There are hundreds of software applications for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing trades. Figuring out the best one(s) for your company can be a daunting task. The following steps will help you select the best software and go through a smooth implementation process.
- Figure out what you have
Before looking around for a new solution, develop a listing of the tech tools your company is currently using. Evaluate them and decide which ones you should keep and which ones should be dropped. There likely is a new solution that can replace some older tech your staff has been using for what seems like forever.
Involve your users to get input about the software they are using and what features they feel it is lacking. If there is overlap in function among different applications, you may be able to replace several with one application – perhaps one platform – that covers it all. Make sure the apps you keep (or add) will integrate with others. This is becoming critical in the construction industry as a whole. Identify workflows that involve duplicate work, repetitive or manual processes or multiple people handling the same data.
- Get internal buy-in
Central to successful adoption of technology is getting buy-in from the people it will affect. It is key to understand the user base that will be working with the software. Every company has employees with diverse backgrounds, experience, skills, and knowledge. They need to be comfortable with changes to the way they do their daily work.
Get people on board long before the company begins its implementation. This can make the difference between a successful or an unsuccessful implementation. When everyone it will affect is committed to your plan, the entire team will be willing to put in the effort needed to make it work. Using your “existing” list, decide as a group what should be added or cut. Then it’s time to explore the different options available.
- Choose a vendor
There are some ingenious software tools these days that can automate and integrate your workflows. If the change promises to be significant, some companies opt to do a pilot project first before an overall implementation. This allows you to test the technology, as well as your partner/vendor. Your technology partner needs to be experienced with the software you are interested in, as well as other options. You can benefit from their experience in your specific industry.
- Train your users
If you have planned your tech replacement and implementation well, it will involve all the teams who will be affected by it. Once you start on the road to implementation, be sure the users are thoroughly trained. Give them the knowledge and resources they need to be successful with the new technology. This investment is as important as the investment in the software tool.
- Set realistic expectations
Technology adoption and implementation take time. Set realistic timelines for the full transition. Depending on the solution, the speed of the implementation and the size of your projects, this could take years. From auditing your current setup and planning to choosing a partner and achieving your implementation, it’s important to make this a team effort. Your success quite literally depends on it.
Partner with Applied Software to work with technical experts who have experience in your industry. For more information contact Applied Software today.