It’s finally happened, you’ve been driven up the wall thanks to the utterly useless system that you are using at work.
Maybe it was because it took you 2 hours to complete a task that should take 5 minutes, the constant moaning from everyone, or just the fact that you have outgrown your current system and it doesn’t do what you need it to anymore. Whatever the reason, you need a new system.
Finding a new system is a daunting task, especially with the sheer number of businesses around providing similar solutions. How do you even go about comparing systems and picking one that works?
Before you go rushing off and selecting a new piece of software, we would always advise you that you take your time. You don’t want to find that 6 months down the line the new piece of software you picked, is worse than the previous one. This is not a quick task, and will probably take a couple of weeks, but it isn’t a complicated one either.
So how do you go about comparing and procuring a new system? Well, it is a very similar approach when you look to buy a car. When buying a car, you don’t just take it for a test drive straight away, do you?
Initially, you have a think about what you need the car to have, for it to have 5 seats, to be black, and the boot to be able to fit 5 lots of muddy football kit. Once you have nailed down what you need the car to have, you have a little think about the nice extras that you would like, maybe heated seats and reverse parking sensors. Once you have made this list you can narrow down your search and start looking at cars that tick all these boxes, checking out customer reviews and the price of each of them.
Once you have narrowed your selection down to just a few cars, then you can take it for a test drive.
This is the exact same approach you should take when comparing systems. First, think about what you want the system to do, with the features it must have and a few extras that you would like it to do but aren’t vital. Then you can look at how satisfied customers are with it and the cost. Finally, you can take it for a test spin.
By comparing the systems before you start contacting providers, you will not have wasted any extra time by demoing systems that are not fit for purpose.
To help you compare different systems we have created a free comparison guide that you can download below.
But before you jump ahead and start using our free software comparison guide, there are a few tasks you need to complete first.
Create a wish list
First, you need to make a list of everything you want the system to be able to do. And when we say everything, we mean EVERYTHING. Remember, you don’t want to pay for a system that later down the line doesn’t do something that you need it to do. Take your time and really think about everything you want it to do.
We suggest that you keep this list in plain English and try not to write things like, “Track sickness”. This is a very broad term and doesn’t drill down into exactly what you need. There are a lot of systems that can track sickness, but it may not be able to track sickness in the different ways you require. Try starting the sentence with; “I want” or “I would like” as these will help you determine the different areas.
I want to track sickness by employee
I want to track sickness by team
I would like to see the different types of sickness
Order and group list
Now it is time to put your list in order, from most important to least important. By doing this you can easily compare the different providers using our free software comparison guide. We would also suggest that you try to group similar topics as this again will make it easier to see the difference between various providers.
Before you can start comparing, you need something to compare against. Here is where you do your initial research and find 3-5 different providers that look like they will be able to help you. You should be able to get a good overview from the providers website.
Remember you don’t need to go into too much detail at this stage, just get an overview of each system and if you think it would work.
Completing our free software comparison guide
You have a list of everything you want the new system to do, these are in priority order, and you have found a handful of different systems to compare against. Now you can start pitting these systems against one another. Not quite in a fight to the death, but just a very simple ticking exercise.
Using our free guide, you can easily start comparing the providers to help you pick a couple of front runners which you can then have a demo from.
How to compare providers using our guide
1. Add providers: Using the 5 spaces along the top add the different providers you have chosen.
2. Add your list: Using the different sections down the left add your list of want you want from the system.
3. Check off your list: Call the businesses and simply asking them everything on your list, ticking off each one as you go along.
4. Get full cost: Whilst on the call, ask the provider about the cost per month/year and if there are any additional costs you need to pay.
5. Read reviews: Have a quick read of some reviews and put their average score in the corresponding boxes.
6. Demo system: Once you have narrowed down your selection, take a demo and make notes.
Demo the system
After completing our comparison guide you should now have a couple of front runners. You can now go back to these few providers and ask them for a demo.
Demos are a great way of seeing if the system works, during the demo you should look for these factors;
User-friendly: Does the system look like it will be easy to use or is it hard to follow and understand how it works.
Innovation: How often the system receives updates, is there a product roadmap that shows any future developments, or has it not been upgraded for a long time.
USPs: Ask the consultant for other features or functionality that sets them apart from the competitors.
Pick a winner and moving forward
All that is left is to pick a winner, which should be a doddle if you used our comparison guide. Simply see which system ticked the most boxes, who had the highest reviews score, and which provider gave the best price.
The next stage of this process is getting sign off for the new system, which can be a difficult task. But don’t worry, your helpful team here at e-days has this covered. If you are not the decision-maker and need to get sign off, check out our guide on how to build the perfect business case.
We hoped this guide had helped you pick a new system, and if one of those systems is a new absence management system please feel free to call us on 0333 300 3403 and ask as many questions as you like. Or if you would like to demo our system you can request a demo here.