Top 54 Demand Planning Software (Jun 2024)

2024's Best 55 Demand Planning Systems

Shlomi LaviShlomi Lavi / Jun 06, 2024

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1. SkuVault Software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $299 per 2 users/month
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare SkuVault Software Vs. SkuVault Software

SkuVault is an inventory management software designed to make the process of selling, picking, and shipping faster.


2. Priority Matrix Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $8 per user/month
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare Priority Matrix Software Vs. SkuVault Software

Priority Matrix Software is a cloud-based Project Management software that enables its users to track projects, tasks, and sub-tasks using a 4-quadrants framework.


3. Odoo

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $6 per user/month
  • Jun 02, 2024
Compare Odoo Vs. SkuVault Software

Odoo is a customizable fully integrated, and open-source project management software with a plethora of business applications such as manufacturing, project management, CRM, accounting, inventory and some other business requirements integrated into one solution.


4. Fishbowl Manufacturing

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $4,395 per license
  • Jun 05, 2024
Compare Fishbowl Manufacturing Vs. SkuVault Software

Fishbowl Manufacturing is a web based enterprise resource planning solution designed for small and medium businesses. It offers assistance in accounting, business intelligence, HR management, inventory management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Fishbowl headquartered in Utah, ...


5. Epicor Supply Chain Management

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare Epicor Supply Chain Management Vs. SkuVault Software

Epicor for Distribution is a cloud-based as well as an on-premise enterprise resource planning solution that is geared towards supply chain management. The software assists in the organization of data, reporting, and planning as well. The software has also incorporated business intelligence (BI), th...


6. Infor SCM

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare Infor SCM Vs. SkuVault Software

Infor SCM is both cloud-based as well as an on-premise supply chain management solution that is developed majorly for logistics service providers. The on-premise deployment can be done on either the windows platform or the Mac OS platform depending on the customers choice.


7. When I Work Scheduling

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $2.50 per user/month
  • Jun 02, 2024
Compare When I Work Scheduling Vs. SkuVault Software

When I Work is an online employee scheduling management solution for businesses of all sizes. It also offers payroll management, customized reporting, trade shift management, and other services. The software was designed and launched by thisCLICKS Inc headquartered in Minnesota, United St...


8. E2Open Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 02, 2024
Compare E2Open Software Vs. SkuVault Software

E2Open is a supply chain management software built for businesses to create real-time visibility, eliminate barriers to control solutions, and empower clients.


9. INTUENDI

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $699 per month
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare INTUENDI Vs. SkuVault Software

Intuendi is a supply chain software designed to help businesses stock the products their customers buy with accountability.


10. Avercast

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per month
  • Jun 02, 2024
Compare Avercast Vs. SkuVault Software

Avercast is a cloud-based Retail POS software that helps managers forecast demand through the generation, measurement, and storage of calculated data.


Pricing Guide - Demand Planning Software:

Supply Chain Management Sotware Price Range

The typical starting price range for Supply chain management software is between $0 to more than $1000 a month. Most vendors offer tiered subscription plans which might also include extra services and features. The price analysis of Supply Chain Management software products based on the size of the business is as follows:

  • Small companies can expect to pay between $0 and $200 for a Supply Chain software unit. For example, FreightPOP begins at $199 a month, Determine Contract Lifecycle Management at $3 a month, and Agiliron charges $99 monthly. ContraxAware also pricing starts at $59 a month for each user, ShipperEdge pricing goes for $199 monthly and Rose Rocket charges $69 monthly for its base subscription. CoreIMS at $50 a month and Symfact plans costs up to $59 a month.
  • Supply Chain Management software for Medium-sized Businesses have base subscriptions which cost up to $625 a month. For example, GoFrugal POS pricing starts at $375 a month, with a standard plan which costs $625 per month. Infoplus pricing goes for $379 per month.
  • Large Organisations can expect to start to pay up to $1000 for a Supply Chain software. For instance, Oracle Netsuite charges $999 for its base license, Logistically costs $300 monthly for its base plan, and NorthStar WMS pricing starts at $600.

