Top 54 Distribution  Inventory Management Software (Feb 2024)

2024's Best 55 Distribution  Inventory Management Systems

Shlomi LaviShlomi Lavi / Feb 11, 2024

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1. Blue Link Elite

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business
  • Price: starts at $500 per license
  • Mar 22, 2022
Compare Blue Link Elite Vs. Blue Link Elite

Blue Link ERP is an inventory and distribution management software for small companies. It offers business solutions including but not limited to real-time inventory and accounting, order entry, B2B and B2C eCommerce, POS, EDI integration, CRM, and more.


2. Sage 300 Online

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $75 per month
  • Mar 27, 2022
Compare Sage 300 Online Vs. Blue Link Elite

Sage 300 Online is a web based financial and business management solution for small and medium businesses. It offers such capabilities as payroll management, inventory management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Sage Software Inc headquartered in Georgia, United States.


3. Infor SCM

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • Sep 23, 2022
Compare Infor SCM Vs. Blue Link Elite

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.


4. WMS360

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price:
  • Dec 13, 2022
Compare WMS360 Vs. Blue Link Elite

WMS360 is a web-based warehouse management software designed to streamline warehouse operations. This application has all the necessary features that allow integration with third party platforms, full warehouse automation, Electronic Data Interchange, and document management systems.


5. ConnectPOS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $39 per month
  • Apr 25, 2022
Compare ConnectPOS Vs. Blue Link Elite

ConnectPOS is a point of sale software designed to manage payments, inventory, and checkouts of any business or organization.


6. contractERP

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • May 18, 2022
Compare contractERP Vs. Blue Link Elite

ContractERP is an enterprise resource planning solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers assistance in distribution, manufacturing, supplying, and other aspects of business operations. The software was designed and launched by Access IT headquartered in New York, United States.


7. bcFood

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • May 17, 2022
Compare bcFood Vs. Blue Link Elite

BcFood is an enterprise solution for the Food Industry. The software is built on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform and provides support for financials, production, distribution and inventory for food processing, manufacturing and supply. Beck Consulting the developer behind BcFood was founded i...


8. Oasis LMS

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $3 per user/month
  • May 21, 2022
Compare Oasis LMS Vs. Blue Link Elite

OasisLIMS is a Software as a Service (SaaS) laboratory information management system (LIMS) that is designed to automate lab workflows, integration, and manage samples and all the related information.


9. Epicor Distribution

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $175 per user/month
  • May 18, 2022
Compare Epicor Distribution Vs. Blue Link Elite

Epicor Distribution is cloud-based and on-premise distribution solution that caters for businesses of all sizes including small-sized businesses, medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises in the aerospace, automotive, construction, engineering, energy, electronics, medical devices, consumer goo...


10. Accolent ERP

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $2,500 per license
  • May 25, 2022
Compare Accolent ERP Vs. Blue Link Elite

Accolent ERP is an enterprise resource planning solution for small and medium businesses. It offers assistance in wholesale distribution management along with inventory and purchasing management capabilities. The software was developed and launched by ADS Solutions Corporation headquarte...


Pricing Guide - Distribution  Inventory Management Software:

Distribution Software Price Range

A majority distribution software in the market has perpetual licences that can be bought with a one-time fee. However, there are others set on the conventional per month, per user basis. Businesses can expect to pay between $20 to $100 per month for a distribution software. Alternatively, companies can expect prices from $5,000 and above for distribution software perpetual licenses.

For example, Visco pricing starts from $95 per user monthly and Info M3 pricing from $150 per user monthly. Meanwhile, Epicor Distributor and Accolent ERP cost one-time fees of $20,000 and $2,500 respectively for perpetual licences.

Different vendors target different sizes of businesses; hence, each business size should expect disparate pricing.

