Evaluating a software purchase can be challenging, even stressful. Here a few hints and tips that apply to choosing a software system to track employee time and attendance. These ideas may save you some time and money. These tips can be used for all types of software purchases not just Time Clock Software.
Start Small – Try Before You Buy
For a small business a free trial is essential to determine if the selected system will meet your needs. Larger business should organise with the vendor to conduct a pilot installation. Use this time wisely and plan out what you want to evaluate.
Cooling Off Period
For high end systems for hundreds or thousands of users it may be worthwhile negotiating a cooling off period so that you are not bound to to a prolonged, costly contract.
Match To Needs
Keep it simple. A time tracking system should be a tool to simplify your business processes. Don’t choose an expensive or complicated system if your needs are basic. A company with 4 staff won’t need to invest in a system that can handle a 1,000 employees. Technology moves fast these days so match the system features to your current requirements and to the goals you have set for your business in 12 months time. Some software vendors offer ‘light’ or reduced feature versions. This can reduce the initial cost while still providing an upgrade path as your business expands.
Ensure that you’re aware of the hardware requirements of the software. The main thing to make sure of with a desktop system is that you have a version that will run on your PC or Mac and the version of the operating system you are using. If a centralised system is needed there can be large costs beyond just the physical equipment. For example network infrastructure, data and support from technicians. More and more businesses are choosing cloud based solutions to alleviate the resource constraints of IT.
Cloud computing or Software as a Service has many advantages for most businesses. Basically your time clock software will run on Internet based servers that someone else looks after. You just subscribe to the time clock service and scale up or down as needed. This gives you enormous flexibility and reduces your IT cost risks.