The steady progression of time means that tools either become outdated or they become timeless. The same applies to any supplier your company works with. If you aren’t regularly re-evaluating your business for efficiency, you’re missing out on possibility. A better supplier could take your products to the next level, or help you reduce your operating costs. A new software tool can streamline workflows and get that clunky, boring admin out of the way faster.
The possibilities are endless. While yes, investigating can result in you coming to the conclusion that you have the best setup, that peace of mind is powerful too. You always want to do the best for your business and to help. You’ll want to use these tips:
Understand the Baseline
The best way to determine if there’s an issue is to create a ranking system for several key activities in your business. For example, take a supplier. You can rank them based on the time it takes to produce a product, ship it to you, and how often there are mistakes. This will help you determine more meaningful metrics than just cost. Yes, there will probably be a supplier or manufacturer that costs less, but if they take longer to ship your order, or if the orders are often wrong or poor quality, then you aren’t getting good value.
Create metrics, rank your supplier, and do this often enough so that you can see a timeline. If the supplier’s rankings drop, you know something has changed, and if they don’t get fixed, you may need to find an alternative option.
How to Compare Digital Software Tools
The sheer volume is one of the biggest difficulties in auditing your options so you can consistently choose the best one. There are thousands of software tools out there that all promise to do the same thing. Even when you narrow it down to premium products, plenty of options remain.
While many developers offer free trials, you don’t want to have to test out your full list manually. Instead, you’ll need to use reviews. Knowing how to find unbiased reviews online is a skill. Not only do you need to know where to look, but also how to weed out fake reviews and read between the lines of bad reviews. Someone might have had a bad experience in-store, for example, and reviewed the software poorly in an attempt to lash out. All of this takes skill, but once you develop it, you can make more informed decisions that will help narrow your shortlist so you can then see first-hand what each program is like and if it’s a good fit for you.
How Often Should You Compare?
Once a quarter, you should have your team or outside professionals evaluate the systems your company uses based on the metrics you’ve created. This in and of itself won’t mean much until a bit of time has passed since it’ll allow you to see overarching trends. Some tools become obsolete and stop being useful, for example, a clear indicator that it’s time to upgrade.