The first question a small or mid-sized business (SMB) tends to ask about a document management system is, “How much does it cost?” Depending on the vendor’s answer, the company either does nothing or rushes to implement a quick fix.
If the price seems too high, the business may just continue to throw more money or manual effort at their document problems. At plenty of small businesses, the filing system consists of papers piled on desks or sitting in boxes on the floor. If you’ve been drowning in paper for years, it may seem easiest to just live with it, especially if your business is averse to technology for some reason.
If the price seems right, someone in the company may buy the solution. Too often, they make the decision without involving the people who need to work with it every day, even without properly vetting the solution and the vendor. Entrepreneurs often don’t have a well-developed process for choosing technology investments. This quick-fix approach typically leads to poor user adoption, and the document management system fails to deliver results for the business.
Before you rush in headlong — or simply give up on solving your document problems — here are five essential questions to ask potential vendors:
- What do you know about our business and our pain points? These should be the first questions you ask a potential vendor. You’re finding out if the vendor has done any homework and bothered to understand what your problems are.
- What is your solution? Ask the vendor how it plans to solve your pain points and make your business more efficient. If you have a problem with accounting processes, for example, or with managing delivery receipts, how does the document management system solve these problems?
- What business benefits does this solution offer? If the vendor shows that it understands the pain points for your business model and has a solution, ask the vendor to show you how it’s going to help you achieve business benefits.
- How will the solution pay for itself? SMBs may not have a clear picture of how a document management solution is going to deliver a return-on-investment (ROI). A good vendor should be able to guide the conversation and help the company understand how to achieve ROI with their system.
- What experience do you have in our industry or business type? Experience always plays a role in a successful implementation, so it’s important to consider the experience of the vendor that is selling the technology. Is it a brand-new cloud provider, or does the vendor have a long track record with all kinds of references and experience?
Asking these five questions helps small and mid-sized businesses do the necessary research to avoid rushing into a quick fix or continuing to pay the costs of doing nothing.
Want to learn more about how digital document management could solve your business problems? Contact DocuWare today for a free consultation and your document management roadmap.
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