  • Small Businesses can expect price points which range from $10 to $40 for distribution software. For example, Hello Tracks is priced at $10 per user, per month, while Zoho Creator pricing starts from $10 per user, per month. Also, Emerge App costs up to $26 per user monthly.
  • Medium Businesses can expect to pay within $40 to $100 for a distribution software, depending on the type of package, the robustness of its features, and the number of user accounts. For example, Aquilon is priced at $75 per month for a single user account, but costs around $60 for multiple accounts. Also, Visco is priced around $95 per user monthly, and Nowcommerce for QuickBooks costs around $100 per month.
  • Large Businesses can expect volatile pricing for a distribution software because most vendors adjust their prices to suit capacity of interested organizations. However, they can expect a price between $100 to $800 per month. For example, InfoPlus pricing starts from 695 per month, while that of Infor M3 starts from 150 per month.

Distribution Software best of breeds and their price ranges are as follows:

  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Software Most electronic data interchange software in the market are priced either on a yearly basis or per license, although there are a few others with monthly pricing. The price ranges for EDI, depending on their tiers, are $150 to $250, $250 to $2,500, and $2,500 upward. For instance, Chiapas EDI is priced around $3750 per year, while ERP Integration Software costs $1,000 per year. Alternatively, GoAnywhere MFT perpetual licence costs around $2,000, while that of Business Systems Integrators costs $1,200.
  • Food Traceability Software Most food traceability software products in the market are set on per user, per year or per user, per month basis. The price points ranges are $40 to $80, $80 to $200, and $200 above per month, depending on their tiers. Otherwise, yearly food traceability software tools are between $500 to $2,000, and $2,000 to $10,000 per year. For example, SafetyChain Food Safety & Quality Software starts from $7,500 per year, while Compliance Mate pricing starts from $500 per year. Otherwise, Visual Produce costs $300 per user monthly, while eQ Trace costs $350 per user monthly.
  • Shipping Software Most shipping software apps in the market are either priced per user, per month or by the volume of shipping per month. Its price varies between $2 and $50 above depending on the vendor offering it. For instance, ShippingEasy pricing starts from $29 per month, FreightView costs around $99 per month, and 2Ship pricing starts from $10 monthly.
  • Logistics Software Most logistics Software solutions in the market are priced per user, per month or per volume of items monthly. There are also others based on commission. The price ranges are between $40 to $80 and $80 to $200 per month. For example, Logitude World starts from $45 per month, OnFleet pricing starts from $149 per month, and Betachon Freight Auditing pricing starts from $0.1 per gain on each item.
  • Food Distribution Software Food distribution software have prices that fall between $18 to $50 and $50 to $150 per month, depending on their tiers. The price is set per driver or user per month or per trip, per month. For example, Traverse pricing starts from $100 per month, Routteique pricing from $49 per month, and OptimoRoute costs about $19 per driver per month.

11. Tire Inventory Solutions

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $39 per month
  • Jun 15, 2022
Compare Tire Inventory Solutions Vs. Blue Link Elite

Tire Inventory Solutions is a tire inventory management software for tire dealers to manage and promote new and used tires and wheels, organize inventory lists, advertise businesses, and create sales invoices.


12. E2 Manufacturing System

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price:
  • Jun 15, 2022
Compare E2 Manufacturing System Vs. Blue Link Elite

E2 Manufacturing System is a cloud-based ERP software solution that enables users to create a transparent operation by including more information such as pictures into their price quotes and information.


13. EGEM

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $100 per user/month
  • Jun 22, 2022
Compare EGEM Vs. Blue Link Elite

EGEM is a cloud-based maintenance software that affords managers the capacity to organize machinery movement, track costs, and maintenance schedules.


14. ERP123

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $150 per month
  • Jun 16, 2022
Compare ERP123 Vs. Blue Link Elite

ERP123 is an enterprise resource planning software that is ready to offer the “optimum business solution” for your company. The software comes with an innovative approach which can reduce cost and risk by providing flexible and easy-to-use solutions. The software is based on a latest technology with...


