Realising that using contractor management software will save your firm time and money is one thing, working out which one to buy is a whole different ball game. There are many options available offering different features and benefits. The question is, how do you come to a decision, especially if you’re new to contractor management software? Ultimately, the only way to work out the answer is to fully understand the contractor requirements of your business. You want the process to be as easy as possible and the solution to be seamless. Before you take the plunge, ask yourself the following seven questions, so you can be confident in your choice.
1. How Much Will it Cost?
Considering the costs associated with contractor management involves far more than picking the option with the lowest price tag. What you need to focus on is getting the best return on investment for your spend. This means ensuring that the software enables you to gain efficiency. Technology should work with you rather than against you, automating manual tasks and relieving pressure on valuable resources. You need to consider how much time will be spent implementing and managing the software, ensuring it doesn’t become an administrative burden instead of a time-saver.
2. What Features Does Your Business Need?
Any piece of technology can lure us in with flashy features and functionality, but it needs to deliver business value. It’s no good choosing a solution because it looks fancy; it needs to actually align with your business needs. Does the software have the ability to identify expiring contractor licenses, send automatic alerts and enable you to search for qualified contractors in your area? Will the system be flexible enough to mirror your existing processes? Impressive features that don’t deliver value amount to nothing, if anything they’ll just get in the way. You want easy-to-use features that you use regularly rather than an overly complicated system.
3. How Easy is the System to Implement?
Once you’ve chosen the right contractor management system, you’ll want to have it up and running quickly. If software is tricky to implement it is going to cause a short-term drain on time and resources. Not only that, but the longer you have to wait to get the software up and running, the longer you’ll have to wait to realise any of the associated benefits. You need to ensure that you’ll be able to easily implement whichever system you choose and that you’ll have support in place if you need it.
4. How Easy is the Software to Use?
Once you’ve got contractor management software in place, you’ll want to start using it straight away. Make sure that any system you choose is user-friendly and easy to navigate. This means looking for a top-level dashboard that gives you all the information you need at a glance and an intuitive user interface. The only way to get a good feel for the user experience is to give it a go. Ask the contractor management company if you can have a guided demo of the software to make sure you are comfortable with it. If you decide to go ahead, you may need some training and support to get you started and, if this is the case, ensure that it will be readily available.
5. Will Your Contractors be able to Use it?
Once you have contractor management software in place, it won’t just be used by your company; your contractors need to be able to use the system too. You need to look at your chosen solution through their eyes. Ask yourself what the user experience is like from their perspective and whether they’ll need any training or support. If you expect your contractors to be on board, the software needs to make life easier for them too. Consider a provider that will not only support you, but, will also provide support to your contractors by both phone and email. Also consider whether the support is delivered locally or from overseas. The contractor experience is a vital piece of the puzzle, if they don’t adopt and use it, then you’ll be back to the drawing board.
6. Will you Have Ongoing Support?
You need any piece of technology to work with you rather than against you. Regardless of what software you choose, from time to time, you or your contractors might have problems. If you can’t quickly resolve those problems, it will have a knock-on effect on your contractor compliance. If you need help with automating a process or your contractors need help submitting documents, you need to know that there will be immediate support available. After all, although an amazing tool, contractor management is so much more than the software, it needs the human element to really deliver. Look for a dedicated client services manager that understands contractor compliance and it’s best practices.
7. Is Software Alone Enough?
While you may need help implementing and trouble-shooting software, have you considered whether that is enough for you and your contractors to remain compliant. Contractor compliance involves checking qualifications licences and registrations prior to engaging contractors and keeping on top of documentation and renewals. While technology can take you so far, it can’t verify that documents are authentic. By taking things a step further and engaging a full-service compliance solution, you’ll have the support and expertise on-hand to build validation criteria, create a prequalification process and double-check documentation.
There is a lot to consider when buying contractor management software, but if you ask yourself these questions first, you should be in a better position to make the right choice for your business. If you can find a contractor management company that offers user-friendly software with ongoing support, then the whole process from implementation to compliance will be simpler. And, ultimately, that is what most of us will be looking for. By choosing the right contractor management solution, you can take away the stress and reduce the risk of contractor management with the support of software that you can rely on.
For over a decade, Conserve has helped organisations overcome contractor management challenges. We can help you develop a contractor management service that will be not only effective but will make your organisation safer, while minimising your overall risk. Request a demo now or visit the Conserve page for more great content.
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