• Not-so-obvious questions to ask warehouse inventory software vendors

When it comes to Warehouse Inventory Software, there are commonly asked questions that our Sales Team addresses on a frequent basis:

“What is the cost of the software?”

“How long will it take to implement?”

“Who is responsible for the implementation?”

Although these are all valid and important questions to be addressed, other not-so-obvious yet equally significant inquiries need to be discussed to save yourself the hardships of an implementation war.  Keep in mind that a good software vendor will also ask you a variety of questions to ensure that their system is a good fit for your unique needs.

Here are our top 7 revealing questions to ask Warehouse Inventory Software vendors.

1)      What functionality do you have that is especially useful to my industry?

Choosing the right warehouse inventory software is a cumbersome task for any company, but can get even more complicated when industry specific functionality is needed. For example, certain industries such as Apparel, Food and Beverage and Pharmaceutical and Medical all require specific features in order to comply with regulations and manage processes.

So, when you evaluate vendors, be sure to ask what capabilities they have that are a must-have for your industry. Some unique features include:

2)      How do you consistently provide ongoing innovation and value?

You want to make sure that your investment is not short-term and that your warehouse inventory software will still be functional and useful to your business years from now. This question will help you determine if the company is capable of keeping up with changes in technology, regulations, and business processes. How often do they release updates? How are they staying on top of industry compliance? The last thing you want to do is sign on with a company that is stagnant in their development and cannot keep up with your company’s growth.

3)      Who is your software not a good fit for?

This question is good for filtering out any shortcomings early in the buying process.  A good vendor will also recognize if your needs are outside the scope of what they can deliver and will let you know ahead of time. There are certain deal-breakers when it comes to determining if warehouse inventory software is the right fit for your business- budget, industry-specific functionality, implementation timeframe, language requirements, multiple currency requirements etc. Take the time to thoroughly analyze your business processes to identify any outside-the-box or unique features that you require before you speak with vendors.

 4)      What are your service offerings beyond functionality?

It’s easy to get caught up in the specific functionality a vendor can offer you but what about the kinds of services they offer you beyond the software itself? Some services include:

  • Data Migration- Can they migrate all relevant data from older systems without the need for manual data input?
  • Training- Do they have a qualified team that can teach your employees how to best utilize the system?
  • Customization- Some vendors offer customization to ensure that the most unique aspects of your business are implemented
  • Technical Support – Do they have an in-house support team? What are their hours of operation and how quickly can they respond to your needs?

5)      How often will you meet with me to discuss my system?

This is a question that rarely gets asked leading many businesses to miss out on some great opportunities. Depending on the vendor, you’ll be able to set up one-on-one meetings to go over any concerns and needs you may have on a frequent basis. Take advantage of these sessions as they are normally a part of your service package. It’s a great way to stay on top of the software and ensure you’re using it to its fullest capability.

6)      What kinds of companies are in your customer base?

Knowing that the vendor has successfully implemented other companies in your industry is a good sign that they are able to deliver a smooth implementation for your business. Ask them if they have testimonials or high-level examples of the types of warehouse inventory processes and regulations they are able to support that are relevant to your business.

7)      Can you give me industry references?

Always ask for references. Talking to current customers in your industry gives you greater confidence that the software can and will perform as promised. This is usually done at the later stages of the buying process. Be sure to ask the references what went right, what went wrong and what they would have done differently. If the vendor can provide you with at least two references in your industry, chances are they have the experience you require.

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