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Test Your Construction Software Selection IQ

Mar 2, 2008
Think you're well-prepared to launch your search and selection for new construction software? Take our quick quiz to test your construction software selection IQ!

Question: Which references are more valid?

1. Companies who have used the construction software for many years
2. Companies who have installed the system within the last 12-18 months

Answer: 2. Recent references are best. The older ones have worked out any problems long, long ago.

Question: What one factor below has the best chance of guaranteeing your software selection success?

1. Buying at the right price
2. Getting good references
3. Past experience working with a system
4. The database it uses
5. Number of installations
6. None of the above

Answer: 6. A single factor cannot guarantee your success. Although this may seem like a trick question, you'd be surprised how many people think otherwise!

Question: You really can't go wrong buying a recognized brand name with thousands of installations -- True or False?

Answer: False. There are plenty of unhappy people using well known systems.

Question: The system's database doesn't matter as long as the software does what you need it to do -- True or False?

Answer: False. Eventually, older databases stop being supported or become incompatible with more current operating systems (like Windows Vista). They may also lack full Windows conventions like opening multiple windows, performing searches, optimizing communication and navigating the screen.

Question: Who is the best person to lead an construction software selection project?

1. IT Manager
2. CFO or construction manager
3. CEO
4. Outside consultant
5. The person with the most time to work on the project
6. It depends

Answer: 6. The best person to lead your software search is the one who has relevant experience evaluating and implementing software and thoroughly understands your company's needs. Choose that person wisely.

Question: What is the main reason why a software initiative fails?

1. Not enough time is allowed for proper training and installation
2. Bad fit for the business
3. Employee resistance to change
4. Staff turnover
5. Vendor misrepresents product capabilities
6. Lack of due diligence

Answer: 6. Although a failed construction software initiative is usually the result of a combination of all six factors, the most important reason is lack of due diligence on the part of the buyer.

Question: A Web demo of the construction software is the best way to begin your evaluation -- True or False?

Answer: False. Requesting a Web demo is actually one of the last things you should do when evaluating construction software. Schedule demos only after defining your requirements and screening possible vendors using targeted questions.

Question: What is the most important criterion when selecting your software vendor?

1. A lot of installations
2. A large vendor with deep pockets so you know they'll stay in business
3. Local support
4. A well-delivered demo presentation that answered your questions
5. A good recommendation from a reference
6. None of the above

Answer: 6. No single factor can guarantee satisfaction with your software vendor. Consider a variety of criteria when choosing a technology partner.

Question: A 30 or 60-day guarantee is adequate protection for your investment -- True or False?

Answer: False. It is virtually impossible for any buyer to discover enough about the software within 30-60 days to know if it will be a satisfactory long term solution. But even if a vendor offered you a one-year guarantee, why would you want to invest 12 months of your time and resources without getting any return on your investment - even if you could return it? Do your homework up front and the 30-60 day guarantee won't matter.
About the Author
Sheldon Needle is President of CTSGuides.com and helps construction companies
make smart technology decisions. Get your free Construction Software Selection
Kit and Smart Shortlist(TM)Consult by visiting

http://www.ctsguides.com/construction-accounting-software.asp
.
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