When it comes to choosing software for an NDIS business, the seemingly endless options out there can make it hard to know where to begin. And a Google search is unlikely to give you the answer!
But by following a rigorous process, you will be better able to arrive at the right decision.
RSM walks our NDIS clients through the process of selecting the right software using the following high-level methodology:
1. Understand your evaluation criteria, goals and drivers
Many businesses start looking for a software solution without fully understanding how they will make the ultimate selection decision. We assist businesses to get on the same page about the evaluation criteria, and goals and drivers behind why the new or replacement system is needed from all perspectives.
Some key considerations for this step include:
- Your budget – and how much importance you put on the cost.
- Level of integration – do you need the software to integrate with other programs you use (e.g. accounting systems)?
- Timeframe – look ahead and consider how long the software will be useful for you. Will it be able to accommodate your business as it expands in the future?
- Business growth – do you need software that will help you grow your business? For example, by reducing your labour costs, opening up new opportunities and so on?
- Decisions – who will be the person in your business that makes the decisions on which software to invest in?
2. Requirements gathering
We help clients develop a ‘big picture’ approach by identifying what you want the software to do and why.
For example, you might want to make it easier for participants to book by creating an online booking service. Or you might decide you need an automated billing service to save your business time and money. Then again, automated reminders might be a key requirement for your participants.
We assist clients to prioritise these requirements across the various stakeholders in the business – e.g. what is crucial and what would be ‘nice to have’. This helps us to get a more accurate requirements match.
3. Do a market scan
Once you have a clear idea of your requirements, it becomes easier to scan the market to find matching solutions.
RSM have an existing set of software vendors that we have relationships with and can use as a starting point. Further vendors can be reviewed, if required, depending on your specific needs.
4. Approach vendors
We assist to send out your list of requirements to vendors, asking them to show exactly how their product will meet your requirements. This should give you an idea of which companies truly understand what you need, and can provide a well-matched solution.
5. Invite chosen vendors to do a demonstration
Having a demo is crucial before investing in any software solution. A generic sales pitch won’t give you the answer to whether or not the software will work for you. Make sure the vendor can show you how the software will benefit your own business – both now and in the longer term.
6. Test the solutions
Most vendors these days offer a trial period. You can use this to this to test out the programs on your shortlist via a guided trial.
By this stage you might even find that what you thought you wanted in the beginning is completely different from what you end up with!
Keen to get expert help in making your choice?
Investing in software is a big decision for any small enterprise, including an NDIS business. Our process of rigorously analysing and testing solutions can de-risk the software selection process for you. We are agnostic and independent, with no vested interest in any particular solution. So if you'd like help finding the right software for your business, get in touch.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you would like to learn more about the topics discussed in this article, please contact your local RSM office.