15. entree ERP

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $4,995 per license
  • Jun 23, 2022
Compare entree ERP Vs. Blue Link Elite

...


16. JDA software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Dec 18, 2022
Compare JDA software Vs. Blue Link Elite

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. Certus Food ERP

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $125 per 5 users/month
  • Apr 08, 2022
Compare Certus Food ERP Vs. Blue Link Elite

Certus Food ERP is a food service distribution software designed for food & beverage businesses. It enhances their operations fully and provides them with complete visibility and control over inventory accuracy, quality management, cost & traceability.


18. Epicor Vision

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Apr 26, 2022
Compare Epicor Vision Vs. Blue Link Elite

Epicor is an enterprise resource planning software that helps businesses make business decisions with accurate data and clear insights. The software provides document storage and retrieval system that helps to turn paper documents into digital files.


19. Ximple Erp

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price:
  • Jan 14, 2022
Compare Ximple Erp Vs. Blue Link Elite

Ximple ERP is an ERP Software designed to enable wholesale distributors to process orders, analyze customer buying habits, and boost communication processes amongst employees, suppliers, and customers.


20. Acumatica Distribution Management Suite

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business
  • Price:
  • Jul 10, 2023
Compare Acumatica Distribution Management Suite Vs. Blue Link Elite

Acumatica Distribution Management Suite is an application software module, which has been developed to aid in the management of the intricacies of distribution. It enables the user to track inventory, purchasing, ordering, filling orders, and delivering customer support. This software delivers real-...


21. SAP for Wholesale Distribution

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price:
  • Jul 05, 2022
Compare SAP for Wholesale Distribution Vs. Blue Link Elite

SAP for wholesale distribution includes state of the art software solutions for both large as well as mid-sized organizations all across the globe. This software solution can help companies enhance their operational efficiency and profitability while extending support for seamless customer support a...


22. Sage Evolution

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jul 05, 2022
Compare Sage Evolution Vs. Blue Link Elite

Sage Evolution is an enterprise resource planning solution for small and medium businesses. It deals with such aspects as accounting, business intelligence, supply chain, procurement, and others. The software was designed and launched by Sage Pastel Communication headquartered in South Af...


23. Kler CBD

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $99 per user/month
  • Apr 17, 2022
Compare Kler CBD Vs. Blue Link Elite

KLER CBD is an inventory management software that helps cannabis businesses control every aspect of the cannabis supply chain, from cultivation to manufacturing to retail sales.


24. Unioncrate Operations Management

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price:
  • Mar 04, 2022
Compare Unioncrate Operations Management Vs. Blue Link Elite

Unioncrate is an integrated business planning software that analyses businesses sales data to improve accurate sales predictions using automated analysis across all channels.


25. e-PIC One Enterprise

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per license
  • Jul 15, 2022
Compare e-PIC One Enterprise Vs. Blue Link Elite

e-PIC One Enterprise is a web-based ERP program designed for manufacturers, distributors, fabricators, franchise business and suppliers. It could operate on your web browser, desktop and mobile device. It is filled with features that manage the entire order process from quoting to invoicing. It also...


26. Snapfulfil

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $4,000 per month
  • Jul 16, 2022
Compare Snapfulfil Vs. Blue Link Elite

Snapfulfil is a cloud-based warehouse management system that offers a complete WMS solution with required Barcode/RF scanning equipment and refined functionality. The software can be deployed in cloud-based or Software as a Service (SaaS) model for easy access by all users. Snapfulfil can improve pi...


27. Inform Distribution Software

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price:
  • Aug 25, 2022
Compare Inform Distribution Software Vs. Blue Link Elite

Inform Distribution software is a management tool which combines all of the everyday operations related to accounts and inventory in a sale. This software contains various tools, which help in boosting the latest sales, and improves managerial tasks like contact and sales management. It helps join t...