There are some of the best breeds regarding Supply Chain Management software, and they have their price ranges for users who might be considering a specific Supply Chain software product.

The price ranges are as follows:

  • Warehousing Management Software Users can expect to pay up to $49 monthly for Warehousing Management Software. For example, EZOfficeInventory pricing starts at $35 a month, Zoho Inventory cost price begins at $49 per month and Handifox Online for $39 per month. Other vendors charge a one-time licensing fee as well; RetailOps, for example, goes for $2500, and FishBowl Inventory has a starting price of $4395.
  • Transportation Management Software Users can expect to pay up to $1500 a month for transportation Management software products. Some other vendors would offer one-time licensing, which could cost up to $20,000. For example, Trucker Helper pricing plan starts at $30 a month, Husky Intelligence costs up to $29 per month, and Viewpoint Logistics pricing goes for $1500 monthly. Furthermore, TMWSuite charges $20,000 one-time licensing, EnVision costs $3500 and Nova Transportation Solutions goes for $200 a month.
  • Contract Lifecycle Management Software This software subcategory pricing ranges is $19 - $1050 monthly. PandaDoc, for example, starts at $19 a month, Gatekeeper pricing starts at $450 per month, and MochaDocs pricing goes up to $44 monthly for each manager. Agiloft begins at $45 per month for its hosted services and $1050 per user for the software.
  • Demand Planning Software Software in this subcategory can cost up to $750 a month. For context, SkuBrain starts at $150 monthly, Skulocity pricing begins at $495 a month and PlanetTogether costs about $250. However, Some vendors charge a one-time licensing fee; an example is Demand Works Smoothie, which charges $5000.Also, StockIQ has its subscription plan at $750 a month.
  • Dropshipping Software Dropshipping Software has a price range of $19-$525 per month. For instance, EcomDash pricing starts at $60 a month, with other plans running up to $350 a month. Solid Commerce begins at $450 monthly, the Pro plan for SellerCloud goes for $525 a month, and Spocket pricing starts at $19 per month.
  • Freight Broker Software Freight Broker Software Users can expect to pay $69-$4000 a month for this product. For illustration, Descartes Aljex costs $290 per month, AscendTMS pricing goes for $69 per month, and 3G-TM pricing plan starts at $4000 monthly. Lastly, DAT Broker TMS pricing begins at $100 per month, and Dr Dispatch cost price goes for $99 a month.
  • Order Entry Software This subcategory has products that cost between $85 and $850 a month. For example, TotalETO pricing starts at $85 a month, SYSPRO at $199 per month and Epicor E10 ERP at $175. Also, Bizowie Cloud ERP costs $850 per month. Other vendors charge a perpetual licensing fee as well. Active ERP costs a one-time charge of $6000 per user.

11. CoreWarehouse

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,500 per month
  • Jun 05, 2024
Compare CoreWarehouse Vs. SkuVault Software

CoreWarehouse is an inventory management software for warehouse managers to manage warehouse activities, track the progress of goods, receive orders, and improve data capture accuracy.


12. The Pool Program

  • Best for: Start up, Small business
  • Price: starts at $439 per license
  • Jun 05, 2024
Compare The Pool Program Vs. SkuVault Software

The Pool Program is a service and retail business management solution for businesses of all sizes. Its capabilities include back office support, inventory management, client management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Wise Software & Computer Products Inc headquarte...


13. Telogis Route

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • Jun 06, 2024
Compare Telogis Route Vs. SkuVault Software

Telogis Route is a route optimization and capacity planning solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as scheduling management, territory management, planning, and dispatching. The software was designed and launched by Telogis headquartered in California, United S...


14. Enterprise 21

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $3,500 per license
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare Enterprise 21 Vs. SkuVault Software

Enterprise 21 is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning that is developed to be used by individuals as well as by businesses that are either in the manufacturing businesses or that are doing distribution work.


15. Wireless Warehouse in a Box

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $50,000 per license
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare Wireless Warehouse in a Box Vs. SkuVault Software

Wireless Warehouse in a Box is a warehouse management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as capacity planning, inventory management, quality control, and others. The software was developed and released by Systems Logic headquartered in Ontario, Canada.


