Dazed and confused? Purchasing a doc management system (DMS) is a big decision to make. Here are the 4 main concerns firms have when talking to us about doc management. Think about them and even use them to compare different DMS providers.
– Pricing clarity and transparency: Are quotes all inclusive? Is it a fixed price or are there ‘estimates’ (especially regarding services) that could be higher? Any hidden extra costs? What appears ‘the cheapest’ on first impressions may not be due to the way the pricing is presented in the quote.
– Initial costs to consider
– User licences, Server licences
– Implementation Services
– Installation and Database Connection(s)
– Administrator and Team Training
– Content (Templates, Precedents, Procedures, Electronic Workpapers)
– Staff time required in implementation process
– Staff time lost through disruption during implementation process
– Ongoing Costs to consider
– Software Updates, Content Updates
– Further Training
– Staff Time Required to Maintain the System
– Support and Maintenance
All of the above items comprise the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Think beyond the upfront price.
– Does the Cost-Benefit Analysis stack up?
– Costs divided by Benefits = Value
– What is the Payback Period? ROI? How will the ROI be measured?
– Will the DMS deliver the benefits promised?
– Will the DMS perform as demonstrated? (e.g. Will the search be just as fast in real everyday use?)
– What if it doesn’t? What guarantees are offered?
– Can the sales person’s claims be believed?
– Does the sales person use the DMS themselves in their daily work? If not, why not?
– What track record does the provider have in developing and implementing DMS for accounting firms?
– How skilled and experienced are the DMS implementation team?
– Can the sales person provide reference sites of happy clients?
– ‘Shelfware’—software that is purchased, but then sits on the shelf, unused—delivers no benefits
– Will staff actually use the DMS?
– How easy is it to train staff in how to use it? What training resources are provided to help?
– Will it actually make their work life simpler and more efficient, not more complex?
– How much effort is required to gain ‘team buy-in’ and ensure ongoing usage?
– Can usage be tracked? Are utilisation reports available?