As a provider of pest control software, we hear it every day. "I don't like my current software, but I would rather have a root canal than go through a conversion." Sure, conversions are hard, but if you take all the right steps, it is far less painful than major dental work. Most companies come out on the other side of a software conversion, grateful that they made the change. Most even say, "that wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be."
The key to having a successful software implementation is to have a plan. Making a go of a software change without a clear roadmap leads to frustration and even failure to correctly implement the software.
Part 1 of every technology change in your business should begin with an evaluation process. Why do you want to make a change? What software features and functionality do you need to run your business? Which software company will help me succeed in implementing the software?
Before you do anything, write down the reasons for your change. What problems are you trying to solve in changing your pest control software? What parts of your business are you trying to make better?
Below are some of the key reasons that we hear from our prospects:
If your only reason is that your current software vendor charges too much, then that's not a reason for a change. However, if the cost and the lack of support are both on your list, it might be time to start thinking about changing your software.
If you have gotten past step 1 and have decided to start the process of researching software, the next step is to make a list of features that you will need. Divide the list into two sections. The first section should be the list of features that you absolutely must have to run your business. The second section should be the "nice to have" features that will allow you to grow.
For example, a route optimization tool might feel like it will solve all your scheduling problems. However, if you still plan on calling each customer before service and letting them choose the time for service, route optimization is not going to give you immediate value. Instead, make your requirement for the "must-have" section of your list a scheduling tool that will help you find the best time in your tech's schedule. The route optimization tool can be a "nice to have" feature for growth.
As you are making your list, don't assume that another pest software has everything you need. One mistake companies frequently make is to focus only on the pain points and not the features they use every day in their current software. Write down everything, from printing statements to emailing customers. It may mean taking a little time to find out what your office and field team do every day. That time will help you evaluate the different software options available and determine which one fits your specific business needs.
Taking the time to evaluate the features and functionality of the software is a necessary step in making a change. However, many people tend to focus only on the software and not the other half of the equation - the relationship with the software vendor. Throughout the implementation process, you will be relying on your software vendor to help you understand the best way to set up and use the features of the system.
Make it part of your evaluation process to learn as much about the software vendor as the software itself. In today's technology environment, most software companies tend to license their software and provide a data conversion and basic setup support. Other software companies take a more hands-on approach and guide you through the implementation of the software. Software implementation is a more structured approach to converting and integrating software into the workflow of your business. If your team has experience in implementing software, a hands-on approach is not necessary. However, most pest companies do not fall into this category, so it is likely that you need to find a software vendor that is as invested in your success as you are.
If you have started down the evaluation path and don't feel that you have the resources to take on a software evaluation, get some help! There are many consultants throughout the pest industry that will help you evaluate the different software options. In many cases, the consultant will even assist you through the implementation process.
Coming Soon... Converting My Pest Software is too Painful - Part 2
At Fieldster, we understand that a successful software implementation is vital to your business. That is why our hands-on approach is specifically tailored to get you up and running quickly and smoothly. Schedule a live demo today!