The right software can increase efficiency and make your work easier. But how do you find the right package for your company? Angel Perez reports
During my 20 years in HR Systems, I've been involved in the acquisition of several HR software purchases. As these software packages have become more sophisticated (and more expensive), extra care must be taken in choosing the right system for your organisation's needs, both now and in the future.
Systems have a 'shelf life' of three to five years in their original state. With regular updates, these systems can serve a company's needs for at least 10 years, so choosing wisely can save even more. By following these steps, you can optimise the process of choosing the right software.
Clarify your needs
Before you begin your research to find the appropriate system, make sure you have a solid idea of what you require. Hundreds of systems are out there. By having a thorough idea of what your organisation is looking to do, both now and in the future, you can focus on a set of packages to investigate further.
What has prompted the search? Is it the replacement of an ageing system? If so, what does the current system have that has worked well? What is lacking that you wish it to do?
Are you looking to automate processes? In terms of additional functionality, are you concentrating on a specific area, such as recruitment, or are you looking for a complete remake of all the HR areas and are looking for an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system such as PeopleSoft, Oracle or SAP?
Many of these ERP providers also specialise in software for other parts of the organisation, such as finance and manufacturing. Are there other areas, such as finance, looking at a system investment? If so, by teaming up in your search, you may find a system that meets both needs, and this will give you additional leverage in your price negotiations.
As part of your research, you should document your existing processes. This will allow you to determine which systemsmore closely meet your needs, as well as give you an initial blueprint for determining which functional areas will require re-engineering of the processes to better match system capabilities. This can also allow you to determine which parts of the system will require customisation, if needed.