28. ECi Maytech

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Aug 01, 2022
Compare ECi Maytech Vs. Blue Link Elite

ECiMaytechis a distribution software specifically designed for Jan/San and industrial paper distributors. The business management system is platform-independent and is compatible with Mac, Windows, Unix and Linux. Users can use this software to automate all their back office operations starting from...


29. Flowtrac

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $100 per user/month
  • Sep 28, 2022
Compare Flowtrac Vs. Blue Link Elite

FlowTrac is an on-premise and cloud-based warehouse management solution that is designed to help businesses manage assets, inventory, and warehouse. Designed by Flowtrac, it offers customizations to enable businesses to custom the platform to suit their key needs.


30. Acumatica Cloud ERP

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price:
  • Feb 11, 2024
Compare Acumatica Cloud ERP Vs. Blue Link Elite

Acumatica Cloud ERP is cloud-based as well as an on-premise enterprise resource planning solution that is designed for use by both businesses as well as individual professionals. The solution offers business the critical functionalities that help support business growth and expansion since the solut...


31. MioSalon

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $10 per month
  • Sep 24, 2022
Compare MioSalon Vs. Blue Link Elite

MioSalon is a growing cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. MioSalon received a rating of 4.7 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


32. Kechie

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jan 30, 2023
Compare Kechie Vs. Blue Link Elite

Kechie is a Supply Chain Management software that is fully cloud-based. This software leverages cloud technology to allow seamless accessibility, scalability and affordability. Whether you are an established corporation or small start-up, this software is integrated to streamline your business proce...


33. Before! Predictive Analytics

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jan 30, 2023
Compare Before! Predictive Analytics Vs. Blue Link Elite

Before! Predictive Analytics is a cloud-based supply chain management software that can predict demand while overseeing relevant organizational processes such as design, procurement, inventory, and optimization.


34. Jada SCP 4-0

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $35,500 per license
  • Oct 04, 2022
Compare Jada SCP 4-0 Vs. Blue Link Elite

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. ADS Solutions Distribution

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $2,500 per license
  • Oct 03, 2022
Compare ADS Solutions Distribution Vs. Blue Link Elite

ADS Solutions Distribution is a software solution that supports wholesale distributors. The software provides a fully integrated business solution that includes finance, inventory control, purchasing, invoicing, CRM and sales together with an e-commerce platform. ADS Solutions was founded in 1984...


36. RetailBeanLite

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $250 per year
  • Apr 12, 2022
Compare RetailBeanLite Vs. Blue Link Elite

RetailBeanLite is a fast growing cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. RetailBeanLite received a rating of 4 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.2/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


37. WinRx

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price:
  • Feb 12, 2022
Compare WinRx Vs. Blue Link Elite

WinRx is a growing cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. WinRx received a rating of 4.6 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.1/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


38. Finale Inventory

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $75 per month
  • Feb 16, 2022
Compare Finale Inventory Vs. Blue Link Elite

Finale Inventory is a leading cloud-based Inventory Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Finale Inventory received a rating of 4.7 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


39. ACUMATICA

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per month
  • Feb 14, 2022
Compare ACUMATICA Vs. Blue Link Elite

Acumatica Cloud ERP is enterprise resource planning software for small and medium businesses. It supervises accounting, human resource management, manufacturing, and supply chain management aspects of your business. The software was designed by Acumatic, founded in 2007 and headquartered in Washingt...


40. Apprise® ERP

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Feb 18, 2022
Compare Apprise® ERP Vs. Blue Link Elite

Designed for consumer goods distribution, Apprise ERP is fully-integrated with the features needed to improve efficiency and gain real-time business insights. Retailer compliance, EDI, forecasting, importing, logistics, warehouse management, business intelligence, mobile sales - Apprise ERP helps te...