16. JDA software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare JDA software Vs. SkuVault Software

JDA software is a supply chain and inventory management software solution for your business. The software was designed by JDA Software Group, Inc., headquartered in Arizona, United States. It incorporates planning, management, and accounting services to streamline the supply chain of a business. 


17. Form

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price:
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare Form Vs. SkuVault Software

Form is a data collection software that offers full transparency in frontline operations, enabling businesses to see potential problems in any operation. With this software, pictures can be taken on users device and fix directly within forms.


18. DemandCaster

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare DemandCaster Vs. SkuVault Software

DemandCaster is a supply chain planning software that helps users to stay in total control of their businesses. The software help businesses meet their customers needs on time as it automates purchases and meets delivery and distribution timelines.


19. Neogrid

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per month
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare Neogrid Vs. SkuVault Software

Neogrid is an inventory management software designed to help businesses get daily performance data from distributors and improve the interaction between two parties to increase sales.


20. Clevergig

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare Clevergig Vs. SkuVault Software

When you think about the challenges faced by businesses in managing a large and diverse workforce, Clevergig emerges as a beacon of efficiency and innovation. Founded in February 2016 by the dynamic trio of Jack Myasushkin, Mario Grunitz, and Michel Pilet, Clevergig set out to revolutionize how comp...


21. QAD DynaSys DSCP

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare QAD DynaSys DSCP Vs. SkuVault Software

QAD Dynasys is a cloud-based digital supply chain management software that enables companies to optimize and evaluate, collaborate, and plan the entire supply chain process, starting with understanding future demands as this will help improve sales, forecasting, collaboration and budgetary planning....


22. New Horizon

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare New Horizon Vs. SkuVault Software

New Horizon is a supply chain management software that helps businesses manage inventory operations using machine learning.


23. GEP SMART

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 01, 2024
Compare GEP SMART Vs. SkuVault Software

GEP SMART is a procurement software that helps businesses understand and manage spending to maximize savings. It does this by overseeing all operations involving purchases and payments, sourcing, compliance, and source-to-pay processes.


24. Unioncrate Demand Planning AI

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 02, 2024
Compare Unioncrate Demand Planning AI Vs. SkuVault Software

Unioncrate Demand planning is a supply chain management software designed for businesses that can predict sales and inventory on autopilot, ensuring forecasting accuracy and reducing manual processes.


25. Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite Vs. SkuVault Software

Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite is a web-based ERP Solution. The software allows you to implement a full package of enterprise applications that includes Sales Order, Procurement & Requisition, Inventory & Supply Chain management as well as Financials while providing the customer tools to easily...


26. TACTIC Advanced Planning and Scheduling software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price:
  • Jun 01, 2024
Compare TACTIC Advanced Planning and Scheduling software Vs. SkuVault Software

Tactic Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software is a manufacturing production and scheduling software that assists batch and discrete manufacturers manage daily production schedules and create manufacturing and purchase orders.


27. Nocturne

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $24.99 per month
  • Jun 05, 2024
Compare Nocturne Vs. SkuVault Software

Nocturne is a cloud-based supply chain management software that offers demand forecasting, transit inventory tracking as well as supplier rating. Nocturne provides easy integration with the existing inventory management system and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.


28. StockIQ

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $750 per month
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare StockIQ Vs. SkuVault Software

StockIQ is a supply chain management software that helps forecast products, thereby reducing stockouts in businesses and getting them prepared for the future.


29. Conga Novatus Contract Management Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $55 per user/month
  • Jun 02, 2024
Compare Conga Novatus Contract Management Software Vs. SkuVault Software

Conga Novatus Contract Management Software is a growing cloud-based Contract Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Conga Novatus Contract Management Software received a rating of 4.6 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (2.2/5...


30. SMART by GEP

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 06, 2024
Compare SMART by GEP Vs. SkuVault Software

SMART by GEP is a web based supply chain management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as sourcing and procurement, supplier management, contract management, and others. The software was designed and launched by GEP headquartered in New Jersey, United States.


