Thinking about new computer systems?
This is a high-risk area with potentially great rewards. You can call a few potential systems suppliers for a quote, maybe ask your accountant for a recommendation, then choose one. Unfortunately. you’re never going to be able to compare apples to apples. In fact you’ll be lucky if any of the quotes are even remotely comparable.
Why is this? Because each supplier wants to quote you on theirsystem.
If you’re spending more than a few thousand dollars, getting some quotes is unlikely to get you what you need.
The best way to compare different options is to issue a Request for Proposal. This is often called an RFP. In an RFP, you write the specifications, so you should receive comparable quotes. So, you prepare a fairly comprehensive RFP and send it to the potential suppliers. They get back to you with their proposal.
The big problem is: Who do you believe?
The salespeople (consultants, systems integrators, software providers) have something to sell ...
their computer system. You need answers you can trust to these questions:
- Will the new system provide all the benefits they promise?
- Will it be delivered on time?
- Will it work with your existing set-up?
- Will it need additional computer hardware...network...infrastructure?
- How much will it really cost...installed...configured...staff trained?
- How much will it actually cost to run...maintain...update?
Independent business consultant
As an independent, our business consulting expertise gives you expert business advice. We speak the language of information technology and the language of business, so we can evaluate the options. We have no axe to grind. No hidden agenda. We are not trying to sell you anything but the truth. Let us:
- Review the quotations and estimates
- Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples (or IBM to IBM)
- Determine the real costs of the proposals
- Implementation costs
- Ongoing costs
- License costs
- Maintenance costs
- Staffing costs
- Training costs
- Infrastructure costs
- Make sure the benefits are really there
- Help you prepare a fair contract with the supplier(s)
- Review the installed system to make sure you got what you paid for
Invest now or pay more later
It's your choice. Computer systems are no different from other investments in your business. You can invest the time...and a little more money...before you start. Or you can spend more time and money later to handle the issues that you could have discovered up front.
"There's never enough time to do it right up front, but you always have to find the time to fix it later."
Call (800) 661-9842 and let us help you make the right decisions for YOUR business.