FEBURARY 6, 2019
How many times have your employees reported demand for MS Office, Photoshop, Illustrator or any sector-related software? When we talk about office work, similar situations cannot be avoided. Sometimes buying new equipment without any pre-installed software is enough. However, it is an employee’s responsibility to request a necessary licence.
Imagine that one of your employees requested specific software. You are trying to fulfil this request, you are at the stage of closing the order and then you find out that that there are more employees who need this software. During an informal conversation in the kitchen, the employee bragged about getting the new software making other employees feel the same need. At this point the purchase process starts to drag on or has to start again. You’re already certain that you’re wasting time on something that could be done much faster and more easily.
Are requests for company purchases made by speaking to a manager or through a dedicated form? You must realise that depending on the scale of the problem this process may look different. Sometimes it’s simple and sometimes it can be very complex. The number of people involved is usually the same. There is always someone who makes a request, someone who accepts it and someone who carries out the order.
As far as buying software or a specific software licence is concerned, the process can be more complicated. You may ask why if it’s only “one computer programme”? Everything depends on the needs of both parties involved: a person who makes the request and the company. Making right business decisions is a significant part of the company software-buying process. Is it the case with your company?
Now we have agreed that buying a specific computer program or software is more complex than simply making an order, it’s time to find out why. The first difference is verification of the need. In the case of small computer equipment, it is enough to approach an employee and check if the one that is being used needs replacing. In the case of software, it is important to obtain answers to several questions.
At the very beginning, a business decision whether consulting services should be used must be made. Their undoubted advantage is objective and professional support in a given area. Thanks to consulting services you can easily check if a need communicated by an employee will contribute to increasing this employee’s productivity. A third-party company will help you determine if the tool is necessary for efficient work, if it’s adequate for the given need, if the employee has the competencies to use the software and how many people can also need it. It is worth remembering that a bigger purchase may involve potential discounts. Positive aspects of using consulting services include protecting the company against “throwing money down the drain”.
Another important element is sending out a request for quotation. Doing market research and collecting offers is an important business matter. Comparing offers enables selecting a product adjusted to the company’s needs both as far as functionality as well as the best price. You will obtain the optimum offer and your employee will get quality software.
Speaking about important business decisions, think if your company is already using tasks and processes automation tools. If not, you can use FlowBoard to design your first purchase process! The system includes ready-made templates but you can also create your own, if necessary. FlowBoard will inform everyone involved in the process about the tasks and you will be able to follow its course at all times.
From the moment of defining a need to its fulfilment, there are a few key stages to be completed. We discussed the efficient buying process with regard to purchasing equipment for the company in the previous article: Equipment Purchase Order - a Repeatable Process or a New Challenge Every Time? Buying software is different from buying equipment because we have to extend this process with two business decisions: consulting services and sending out a request for quotation.
Select the software request process in the FlowBoard templates library. A request form will help you complete the information necessary for the decision-making process, such as:
Before you finally approve the purchase, FlowBoard will initiate the task involving the consulting service. A responsible person appointed by the application will have to determine the legitimacy of the purchase request.
After you approve an employee’s order and such issues as the number of licences, FlowBoard will assign another task in the process. The person assigned to sending out a request for quotation will have to collect offers for further analysis.
Another step is selecting the best offer. After reviewing the collected offers, the decision-maker, assigned by FlowBoard, chooses the best software and its distributor, and then finalises the purchase.
After purchasing the software, FlowBoard will assign an IT specialist to install the software on the users’ computers.
The final task is to confirm that the software is installed. The ordering party verifies if the system works correctly and then closes the task in FlowBoard. The process will be archived and can be searched for at any time!
A process-automation tool is an indispensable assistant. FlowBoard will provide you with a request form, assign responsible people, keep an eye on the tasks and send reminders/notifications by e-mail. You will save time – instead of asking co-workers, you can monitor progress of your issue on at any time!