PROCUREMENT OF SOFTWARES: A GUIDE

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Vinay Kumar
Student. Coffee ninja. Devoted web advocate. Subtly charming writer. Travel fan. Hardcore bacon lover

Any decent establishment in contemporary times functions better with software incorporated. Be it small establishments like stationery, grocery, etc., and big establishments like financial corporations, malls, multinational corporations – all of these establishments use software technologies to make the entire process efficient. Software is in the arena of logistics, billing, inventory, assignment of works, etc. 

Procurement of the right software is immensely crucial for the smooth functioning of the company. Software procurement can be a tedious, time-consuming and expensive process. This article tries to provide a roadmap of guidelines to make this process less painful and more enjoyable. Proper procurement has the power to make some positive impacts through cost control, innovation and sustainability. 

Stages of Procurement

There are approximately ten stages in any procurement process:

Needs recognition; Purchase requisition; Review of request; Budget approval; Quotation requests; Negotiation and Contract; Receive Goods and Services; Three-Way matching; Invoice Approval Payment and finally record keeping.

Changing trend in purchasing software

The introduction of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model has changed the dynamics between consumer and producer. This SaaS model has improved the entire buyer experience. Software vendors now have less influence than software consumers in contemporary times. Modern consumerism has raised the bar for User Experience(UX) requirements. The changing trend has also increased the competitiveness among software developers and vendors. 

Guidelines

  • Supplier Selection: A good supplier can smooth out the whole procurement process. A good supplier is selected through a tender or a Request for Proposal(RFP).
  • Use a trial version in the initial phases to check compatibility. Trials will allow you to try before you buy the entire product. 
  • Testing: Test software extensively under various scenarios before accepting the software. Many suppliers will have standard tests for software, but these do not take account of any particular client considerations. While testing, such particular considerations must also be included in the process.
  • Choose a supplier who has a one-stop solution for all your needs. Experienced vendors will take care of your software procurement needs, acquisition association, sourcing procedure and designing items or administrations for arrangement. 
  • Understand the expectations and needs for the software. A clear understanding of the need can cause less confusion and more clarity during the procurement process. It’s crucial to align the objectives of all the departments in a company with the reasoning behind buying software.
  • Consult with other companies who have bought a similar software in recent times. They would have gone through the same problems during the software procurement process. 
  • Mastering the software to be procured can give an edge during the procurement process. 
  • Do not get distracted by sparkling features. Companies need to be wary of such gimmicks. The help of experts will play a vital role in this process.
  • Get financial and legal expertise to deal with the fine print of the procurement agreement. Proper designing of terms and conditions is crucial in this stage. Detailed description, pricing details, delivery schedules, handling, force majeure clauses, etc., needs to be done with the help of financial and legal experts. 
  • Do not rush things during the entire software procurement process. Taking rational decisions at the right time and the right degree is essential for the successful procurement of desired products. 

Conclusion

Procurement of software is a laborious, cumbersome and tedious process. However, procuring the right software can save the business and increase overall efficiency. There is even procurement software for the procurement of other non-software products. Therefore, the procurement process needs patience, proper planning and better execution. The article has provided useful guidelines for the same. 

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