31. RapidResponse

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 01, 2024
Compare RapidResponse Vs. SkuVault Software

RapidResponse is a supply chain management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as demand planning, inventory management, supply chain planning, and others. The software was designed and launched by Kinaxis headquartered in Ontario, Canada.


32. TECSYS Distribution Management System

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 06, 2024
Compare TECSYS Distribution Management System Vs. SkuVault Software

TECSYS Distribution Management System is a distribution solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers assistance in such domains as procurement management, order management, and others. The software was designed and launched by TECHSYS Inc headquartered in New York, United States.


33. When I Work

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $2.50 per user/month
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare When I Work Vs. SkuVault Software

When I Work is web-based scheduling software that helps users create and manage communication with employees and clients. It also allows customers to manage scheduling for their employees, as well as connecting into their work schedules using email notifications and mobile apps and making work seaml...


34. Jada SCP 4-0

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $35,500 per license
  • Jun 01, 2024
Compare Jada SCP 4-0 Vs. SkuVault Software

Jada SCP 4.0 is a supply chain management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as demand planning, inventory optimization, supplier management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Jada Management Systems LLC headquartered in Oregon, United States.


35. Evo~ERP

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $250 per month
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare Evo~ERP Vs. SkuVault Software

Evo~ERP is an enterprise resource planning software with manufacturing control, integrated accounting and inventory management features. The ERP solution makes sure your business gets more than just a simple accounting system by offering a true accounting, manufacturing and order processing suite. T...


36. GAINSystems

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare GAINSystems Vs. SkuVault Software

GAINSystems is a growing cloud-based Supply Chain software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. GAINSystems received a rating of 3.9 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (4/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


37. Blue Ridge Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare Blue Ridge Software Vs. SkuVault Software

Blue Ridge Software is a fast growing cloud-based Supply Chain software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Blue Ridge Software received a rating of 4.8 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered a bit pricey (4.3/5) vs their competitors.


38. Microlistics WMS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 02, 2024
Compare Microlistics WMS Vs. SkuVault Software

Microlistics WMS is an award-winning cloud-based Supply Chain software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Microlistics WMS received a rating of 4.7 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.9/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


39. Brilliant WMS

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $80 per user/month
  • Jun 01, 2024
Compare Brilliant WMS Vs. SkuVault Software

Brilliant WMS is a warehouse and order management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as credit card processing, shipping management, inventory management, and others. The software was developed and released by Brilliant Info System Pvt Ltd headquartered in Maha...


40. The Real Time Value Network

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare The Real Time Value Network Vs. SkuVault Software

Real Time Value Network is a supply chain management solution for businesses of all sizes. Other than supply chain monitoring and analytics, it also features inventory management and procurement capabilities. The software was designed and launched by One Network Enterprises headquartered ...


41. Viewpoint For Project Collaboration

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $10,000 per license
  • Jun 01, 2024
Compare Viewpoint For Project Collaboration Vs. SkuVault Software

Viewpoint For Project Collaboration is a project management and construction software for small and medium companies. Its key features include building information modeling, estimating, business intelligence and reporting, and construction accounting, document control, equipment management, and fina...


42. SAP S/4HANA

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price: starts at $3,595 per month
  • Jun 06, 2024
Compare SAP S/4HANA Vs. SkuVault Software

SAP S/4HANA is an ERP software that uses the SAP HANA platform. It combines and automates various processes in the business in one place, making it more convenient for all users to get the needed information and tools, find real time data, and be involved in the process. From the design development ...


43. Royal 4 Enterprise

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare Royal 4 Enterprise Vs. SkuVault Software

Royal 4 Enterprise software is a comprehensive ERP solution for your business. The software was designed and launched by Royal 4 Systems, headquartered in California, United States. The software regulates all the important aspects of business from inventory management and planning to supply chain an...


44. Supply Chain Planning & Optimization

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price:
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare Supply Chain Planning & Optimization Vs. SkuVault Software

Supply Chain Planning & Optimization by MetaChain is supply chain management solution that can help users to transform their supply chain into a competitive advantage from an obstacle and to help them achieve the strategic vision of their company. The software can also help users to find out the sav...


