Business Management

7 Essential Questions You Should Always Ask Before Buying Job Management Software

10 minute read by Matthew Tomlinson

Job management software is often the great boost a business needs to be more successful, but only if it’s the right software.

Making sure you choose software that fits your needs, that's easy to use and that's reasonably priced can take a lot of time and research. There are a lot of details you can easily overlook when making your choice and I know many contractors that have made this mistake.

So here are 7 essential questions you should always when looking for a job management solution, whose answers are the difference between a good choice and a bad choice.

1) What size company is the software aimed at?

This is possibly the most important question. While large businesses require a large number of features in their software package, for smaller businesses these features only add clutter.

If you’re a small business, it is much more important that the solution is easy to learn and inexpensive to adopt rather than having over engineered cash flow predictors that just serve to add unnecessary time at the end of your jobs.

For companies that don’t want tonnes of unnecessary and complicated features, that are only useful to contractors with 100's of employees, finding a suitable solution can be time consuming.

Be sure not to waste more of your time trialling products that are not aimed at you. Find out what each tool offers and who it’s aimed at.

2) How much will the software cost me?

When browsing for software, the first thing you should do after looking at the home page is jump to the pricing page. Depending on your budget, the price might be the quickest way to know that the software's not for you.

Most job management software companies charge you per user and sometimes charge additional set-up and training costs.

Be wary of companies that have a low base price and charge for extras, these can quickly become expensive and you soon discover that even those 'optional' extras are not so optional after all!

In my opinion, most job management software solutions are overpriced. Yes, they bring incredible benefits to your business, but you shouldn't be ripped off!

Overall, while price isn't always an indicator of quality, it is a great way to quickly see if the company has your success as their primary interest or just want to milk you for every penny you have.

3) Do they offer a free trial?

Try before you buy is a principle as old as the concept of buying goods its self! Despite this, a recent trend in the job management area is for big companies to insist that you do not want a trial!

Not offering a free trial is a massive red flag! If they don't want you using the software independently before you buy it, do they really believe in it themselves?

It is really essential that you secure a free trial before you buy, you are going to sink time and money into adopting this software and you want to make sure it is the right software for your business! ( You can start an Orthinc free trial here! )

4) Do you charge for training and support?

Almost every job management tool requires paid training for the administrators in the office, and then more training for your employees.

This is a red flag for two major reasons

  1. It is going to cost you time and money to attend this training
  2. The software is so complicated that you need paid external training

The job management solutions that have very minimal training because they are designed to be simple to use. I definitely recommend going with a solution like this, that also offers free support!

It’s pretty much a guarantee that you will need some form of support with the tool you choose. Even the teams behind the most simple and easy-to-use job management tools receive questions about their product. So, it’s best to make sure that the support is great, free and is available at the times you work!

The 24/7 support that Orthinc offers has been a real life saver. Whenever we needed help on a night job or at the early hours of the morning, we just gave them a call and got help straight away!

5) Do you develop the software in-house?

It is essential that the company develops their software in-house. This will ensure they have an intimate understanding of their own product and can offer next level support.

Even the best software experiences issues from time to time. A company that develops software in-house is able to get this fixed quickly and at no extra cost to themselves. If the company does not develop software in-house they will be much slower in fixing issues and even reluctant to fix them since it will likely cost them money.

Lastly, in-house teams usually (but not always!) push out updates to the software more regularly and often. This brings us onto point 6...

6) How do updates to the software work?

How often are updates?

When was the most recent update?

Are they included with the price?

Updates are important. Whether they are major or minor they improve the product. A good development team will update their product on a regular basis for free. You are paying monthly for job management software so it is only fair your receive regular updates! If this isn’t the case, you need to know, so be sure to ask!

7) What new fixes and features are coming soon?

If there are no fixes or features coming soon, it’s a sign that the team isn’t committed to an excellent product and by extension, isn’t committed to giving you a great experience.

The upcoming release of new and exciting features should reassure you that the development team are enthusiastic, care about their product and want it to work really well for you. It also has the added bonus of allowing you to plan on how you will use the software in the future!

It’s easy for someone to tell you what they are going to do and actions speak louder than words, so also ask about what they have recently released. It will give you an idea about what direction the software is heading in and if that direction is right for your business!

In summary...

Buying the right software for your business can make a huge change to the way you work; giving you more free time and saving you money. In order to choose the best job management tool for your business, be sure to ask the developers these 7 essential questions:

  1. What size company is the software aimed at?
  2. How much will the software cost me?
  3. Do they offer a free trial?
  4. Do you charge for training and support?
  5. Do you develop the software in-house?
  6. How do updates to the software work?
  7. What new fixes and features are coming soon?

Before you buy any subscription for any software, get an answer to every question. Combined, they will help you to choose software that fits best for you and your team, so that you can get maximum benefits with minimum hassle.