"The best recommendation I have is to call for references and talk to people who are running the system you are considering," suggests Brian Steensma of Steensma Lawn & Power Equipment in Kalamazoo and Plainwell, MI. "You'll never think of all the questions, but if there is a glaring hole in the software, another dealer will probably be able to tell you. They will speak candidly, especially if you know them."
Training and support
In choosing a BMS, it's important that you not only get the features you are looking for, but the service to back them up and keep you running smoothly. Your provider should be a great help through the transition into the new system and beyond.
"Product support is arguably the most important factor when evaluating business systems," says Miller, who suggests you ask the following questions when choosing a BMS. "Does the business system company provide on-site training? What about phone support? Do they provide ongoing web training and regional seminars? Do they have a knowledgeable support staff to help keep your system up and running smoothly? Does the company have a dedicated customer support department?"
Having just gone through the transition of taking on a new BMS, Steensma is a strong believer in quality support and believes most high-end providers will leave dealers satisfied.
"Support after the transition is something you can get across the board from the well-established software companies," says Steensma. "They are charging a premium and I don’t think they would be able to get that if they didn’t provide the support. You get what you pay for."
Taking on a new BMS is a huge undertaking that can take a long time. With the right provider by your side, you will be given a strong understanding of how the system works and how your business is performing, bettering your chances at improved business management and success.
"Don’t think that training and support aren’t important in your decision," says Carradus. "First-time BMS buyers generally rate the level of ongoing support very low in their decision-making process. Most second-time BMS buyers rate the level of on-going support as the top factor in their purchase decision. Bottom line, support is crucial to your long-term success."