How to choose the right software provider for your domiciliary care business
As part of our series on learning how to implement software successfully in a home care business, today’s blog explores how to make the crucial decision of choosing the right provider.
The evaluation process should involve a full demonstration of the software with the provider, but before you embark on a series of demos it’s a smart idea to consider creating a list of important questions to ask.
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Choosing a software provider is one of the many steps in your journey to implementing a software system in your business. However, there’s so much to consider. In our new guide, we’ve simplified the process and created some easy tasks to follow that should give you the answers you need.
Questions to ask during a software demo
A product demo can be an intense experience. You may be dazzled by images on screen, a slick PowerPoint presentation, or ‘sales talk’. To ensure that you get the answers to the questions that really matter – have these questions handy!
Is this software an ‘off-the-shelf’ product?
Some software packages are rigid and will not flex to the needs of your business. But is that what you need?
Can they develop bespoke features?
Will the provider put in the work and do some bespoke development? If so, how long will it take and how much will it cost?
How long will it take to implement?
Find out the exact timeframes for implementing the software in your business.
Do you need to download and install software and will you need new computers?
Or can it be accessed via a browser? Will your current IT equipment be ok?
How reliable is the software?
What protocols are in place to protect you in an emergency (data hack, server down)?
Is it easy to use?
Is the system intuitive? Does it feel familiar? Will everyone be comfortable using it?
Do they offer customer support?
Find out how their customer support works, when are they available and how they can be contacted. Is it a free service?
Do they offer training?
Is training included in the package? Is it ongoing? Is there training guides available?
Will it work with our existing systems?
Will it integrate with existing systems like payroll or HR? If not, what solutions are available?
How much does it cost?
Find out the pricing plan for the software. Is it per licence, per user or per client? What happens when the size of your business changes?
What are the terms of the contract?
How long will the contract last, and what happens if things don’t work out? Are there any hidden fees?
How do updates work?
Is the software updated regularly? How is this done? Does it cost anything extra?
What’s the implementation process like?
Some providers will perform a deep dive with a business analyst to map your business needs and tailor the implementation.
While these questions will work in most scenarios to help you choose a software provider, it’s important to consider any wider implications that may affect your specific home care business. For e.g. you may be a more mature business that is moving from an existing provider – so you may need to ask questions about transferring data and the processes involved.
Want to read more about managing software implementation in a home care business? Check out our comprehensive project implementation page.