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How to: Purchase Software

Departments - Case Study

Carolyn LaWell | April 19, 2012

A fast growing company, Noon Turf Care needed a software phone system to keep up with its expansion. After diligent searching, Matt Noon, president of the Massachusetts-based company, found a system that he says should take the company to the next level.

Now Noon Turf Care can track the number of phone calls made, how long representatives are on the phone, the actual phone conversations can be recorded and the capabilities continue. It’s important to find software that not only fits your needs but can grow with your company, Noon says.

“We really did our homework on this,” he says. “(Software) is probably one of the biggest investments, and I’m not even talking financial, but in terms of time and production, that you’ll make for your company. If you buy the wrong software, it can really set you back even years.”

Noon finds cookie cutter software easier to use and cheaper. Here are five of his other tips when it comes to choosing software.

– Carolyn LaWell


 

  1. Determine the company’s needs. What aspects of the company are you trying to streamline with software? Noon Turf Care added easy navigation to its list because of the potential number of new hires that would need to learn the system.
     
  2. Do your homework. “I like to find good companies that have been around for a while and investigate what they use,” Noon says. “It’s like anything else, whether it’s equipment or sales techniques, why reinvent the wheel.”
     
  3. Determine costs. How much money can you spend on software? When you’re talking to potential software companies, ask what the upfront costs are as well as costs per month, Noon says. Additionally, ask if the monthly fees change after a certain period of time.
     
  4. Ask for a demo. Many software companies will provide a demo or even dial into your computer to show how the software works, Noon says. It’s important to test the application to make sure it’s user friendly.
     
  5. Understand the software supplier’s service capabilities. Noon says to ask, “How is your service? Are your service technicians available live (to talk)? Do they call you back? How long does it take to call you back?” Also ask about service fees. Noon says he prefers to pay a monthly service fee rather than be billed each time they call with a tech question.

 

Illustration by Ron Wilson

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