Top 5 Questions to Ask Any Software Vendor

Oct 31, 2016

Despite a number of demos, phone calls and endless hours of research, many construction and service businesses still have trouble finding the right software vendor to partner with. One proactive way to ease this process is by having a set of important questions ready that will provide specific insight into what any given vendor offers, along with their advantages and shortcomings. With so many variables to consider, it is easy to overlook important aspects that can help guide your decision. To help ease the software selection process, here are a few questions that you should ask every software vendor, which will help determine what partnership best works for your business.

Does your software package include on-site services?

Implementing a construction software solution is difficult enough, but without the proper guidance on-site, it is almost impossible to experience a smooth transition. When considering various software partners, on-site service is a must. In addition to this, ask specific questions regarding the on-site training they provide. Finding out how long the training process is, and if additional training is offered becomes extremely important when investing in a software solution. Most importantly, ask whether or not training is included in the final price of your purchase.

During the implementation stages, Jonas provides a dedicated consultant who works with businesses on site, providing new customers with hands-on experience using Jonas. Another unique approach by Jonas is the creation of a ‘Test Company’, in which a business’ data is replicated and uploaded into the system, allowing you to simulate real-life scenarios your business typically encounters. In addition, a dedicated support specialist is available for the first 3 months after going live. During these initial months, new customers will be given direct access to an expert who can help guide you through any questions or concerns you may have.

How frequent are products updated and are customers informed of any changes?

When researching software vendors, the goal must be to create a long term partnership. How software companies go about their updates, and how often updates are made is also an important consideration. Some vendors will roll out updates without informing their customers, which seems to be an unfavorable method. Most companies make an effort to inform customers regarding upcoming updates, often through email.

Jonas provides frequent product updates, and informs all customers of any changes prior to their launch. Jonas’ ‘Software for Life’ program ensures that once you purchase any modules, all future releases of that module will be available to you. Jonas also has a product release once per year, where hundreds of enhancements are made, many of which are derived from customer input and industry research.

Is the software scalable?

Scalability refers to the software’s ability to grow as your business grows. Growth remains a key goal for many construction businesses, which makes scalability even more important. Factors you need to consider include customization capabilities, connectivity to your database, training and add-ons. Another important factor with regards to scalability includes whether or not your organizational growth means increased costs to use the software.

Jonas Construction software is a fully scalable solution that will grow with your business. Jonas caters to businesses of all sizes and will work with any number of users, both in the office and in the field. Jonas enables your business to grow and expand while continuing to remain a reliable solution.

What are your support hours like and how is your support department structured?

Without a timely, reliable and effective support team, businesses can be left displeased with their software choice. Whether the software vendor you choose is based in your city, or in another country, access to timely support — or lack thereof — can be a deal breaker. Ask vendors whether their support team is in-house or outsourced, if they provide 24/7 support and do they prefer phone calls or emails to log tickets. All of these variables are important considerations to make, especially because every construction company will prefer a different type of support department. It is best to get answers to these questions early in the selection process to see if a particular solution aligns with how your business operates.

Jonas provides an in-house support team and even offers a 24/7 emergency hotline. Without any outsourced staff, Jonas provides all team members the appropriate training and education needed to fully understand how to effectively operate the software. A self-service customer portal also provides knowledgebase articles and quick information. Through our ‘Ideas’ section, not only is feedback recorded, it is used as the basis for product changes as well.

Will the software integrate with existing systems and can we customize it to our liking?

Adopting a construction software solution is a large undertaking that will result in plenty of change for any organization. Maintaining the core knowledge, skills, and abilities within the company is a goal for many businesses. Although transitioning from another software, or implementing a new solution from scratch usually means improvements need to be made, ask vendors how much room there is for customization. This may include integration capabilities with existing processes you use. Whatever the case may be, asking about the customization and integration of the software solution will help determine if they are the best fit for your business.

Jonas provides plenty of room for customization among various areas of the software. Customizable dashboard screens and a design your own form feature are only a few examples of functionalities that are possible with Jonas. Furthermore, APIs allow your current systems and applications to integrate with Jonas, making its implementation a smooth and easy transition for all construction and service companies.

To help further ease the software selection process, download the Definitive Guide to Buying Construction & Service Management Software.