Every business, even construction, is always evolving. New techniques come into play, new equipment is unveiled, or the market changes, and there’s an emphasis on a new trend in projects. Sometimes these changes, like price fluctuations due to trade wars, are things you have to adapt to and live with to survive.
Other times, however, the changes can make a big difference to the way you work, and even improve your business, but only if done right. Bringing new software into your company, like making the switch from paper time sheets to an employee time clock app, for example, can bring big benefits. But how do you make sure that you’re picking the right software that will make a positive difference? There are four questions you should be asking that can help you make this decision.
1. What Are Customers Saying?
This is always an important part of your preliminary research. Before committing to anything, you should always try to find what existing clients or customers are saying about a company, its product, or its services. This should be no surprise to you, since, if you run a quality business, you’ll have your own set of proud testimonies from satisfied customers that you use as proof of the quality of your work.
If you have that for yourself, you should demand no less from a company that’s got software that will impact your performance, hopefully for the better. If you have friends or industry peers, you trust who have already tried the software, seek out their opinion.
2. Is The Software Mobile Compatible?
This can be a very important question for a construction company, especially if you’ve got projects that take place in multiple locations, possibly some in remote areas. You or your HR staff may do the majority of the admin work on a laptop or desktop computer, and that’s fine. However, if you’re thinking of implementing a time clock app, for example, you’ll need something that your workers in the field can use, even if they’re nowhere near a desk or laptop computer.
A mobile-friendly piece of software can also be useful for you when you’re on the go, as well as help to prevent things like “punch clock fraud,” which, unfortunately, can be an issue.
3. How Will This Fit In Your Work Process?
You have an established workflow. So while some things about will change—hopefully for the better—with new software, some of it will remain the same. You have to make sure that the software you’re considering will actually be incorporated into your workflow easily.
You don’t want to just hop onboard some financial management software, for example, only to find out that it doesn’t handle the kind of financials you have in mind. Make sure that you know what you’d like to improve, and find the software that can do this for you.
4. How Long Is The Onboarding Process?
“Onboarding” is a nickname for the time it takes for a company to get “onboard” with how to use new software properly, and start benefiting from it, as opposed to experiencing downtime of some sort because of installation, training, distribution or implementation among employees, and other factors. When you ask a question about onboarding time, what you’re really asking is, “How long will it take before this software starts helping me the way it’s supposed to, instead of getting in the way?”
The question of onboarding has a few different factors before it can be answered. Depending on how big the software implementation is going to be, you may have the company come down with staff to help with installation, training. Smaller software, with free trials, on the other hand, may expect you to use that trial period to train yourself.