Guide to Selecting New Software

The challenge:

Selecting the right software for your company can be a challenge: it starts with a demo that looks good on the surface. The truth is that all demos look good the same way all cars look beautiful in the dealer showroom.

The people who give the demo are professionally trained to present the software in its best light to impress users viewing it. This often results in a company choosing the wrong software.

When the wrong software is chosen:

Case Study: What happens when the wrong software is chosen?

One of our former clients hired a new president to run the company. The president came from a larger company that used very sophisticated software. Shortly after assuming his new position, the president decided to purchase the software he used at his previous job. The department heads who viewed the software at the demo didn't feel it was the right choice for their company, fearing the end-users who had worked on a home-grown system for 15 years might have difficulty learning it.

Despite their advice, the president decided to purchase the software. The consulting firm that sold the software guaranteed the cost would not exceed $750,000. Two years and $2.5 million later, the software was finally implemented and the company went "live." The main reason for the cost overrun was because the software had to be modified to meet the company's business needs, together with the very long learning curve users encountered when trying to master the system.

This resulted in the president being fired, the company having very sophisticated software with most of its functions going unused, and needed a large computer department to support the software operation.

The right way to select software:

Qualify the software vendor prior to making the final decision:

Going “live” with the new system:

After the decision is made to buy the new software, ranking priorities for the modifications need to be made.


Besides being a major investment, purchasing a new software system can create longer working hours for company personnel and should be planned carefully. User training is the most important piece of the puzzle. If your users are not fully trained when it’s time to go live, postpone the going live date and set a new one with which everyone is comfortable.  This will result in less frustration and fewer business disruptions.        

About SMC & Dani Kaplan:

Since 1980, Dani Kaplan has worked with manufacturers, distributors and food distributors and processors as the trusted advisor helping them lower their operating costs, streamline the operation and control the inventory.

Dani can be reached contact SMC