45. AscendTMS Logistics

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $79 per month
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare AscendTMS Logistics Vs. SkuVault Software

AscendTMS logistics is a supply chain management software built on cloud-based format. Its features enable it to manage payment, load, accounting, and finance.


46. AIM Vision

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $330 per user/month
  • Jun 06, 2024
Compare AIM Vision Vs. SkuVault Software

AIM Vision is supply chain management software designed and launched for repetitive manufacturers of automotive supplies. The software was developed by AIM Computer Solutions, Inc. It provides efficient management of various aspects of supply chain such as sourcing, procurement and logistics.


47. Tensoft Fabless Semiconductor Management (FSM)

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare Tensoft Fabless Semiconductor Management (FSM) Vs. SkuVault Software

Tensoft Fabless Semiconductor Management (FSM) is a cloud based software solution for the supply chain and financial needs of the technology industry. The software was designed and launched by Tensoft, Inc. headquartered in San Jose, United States. It aims at improving the manufacturing efficiency o...


48. Geneva Business Management Systems (GBMS)

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price:
  • Jun 04, 2024
Compare Geneva Business Management Systems (GBMS) Vs. SkuVault Software

Geneva Business Management Systems (GBMS) provides business management software for the SME market. GBMS includes modules that cover wholesale distribution, warehousing, manufacturing, ecommerce, operations as well as financials. Geneva Systems was founded in 1994 to develop solutions primarily f...


49. Datalliance VMI

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $50,000 per year
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare Datalliance VMI Vs. SkuVault Software

Datalliance VMI software is a cloud-hosted vendor managed inventory solution that targets to serve distributors, equipment manufacturers, and retailers in different industries. The software assists its users to acquire customer information using various communication methods through activity reports...


50. PackManager Contract Packaging Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 06, 2024
Compare PackManager Contract Packaging Software Vs. SkuVault Software

PackManager is a cloud-based supply-chain management software designed to help manufacturers and contractors perform activities that relate to supply management. PackManager offers functionalities such as performance monitoring, labour management, costing and quoting, among others.


51. Megaventory

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $135 per month
  • Jun 05, 2024
Compare Megaventory Vs. SkuVault Software

Megaventory is a cloud-based Inventory Management Software that allows users to manage their manufacturing operations with powerful tools and functions.


52. BOARD

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 03, 2024
Compare BOARD Vs. SkuVault Software

BOARD is a business analytics and performance management software developed for small to large enterprises. Its key features include ad hoc analysis and reporting, budgeting, planning & forecasting, business intelligence, predictive analytics, simulation models, and workflow management to name a few...


53. Pentagon 2000SQL

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $4,999 per license
  • Jun 02, 2024
Compare Pentagon 2000SQL Vs. SkuVault Software

Pentagon 2000SQL ERP Systems provides a complete, user-friendly, feature rich and fully integrated environment that supports all of an enterprise general business and industry-specific activities - including accounting and financial reporting. Pentagon 2000 Software provides industry-specific s...


54. Atlas Insights

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $5,000 per month
  • Jun 01, 2024
Compare Atlas Insights Vs. SkuVault Software

Atlas Insights is an award-winning cloud-based BI software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Atlas Insights received a rating of 2.5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.4/5) when compared to alternative solutions.



A Buyer's Guide to Business Software Solutions

How to Evaluate and Buy Business Software
 
If you’re somehow puzzled if this article is only for a specific size of business, no, it’s not. This is for you SMEs, MNEs and start-ups software buyers. Also, we’re not talking about a specific software solution here. Whether the software solution that you’re planning to buy is for Accounting, Business Intelligence, ERP, CRM, Help Desk, Maintenance Management or other types of application, one thing is for sure; with the help of this article, you will be able to know the right process in evaluating and buying a business software solution.
 
