Editor’s Note: We’re very pleased to be able to bring you a special guest blog from one of Dexter + Chaney’s newest technology partners, Procore Technologies, Inc. Procore’s Danielle Edberg provides another perspective on the challenges in selecting new software and technology. Dexter + Chaney CEO and co-founder John Chaney also blogged about this in a two-part series in February.
Jumping the gun on a software purchase is like walking up to the batting plate without a bat. You’re not prepared and you will be thrown curve balls. Before you look outside for solutions, first look inside and identify your company’s problems. When the fast balls start flying, it’s important for you to be able to separate the flashy “nice-to-haves” from the fundamental “must-haves.”
Prep your team before game time with these 5 questions to start your search for new construction software:
- Is it the right time?
- Who should I involve?
- How will this help us grow?
- Does it solve OUR problems?
- What does success look like?
1. Is it the right time?
A good amount of companies come to us when they’re frustrated with their existing project management; they’ve tried troubleshooting and attempted to contact their providers without success.
One of the first questions we ask on Procore sales calls is why are you looking to make a change? We follow up by asking how many projects they’re currently working on and when their next big project starts. Most find it makes the most sense to time a new purchase with the beginning of a new project. It’s important to consider how the transition will affect current projects and if the time to value is quick enough to make a decision early or amidst ongoing projects.
2. Who should I involve?
Before making a decision or even starting the shopping process, you’ll want to consider everyone who will be involved or could benefit from the decision to invest in new technology. For example, will accounting have to change their process or enter data in more than one place? Will project managers have to use multiple products or will the change help them consolidate their work into one space?
The key to involving the right people, aside from making sure the selected solution fits their needs, is getting early buy-in so that they will help the rest of your teams adopt the selected solution. If they’re part of the shopping process, they’re more likely to get behind a solution they helped the company select.
3. How will this help us grow?
Many of our clients first approach us with their current needs. This makes sense since the problems they’re facing today caused them to seek out new solutions. But we encourage them to consider their business over the next five to ten years. Do they plan to expand? Do they have quantifiable data on their processes to show where they’re efficient and where they could use some help?
Making the choice to start using new technology can be daunting, so we encourage our clients to consider the long term in addition to the short term.
4. Does it solve OUR problems?
With the amount of Construction softwares available in the market today, it’s important to form an agreement on the specific problems you’re seeking to solve. Many of the solutions available will tackle multiple aspects of your business process, but be sure they also solve your fundamental problems.
Once a set of problems are agreed upon, you’ll want to make sure the person you’re speaking with understands that your success is based on solving your unique problems. They should take those challenges and help you develop best practices to share with the team.
5. What does success look like?
As many software vendors have transitioned to cloud-based software, their business depends on renewals much more than new contracts. For those vendors, it's in their best interest to monitor your progress as closely as you monitor your own.
We’ve found that many of our clients have different ways to monitor progress, so we created a series of business reviews to analyze usage across all users and functionality. This allows our clients to identify which processes have not been adopted and identify specific users or projects who have yet to take advantage of the technology. Look for a company that plans to be involved enough to help you define and measure your success.
Making smarter technology decisions
Starting the search for new software or technology can be daunting. Your team is experiencing challenges, your company is ready for a change, and you are the one responsible for finding a solution. These five questions are your Louisville Slugger, your right hand, when it comes to making an educated decision that solves your internal hurdles and helps your business grow.
Solutions that recognize the importance of extensibility and collaboration are pioneering today’s technology industry. These systems allow users to connect with multiple best-in-class solutions to provide the ultimate value grand slam.
We recognize the evolving needs of the construction industry and we’ve partnered with Dexter + Chaney to offer an integrated, out-of-box solution. Our partnership establishes a seamless flow of financial data between Procore’s project management platform and Spectrum to offer the first cloud-based, integrated solution for construction.