[Infographic] Your Roadmap to Choosing Asset Management Software
Buying software can be complex, especially when you’re buying for an entire organization.
You need to balance the needs of all stakeholders. End users should feel comfortable entering asset data in the system. You also want the software to work well with Accounting’s software and business processes. Additionally, Upper Management likely wants evidence that the asset management software is a good investment.
With all this on your mind, it’s hard to even think about talking to a software vendor!
However, there is a basic roadmap you can follow to help you on your journey. In this blog post, we’ll explain how to succeed at each step of the asset management software buying process.
1) Determine your needs
Talk with all stakeholders to determine your requirements, as well as software features you would like to have.
It may help to prioritize features. For example, if you are a government contractor who needs to manage government property, a FAR-compliant framework is likely a higher priority than depreciation tracking.
Priorities vary greatly from organization to organization. That’s why involving all stakeholders in this process is vital. Their input will provide a clear path forward.
2) Research solutions
Now is the time to put your needs list to use!
In this step, you will research solutions that may fit your requirements. You can start by searching online with general terms, such as “asset management software,” as well as specific terms based on your needs or industry, such as “asset lifecycle management,” or “government property management software.” Searching like this casts a wide net to find the most relevant software options.
You may want to ask others in your industry about solutions that could work for you. For example, if you’re a member of an organization like the National Property Management Association (or NPMA), asking other members about what options are out there is a great way to start searching.
As you continue researching, you can look at vendor websites, user reviews, top solution lists to create a shortlist of solutions to investigate further.
3) Talk to vendors
In this step, you will contact all software vendors on your shortlist to discuss the software capabilities and schedule live demonstrations.
Before or during your call, you should share your requirements with the vendor. This will help them evaluate whether their software is a good fit for you. If you schedule a demo, these questions can also help them tailor the demo to the features most important to you.
It’s best if the vendor provides a live demo, so you can see exactly how the software works. Try to schedule demos when multiple stakeholders can join, so everyone has a first-hand impression of the software.
4) Watch demos
Gather your stakeholders for each software demo. Feel free to ask questions and get involved. This is an investment for your organization!
It’s also a good idea to take notes during the demo. This will help you remember the important points of each demo easily and be able to discuss the software with stakeholders after the demo.
If your organization has complex requirements, you may need multiple demos to thoroughly vet whether the solution can support your requirements. You should feel comfortable requesting more demos if you think something wasn’t covered, or if certain capabilities need to be revisited.
5) Call references
If you think it would be helpful to gather additional perspectives, ask the vendor for references of existing users. They can give you a first-hand account of what it’s like to work with that software.
Ideally, you’ll talk with references who are currently using the software you’re evaluating. They can tell you first-hand what it’s like to use the software.
And once again, feel free to ask questions!
6) Gather quotes
After watching demos, weighing the input of stakeholders and colleagues, and maybe throwing together some pro/con charts, it’s time to gather quotes from your top choices.
Now that you have compared your requirements with the market, and identified one or more suitable solutions, it’s time to organize the information into a cogent business case.
In your business case, make it clear how the requirements were compiled and why they are important. Identify the risk of continuing business as usual. Succinctly lay out your software market findings so leadership understands that you have completed thorough evaluations and arrived at a well-informed decision.
Prepare the business case presentation meeting by anticipating leadership’s questions and having answers ready. Feel free to tap into your vendor of choice during this process. They have a lot of experience with this!
If management agrees with the need and the systems capabilities but pushes back on the price, make sure to get their preferred budget. The vendor may be willing to negotiate on price. Knowing what price management can tolerate will get your team to terms quicker.
After agreeing to a final quote, you’ve purchased your ideal asset management software. Congratulations! You’ll be on your way to implementing and using your new solution in no time.