We’ve been into the software business for years and we’re seeing a lot of nitty-gritty things that often bring confusions and hesitations to many companies looking for better software solutions. Some companies can’t afford to let go their legacy systems while a few is encountering technological snags once the new system is in place. While this is the underlying truth behind software acquisition and implementation, what’s exciting about buying a business software solution is that there is a clear and obvious proof that thousands of companies and corporations today are happy with the benefits this technology is bringing into their respective businesses.  There is a significant increase in their revenue and the growth is on-going. And it’s easy to say; many from the Fortune 500 companies are making a lot of money because of their smartly-acquired business software.
 
So, let’s get straight to the point. What should you do in order to acquire that business software that could make your organization achieve its goals? The answer to this is pretty straightforward: evaluate and buy that right business software. Yes, that’s what you need to do and here’s the best manual from ITQlick.com that could certainly help you in doing that strategically.
 
Consider the Needs of Your Organization
Let’s assume that at this point, the entire management team agreed that you are ready to invest on a certain software application. The budget has been compromised and the key persons who will be involved in the acquisition process were already identified. Therefore, it’s time to approach things the project management way.
 
Define the Project
Every business software solution is categorized base on application type, features, deployment model, market size and pricing model. Remember that our objective here is to evaluate and buy a business software product that will fit into the size and present needs of your business. So what the project management team should try to deal with first is to define the real requirements of your business exactly base on the categories set by the software industry. Moreover, by doing this activity, you are already narrowing down your search for the right solution. Now, consider bringing this list of FAQs to the project management and aim to come up with clear-cut answers.
 
  1. What type of software is needed? Is it Integrated-Suite, Best-of-Breed or Industry-Specific? Ask your CEO’s main agenda and find the perfect match from these available options.
  2. What are the core and secondary features? Are you looking for basic, advanced or hi-end features? List down the specific features per category and allow the department managers and supervisors to give their insights on this list.
  3. How are you going to deploy the system? Would it be on-premise, cloud-based, hosted, or mobile-based? Weigh these options with the help of your CIO.
  4. Are you going for Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 vendors? Their offered solutions are base on the size of their target market - SMEs, MNEs or start-ups. Seek your CFO’s advice as it is important to match your financial capacity against the cost of the solution that the providers have for you.
  5. Are you willing to pay for the perpetuity software license or a subscription-based solution is way better? How many users are there and what would be their roles in using the system? Solicit feedbacks from future end users for they know better what challenges and risks might possibly come along their way when they’re using the system.
 
Finalize the BOM or List of Requirements
After providing definite answers on the above questions, we can say that the project has already been defined. Your procurement team is now ready to do their role in the acquisition process of this solution. However, in order for them to execute their job properly, they must have the complete list of requirements - features, specifications, hardware, and the software product. In other words, the Bill-of-Materials (BOM) that is final, complete and well-prepared must be handed over to the procurement director. Needless to say, it is very important that everybody is following the company purchasing and procurement protocols at all times.  
 
Request for Proposal (RFP)
The RFP process will bring everything into formality. Since you’re more likely in a line of business that doesn’t regularly buy software products, it is of critical importance that your RFP is well-structured before you send it to your prospect solution providers.
 
Draft the RFP
An RFP that contains all the relevant information as discussed during the project management meetings will enable the providers to return back to you their proposal that is complete and substantial. Therefore, your RFP should basically contain the following:
 
Brief Introduction
  • Company Name
  • Mission and Goals
  • Purpose of the RFP (or the need for software solution)
Business Background
  • Organizational Structure
  • Current Situation (IT infrastructure, system currently in-use, system issues and desired solutions, etc.)
  • Major Objectives of the Software Purchase
Request for Specific Requirements
  • Solution Functionality
  • System Specifications
  • Vendor Company Information
  • Price Model, Service Plans, Package Options
Other Important Inquiries (if necessary)
 
Send the RFP
Well-structured RFP will bring a lot of advantages especially when the proposals from various providers are received and then subjected for review and analysis. Send your RFP to at least three to five providers (or prospects which you have already shortlisted during the project definition phase). Depending on the complexity of the solution, most vendors will send their proposal in a matter of time, which could be around 4 to 6 weeks for Integrated-Suite solution.
 
