at each vendor based on a predefined script
- reference calls with existing accounts similar in industry, size, and complexity to your own company
- decision matrix creation, completion, and discussion to summarize the pros and cons of each vendor
- price discussions and negotiations
- contract legal review and negotiation.
The amount of time, money, and resources that a new system implementation will require means that picking the right, next vendor and system needs to be done in a systematic and organized way that can be justified and audited.
This is not selecting an App to put on your phone; this is rebuilding the foundation of how your company does business.
Doing the preparation to define what is most important, at a detail level, to the organization, and following through with a structured selection methodology, will help ensure that you end up with a system for the present and future that supports the company’s path to productivity and success.
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