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Choosing the Right System For You

Monday, 20 November 2006
By Print21

So it’s decision time, you realize you need a computerized system to control your business operations, but the perennial question begs to be answered: which system is going to be best for us?

(Pictured right: Davin Hamnett from Printec Solutions, distributor of Quote & Print software in Victoria and Tasmania)

As with many things in life, there are lots of choices for your consideration that can make the process easier, but this usually makes it harder to decide. Here are a couple of questions that you do well to ask yourself, and potential suppliers when investigating a MIS.

Is it going to fit my business plan now, as well as in 5 years.

In our experience, it is amazing how many businesses buy a system on price only, failing to consider whether it will fit their business plan in 5 years time. Buying a cheap product now may suit your cash flow, however what happens in a few years time when the system is no longer suitable? Yes, you have to buy a new system again. Financially this might not be too much of a problem, however don’t forget that you will have to start again with all your historical data, you’ll have to retrain all your staff again, and go through the disruption to your business.

It always puzzling to see a company forced to run up to half a dozen different systems within their operations, just to manage their workflow. The amount of frustration this causes, as well as the amount of information and cost duplication, is astounding. This is a direct result of not choosing the correct system in the first place, and a sure sign you have outgrown it.

It pays to think about this first, and choose a system that can grow with you into whatever future directions you choose.

What is the background of the system, and what is the backup support like?

This question is one that is very rarely asked, however it is critical that you know the answer. A lot of the available systems are not produced, or even supported from within Australia.

The fact that the system is foreign may not worry you, but if you have to communicate with overseas every time you have a question or problem with the system, you will get very frustrated very quickly.

We always recommend that prospective purchasers put the software providers ‘help desk’ to the test by placing a call to them, just to test the response time. Assistance should be almost immediate, allowing you to move through your problems and keep working. It is very common to hear stories whereby assistance can take anywhere up to a week to arrive, which is completely unacceptable.

So with this in mind, look for a company that has local representatives on hand ready to assist you, when you want the answers, not when they want to provide them.

In our Victorian/Tasmanian region, we are astounded at the number of companies who have recently contacted us wishing to upgrade to Quote and Print for these very reasons. So hopefully you can remember to ask these questions and learn from the costly experience of others.

Printec Solutions will be running Quote and Print Information days in Launceston on the 8th July 2006, and Hobart on the 9th July 2006. Any wishing to find out more about attending these no obligation days, please contact us on 03 5967 2488 or admin@printecsolutions.com.au .

This article was brought to you by Quote & Print

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