Why still send RFP?
Is there really a need for RFP if your preferred solution (like cloud-based) and the service plans or packages are already displayed on the vendor’s website? Well, yes, you still need to undergo the RFP process. For most sales people, they certainly know that those figures appearing in the vendor’s website are usually the “list price” and not the “actual price”. More importantly, the vendor’s proposal (response to RFP) will serve as your main basis for the negotiation. Therefore, sending an RFP is a strict requirement.
 
Follow up questions relevant to RFP
More often than not, questions and concerns will be raised by the vendors to whom you send the RFP. You have to entertain them with utmost professionalism. Solution providers who are seeking further clarifications relevant to the RFP are consisting of professional software experts who wants to help your organization as much as they can. Entertain them but at the same time, always be cautious when providing additional information which you know is confidential or proprietary.
 
Evaluate the Proposals
Always refer to your finalized BOM when tabulating the contents of each proposal. Part of this process is to check the features that are available from this certain vendor and to cross out those that are not. While using spreadsheet aids the tabulation process, laying down the document proposals on the table and allowing your project management team to review them one by one should always be conducted. Evaluating the proposals in full force can help strengthen your decision-making process. Have another round of brain-storming session and come with the name of your preferred solution provider.
 
When selecting the final vendor, always promote the best interest of your organization. Consider answering these questions with full sincerity.
 
  1. Which vendor can provide the long-term benefits to your organization?
  2. Which vendor can provide the best and honest service from acquisition to full implementation?
  3. Which vendor is willing to devote most of its time in better serving its client?
 
Contact this solution provider and in your own strategic approach, try to get the answers to those three important questions above. In most cases, vendor who really wants to prove its craft will offer product demos on a higher level. Others will even invite you to check their already deployed and working systems. Feel free to connect with this type of vendor. Conduct simulation and testing, be it a cloud-based or on-premise solution. Examine all aspects and angles especially those that your project management team want to really know in-depth. For as long as it could help you arrive at a better decision, consider doing all the options available – for the interest of the organization.
 
Enter the Negotiation Process
Most solutions providers can be flexible in terms of pricing. Although the final say is oftentimes on the mouth of the sales person from the vendor’s side, a good negotiation process can always deliver a win-win situation to both parties involve. While negotiation sometimes cannot be settled in one sitting session, always be honest with your intentions whenever negotiating with your provider. If it’s about your budget, justify it with clarity. If it’s about their service plans, tell them what’s lacking or missing on their solution. At the end of the day, the most important event that should happen is that both of you are shaking hands because of a well done negotiation process.
 
Seal the Contract
So what are you going to do on a contract that involves a significant amount of investment? There are three project management approaches for this.
 
  1. Pass the ball to you legal team. They know what to do and more or less they will tell you if there is something wrong with the contract. Give them enough time to review before they affix their signature and then finally seal the contract.
  2. Hire a consultant base on the technical aspect that you want to clarify in the contract. If it’s the Scope of Work (SOW), a software implementation expert is the right person. If it is related to complex legal terms and conditions, a lawyer can help. If it has something to do with money, invite an accountant to conduct a thorough review and computation if necessary.
  3. Always consider consulting your project management team. Remember that the CIO, CFO and CEO are all team members. They will be the signatories and they know what’s best for the interest of the company when signing a contract agreement.
 
From evaluation to buying stage, it is important that the project manager must take full responsibility of monitoring all the works identified and distributed among team members. This is why delegating the right project manager is also an important consideration when buying a business software solution. And again, ITQlick.com wants to emphasize that whatever the size of your company is, using the project management approach will always lead you into a better outcome – that is getting what you paid for the right business software solution. 

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Auditor - Shlomi Lavi

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Shlomi Lavi is an entrepreneur and founder of ITQlick.com. He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Information Systems Engineering from Ben Gurion University in Israel. Shlomi brings 17 years of global IT and IS management experience as a consultant and implementation expert for small, medium and large-sized (global) companies. Shlomi’s goal is to share the best knowledge and news about information systems so you can make smarter buying decisions for your business.