When the internet bubble burst at the end of 2000, there was a significant decline in optimism in the internet sector. But now, fifteen years later, it has become clear that our business models and day-to-day lives have undergone a seismic shift thanks to the internet.
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Online shopping, for example, continues to grow in popularity. Over the past decade e-commerce has totally changed the way we shop. Where we had to check out a number of shops to find a suitable birthday present for that nephew a few years ago, now you can simply go online, 24/7.
And what could be easier than treating yourself to the latest tablet, or insuring your car, all from your comfy sofa? We are all just one click away from the best offers. And if you’re not sure about your choice, you can simply check out hundreds of reviews to determine the best quality-price ratio, conveniently and transparently. You know exactly what you’re buying and what other buyers have experienced so far. This reduces the chance of making a bad buy. Or at least, that’s what you think... The percentage of items returned to web stores reaches almost 50%. If you don’t like a product or regret your purchase, you can just return it thanks to the “Try now! Not satisfied, money back” and “Free shipping from £25, free returns and 30 days to change your mind” policies. You are protected against your own misjudgement when buying online.
But what is the situation with products or services you cannot send back? How does it work for corporate purchase, for example when buying an IWMS? If you make the wrong decision, you face a big potential loss, not only financially but also in the time you have invested in the selection process. That is why you want to make the right choice for both the short and the long term, and that stands or falls with a properly thought-out purchasing process. Buying business software involves much more than just researching functionalities and price. By definition, choosing a specific business software has an impact on your operational processes and the success of your business. The purchasing process should not be aimed solely at acquiring the right products and the right services at the right price. In my opinion, during this phase you should also consider carefully a strategic partnership which will be created between the two organisations involved, for the years ahead.
This begins with setting up your wishes and requirements, writing a business case and allocating budgets and resources. It also involves creating a clear project plan, including the selection procedure that will help you choose a company. This last step is I believe the most important one. Does the company with which you are getting involved has the profile of a serious strategic partner or a supplier? This may make the selection process take a little longer, but the quality of the final decision will be far more reliable.
Only then does this process become shopping without any worries.
P.S. Are you looking for tips on how to make a software demo work for you? Then download a free copy of Planon’s how-to guide, “How to make software demos work” for five tips which will help simplify the process when comparing software.
Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)