41. Rentman

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $39 per month
  • Feb 21, 2022
Compare Rentman Vs. Blue Link Elite

Rentman is an award-winning cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Rentman received a rating of 4.4 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.2/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


42. Infor10 Supply Chain Execution

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Feb 22, 2022
Compare Infor10 Supply Chain Execution Vs. Blue Link Elite

Infor10 Supply Chain Execution is a supply chain management solution for your business. It was designed by Infor, founded in 2002 and headquartered in New York, United States. The software supplies a suite of integrated applications for planning and management of business processes.


43. Transcendent

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price: starts at $100 per user/month
  • Feb 23, 2022
Compare Transcendent Vs. Blue Link Elite

Transcendent CMMS is a web based maintenance management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as planning calendar, asset tracking, work order management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Mintek Mobile Data Solutions Inc headquartered in Florida, Unit...


44. Epicor ERP

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $175 per user/month
  • Feb 22, 2022
Compare Epicor ERP Vs. Blue Link Elite

Epicor ERP is a cloud-based as well as an enterprise resource planning solution that has been developed to be used either by individuals or by businesses in various industries such as manufacturing, construction, and advertising among others.


45. SellerCloud

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per month
  • Feb 25, 2022
Compare SellerCloud Vs. Blue Link Elite

SellerCloud is a cloud-based e-commerce and inventory management solution built specifically for retailers. It has simplification, synchronization, and automation features to help small, medium, and large businesses meet the challenges of their selling operations.


46. SAP Distribution

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price:
  • Mar 19, 2022
Compare SAP Distribution Vs. Blue Link Elite

SAP Distribution provides a wholesale distribution solution. The software help companies to plan, requisition, stock, sell and manage inventory efficiently, so that operational productivity can improve, resulting in better revenues and greater cash flows. SAP is a leading enterprise application s...


47. ParityFactory

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 03, 2022
Compare ParityFactory Vs. Blue Link Elite

ParityFactory is a leading cloud-based Inventory Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. ParityFactory received a rating of 4 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.5/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


48. Skubana - Inventory Management

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per month
  • Mar 23, 2022
Compare Skubana - Inventory Management Vs. Blue Link Elite

Skubana Inventory management software is a cloud-based supply chain management software that lets you unify the necessary tools needed to automate recurring tasks and run a business. This tool also doubles as software with multi-channel inventory ability, product identification function, and POs tha...


49. ShipMonk

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $3 per order
  • Mar 22, 2022
Compare ShipMonk Vs. Blue Link Elite

ShipMonk is a leading cloud-based Inventory Management software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. ShipMonk received a rating of 4.4 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.3/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


50. EazyStock

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $851.72 per month
  • Mar 08, 2022
Compare EazyStock Vs. Blue Link Elite

EazyStock is a cloud-based inventory optimization solution for wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers and retailers. Integrating with your existing ERP, EazyStock automates your inventory management to reduce excess inventory, increase your service levels, decrease the amount of time spent on manu...


51. Apprise

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Oct 31, 2022
Compare Apprise Vs. Blue Link Elite

Apprise Distribution Inventory software is a cloud based software solution for inventory management. The software was designed by Apprise Software, Inc., headquartered in Pennsylvania, United States. The software focuses on providing enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SC...


52. RetailSTAR

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $125 per month
  • Apr 06, 2022
Compare RetailSTAR Vs. Blue Link Elite

RetailSTAR is a trending cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. RetailSTAR received a rating of 4.1 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (2.3/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


53. PRONTO-Xi

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • Sep 08, 2019
Compare PRONTO-Xi Vs. Blue Link Elite

PRONTO-Xi is an enterprise resource planning software solution for your business. The software was designed and developed by Pronto Software Limited headquartered in Victoria, Australia. It aims at improving the end-to-end business processes while providing data integrity and streamlining of supply ...


54. irms WMS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $40 per month
  • Nov 05, 2022
Compare irms WMS Vs. Blue Link Elite

irms WMS is a warehouse, asset, and supply chain management solution for your business. The software was designed by Upp Technology, Inc. headquartered in Illinois, United States. It provides efficient management of warehouse space, shipping time, and inventory visibility. 



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.