Because of its long list of benefits, making the decision to invest in asset management software is easy. But it can be challenging to find the software solution that works best for you. Just like when you do any other kind of shopping, the key is a good shopping list.
When shopping for asset management software, make sure your list includes:
You can expand this list based on your specific circumstances, but don't make it any shorter. These are the really important ones. Let's look at why.
The solution with the most features is not the automatic choice. It's not a case of "the more, the merrier." Instead, you need the right combination of features that meet your specific needs.
It's the same as when you're buying a car. Every car has a radio, but only some of them come with satellite stations and extra subwoofers. Before you spend the money, ask yourself how important that extra bass is to you. Also, do you really need power windows in the back seats when all that ever goes back there are groceries?
Looking at an example specifically from asset management, with some asset tracking software, each asset is tracked individually, which is perfect in a lot of industries. If you have five hydraulic presses, each one needs to be tracked as a separate asset. But what about a school that has 300 copies of the same textbook? Here, it doesn't make sense to have each textbook tracked with its own ID. Instead, it's better to have one asset type with an adjustable quantity.
So, how do you decide which assent management features are must-haves, which are nice-to-haves, and which are don't-needs? Because you might not have a lot of direct experience with asset management software, it can be tricky to think in terms of features. So instead, go with what you know. Think of the current problems you want to solve.
Fill in the blanks.
I hate it when ________________________.
If only ________________ didn't ______________, wouldn't have to __________________.
It's costing us a lot of time and energy to ____________________.
By knowing the problems you want to solve, you can more clearly see the features you should be focusing on. This comes in handy when speaking with providers. The first thing they're going to ask is what problems you want to solve. Working together, you can determine your features requirements.
Even if software has all the features you need, it still might not be the right one for you. If you can't quickly find and easily use a feature, it might as well not be there at all. It's as useful as your car is when you can't find the keys.
To judge ease-of-use, check that everything has the expected look and location. That's because good design removes guess-work. Take a properly designed TV remote control, for example. Where is the on/off button? It's at the top. And what color is the button? Probably red. If the volume buttons aren't close together, that's bad design. If they're arranged horizontally instead of vertically, that's also bad design. They're not where you're expecting to find them.
And good design is about more than just avoiding small frustrations. Ease-of-use affects your project from start to finish. The harder the software is to learn, the more time and money you have to invest in training. Not only is it costing you money upfront but it's also burning through the maintenance team's morale. If they're frustrated with the software, low buy-in leads to low adoption rates.
You're not just investing in the software; you're also investing in the provider. In the old days of on-premises software, you paid for the software and the licensing and then did everything on your own, including setting up and maintaining the IT infrastructure. You really only had to look at the software when making your decision. But modern EAM software is cloud-based, and that means your provider should be taking care of all the hardware, updates, and upgrades for you. Because your relationship is ongoing, you need to make sure the provider is a good long-term partner.
Support spans the life of your subscription. You need a provider with a good training program, one that covers initial training during on-boarding and then offers chances for refreshers and more advanced courses later on. Check to make sure they also have a well-rounded support system, including plenty of articles, videos, and a formal process for getting in touch when you need help.
The heading here is a bit misleading. Instead of thinking in terms of price, you should think in terms of ROI. Remember, the whole reason you're getting this software is to save money. If it's not delivering a return on your investment, something is wrong.
Curious about what numbers you need to look at to calculate possible ROI? Hippo has a handy ROI Calculator.
Go back to the top and start filling in those blanks. What are the problems you want to solve? Then start calling providers and get the ball rolling. Find out which providers have the features you need. Then watch a couple of demos to get a feel for how the software works. Understand the assets you're trying to track and manage and whether a different software like fleet maintenance software is more applicable to your organization. Check for ease-of-use. You want something that's uncluttered with everything where you expect it to be. Ask about training and support. You can narrow it down to one question you can ask yourself: Is this provider invested in my success? Finally, when you're looking at price, think in terms of ROI. You're not spending money, you're saving it. But you need to have some idea of how and how much.