How Much Do You Know About Selecting Construction Software?

Think you know all there is to know about selecting new construction software? Before beginning, take the following quiz to see if you really know as much as you think you do.1) Which kind of references are more valid – those from companies that have been using the software you’re considering for multiple years or those from companies that have installed the software in question within the last 12 months?Answer: Companies that have recently installed and begun use of the software you are considering are the best ones to talk with. The reason is that any company that has been using certain software for multiple years will have likely already worked out all of the problems with the system. As such, they will obviously recommend that software to you and likely have forgotten about any headaches that the software caused in the beginning. On the other hand, companies that just installed the software will be well aware of the problems involved with installing it.2) Which one factor is the best predictor of success selecting the right software?* Price
* The database the software uses
* Number of times the software has been installed with other companies
* Past experience with the system
* References from trusted sources
* None of the aboveAnswer: None of the above. While all should be considered, no single factor can predict whether or not the software will be right for your company. Unfortunately, most people think things are that easy.3) True or false: Buying a recognized brand name software with thousands of installations is a sure way to be successful?Answer: False. Recognized brands are not necessarily the best fit for every company, and plenty of unhappy business owners around the world can attest to this.4) As long as the software does what you need it to, the database that the software uses is not that important – True or False?Answer: False. Advances in technology and operating systems will eventually make some databases incompatible and therefore useless if your company wants to stay ahead of the game and adopt best practices by using the best technology available.5) Who is the best person to lead the project team responsible for selecting new construction management software for your company?* The CEO
* The CFO or construction manager
* The IT manager
* An outside consultant
* Whoever in your company has the most time to dedicate to the project
* It depends/None of the aboveAnswer: It will always depend on the particular situation that your company is in, your needs, and your staff. The best person for the task will be somebody that understands exactly what your company needs from new software and has experience evaluating and implementing new software in the past.6) What is the biggest contributing factor to a failed software upgrade initiative?* Employees who are resistant to the change and attempt to “sabotage” the project
* The software is a bad fit for the business
* It turns out the vendor lied about the software’s capabilities/functionality
* Staff turnover
* Adequate time is not given for training and installation
* An overall lack of commitment and due diligence on the part of the company and the software selection teamAnswer: Most failed software initiatives are a result of a combination of all of the above. However, the one that contributes the most and is generally the most important area that is overlooked is commitment and proper research on the part of the buyer.7) The best way to begin evaluating a software package is to view a web demo of the system – True or false?Answer: False. Many companies start off on the wrong foot by viewing product demos. Often, they fall in love with a software package that looks good or that has a salesman that is very good at his/her job. When this happens, they fail to consider how well the software will actually meet their needs and usually end up with the wrong system. Demos are best done towards the end of the software selection process, after multiple vendors have been screened out and a strict set of requirements have been identified.8) Which of the following should be considered the most when selecting your vendor?* Level of available local support
* Recommendations
* A large number of installations
* How big the vendor company is
* Overall impressiveness of the demo that answers all your questions
* None of the aboveAnswer: None of the above. Consider all of the aforementioned factors when evaluating vendors. Remember that you will be entering a long-term relationship with them, so make sure you are confident in your decision9) If a product comes with a 30 or 60 day guarantee, you should see this as adequate protection for your investment – True or false?Answer: False. Hardly any buyers will be able to learn enough about their construction software in 30 or 60 days to know if it is truly the right long-term solution. In fact, even a one-year guarantee may not be enough. Instead of relying on guarantees to save you from making a poor choice, do the right amount of research up front to ensure that you’ll never need a guarantee.