Top 54 Retail CRM POS Software (Dec 2022)

2023's Best 55 Retail CRM POS Systems

Shlomi LaviShlomi Lavi / Dec 30, 2022

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1. Toast POS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $165 per month
  • Dec 28, 2022
Compare Toast POS Vs. Toast POS

Toast POS is a simple yet powerful all-in-one point of sale (POS) software designed to supercharge the operations in a restaurant setting.


2. Lavu

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $59 per month
  • Mar 09, 2022
Compare Lavu Vs. Toast POS

Lave software is a cloud-hosted iPad Point of Sale (POS) system that is specifically engineered to serve the restaurant industry. The platform targets both quick-service and full-service dining establishments in the small to large enterprise settings.


3. Revel iPad POS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $99 per terminal/month
  • Mar 09, 2022
Compare Revel iPad POS Vs. Toast POS

Revel iPad POS software is a point-of-sale solution that is designed to transform businesses. The solution has a number of features that include a gift card tool that increases sales, earn new ones by offering gift cards and retain old customers.


4. Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $65 per user/month
  • Dec 29, 2022
Compare Microsoft Dynamics CRM Vs. Toast POS

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a customer relations solution developed by Microsoft. This tool mainly targets large business enterprises but may also be a good fit for smaller businesses. Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help improve sales and marketing in any given company, with unlimited user scalability. Th...


5. Breadcrumb

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $59 per month
  • Mar 09, 2022
Compare Breadcrumb Vs. Toast POS

Breadcrumb is a point of sales/POS management software giving users with an extensive suite of features optimized for Apple devices. Aside from POS system, payment solutions, time clock and check and table management functionalities are also integrated with it.


6. TouchBistro

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $69 per month
  • Mar 10, 2022
Compare TouchBistro Vs. Toast POS

**EMV Ready!** TouchBistro iPad POS has been reviewed as the Best Restaurant POS by Business News Daily and is the #1 food and beverage app in 34 countries worldwide. TouchBistro is designed specifically for the restaurant industry. Every ounce of engineering and design put into TouchBistro i...


7. LightSpeed

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $69 per month
  • Mar 10, 2022
Compare LightSpeed Vs. Toast POS

LightSpeed software is a point of sale solution that helps retailers run their businesses. The solution has a number of capabilities that include merchant services that manage all transactions from one place and increases security.


8. AmberPOS

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $999 per license
  • Mar 11, 2022
Compare AmberPOS Vs. Toast POS

AmberPOS software is a point of sale and retail management solution that is designed for small and midsize businesses. It offers a number of features that include a customer management function that establishes, tracks and maximizes the lifetime value of each customer.


9. AIMsi POS

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $995 per license
  • Apr 18, 2022
Compare AIMsi POS Vs. Toast POS

Much more than a typical ‘off the shelf’ package, the AIMsi is a complete point of sale (POS), accounting and business, inventory management application software. This software offers, not only a way to control the inventory, management of the customers, tracking all of the sales, but also includes ...


10. GiftLogic software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $49 per month
  • Apr 18, 2022
Compare GiftLogic software Vs. Toast POS

GiftLogic is a point of sale management solution for businesses of sizes. Its capabilities include inventory management, customer management, employee management, accounting management, and others. The software was designed and launched by GiftLogic headquartered in Florida, United State...


Pricing Guide - Retail CRM POS Software:

Retail POS Price Range

Most retail point of sale products in the market have pricing based on the number of users, physical locations, machines, or sales outlet. Most products are priced per month, and their pricing can be divided into three tiers, starting from $29 to $39, $39 to $75, and then $75 upwards.

These are the price ranges for basic offerings of most vendors; hence, premium offerings which come with more features cost more. For example, Ricochet pricing starts from $99 per month, KORONA costs about $49 per month, and WooPOS pricing starts from $29 per month. Perpetual licences can also be bought for some retail POS software. An example is RetailEdge which can be bought with a one-time fee of $449.

In addition, retail POS vendors target different organization sizes, so business size determines the price.

  • Small Businesses that are looking for a retail POS system can expect to pay between $25 to $50 on a monthly basis. For instance, Epos Now pricing starts from $39 per month, and ThriftCart starts from $50 per location, per month. Meanwhile, some products have freemium plans for small business, while some products are completely free. For example, HadePay is 100-percent free to use.
  • Medium Businesses can expect pricing points between $50 to $120 for a retail POS system monthly. For example, Heartland Retail pricing starts from around $99 per month, LightSpeed POS from $69 per month, and Realtime Cloud from around $80 per month. The number of user accounts paid for on each plan can also attract discounts, depending on the pricing terms from each vendor.
  • Large Businesses can expect prices that fall between the range of $120 to $500 for a retail POS system monthly. For example, RUnit Realtime Cloud pricing starts from $258 per machine monthly, WinWard System Five from around $125 per month, and Epicor Retail Solutions costs around $350 per month for each user account. However, many vendors do not disclose their pricing for large businesses so as to enable them to adjust their pricing based on the need of each organization.

Here are some Retail POS best of breeds and their price ranges are as follows:

  • Retail Management Software Retail management products can be divided into three tiers, and the price ranges for each tier are $28 to $39, $39 to $83, and $83 above. Also, most retail management products are priced on a monthly basis per user or physical location managed with the software. For example, Quant Retail pricing starts from $180 per user monthly, PHP Point of Sale from $39 per month, and POSExpress costs up to $190 per month.
  • iPad POS Most iPad POS products in the market are priced per user or per usage based on a monthly basis. Their price points fall into two tiers, starting from $0 to $30, and then $30 to $85. For example, TillPoint pricing starts from $29 per month, Ambur POS from around $60 per month, and Loyverse pricing starts from $0.01 per usage every month. Meanwhile, some iPad POS software have perpetual licenses that can be bought with a one-time fee; an example is Digital Dining which costs $10,000.
  • Bar POS Software Bar POS products in the market can be divided into two tiers, with each having a different price range depending on the robustness of features. The price ranges fall within $15 to $40 and $40 to $85. For example, BePOZ Point of Sale pricing starts from $69 per month, HarbourTouch POS from $29 per month, and Unicenta from $49 monthly.
  • Restaurant POS Software For a restaurant POS software, users can expect to pay between the ranges of $50 to $100 above per user, table, or managed location. For example, SpotOn Restaurant pricing starts from $65 monthly, Toast POS from $79 per month, and Upserve POS pricing is around $59 monthly. However, most products may incur extra one-time fees that fall between $2,000 to $7,000 because they require additional hardware equipment to run.
  • Retail Management POS Most Retail Management POS software in the market are priced on a per-user, per-month basis, and their price can fall between three ranges, from $0 to $50, $50 to $100, and then $100+ upwards. For example, Lavu pricing starts from $69 per month, PoinOS from $39 per user monthly, and TouchBistro from around $70 per user monthly.

11. Lightspeed Restaurant

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $39 per month
  • Mar 11, 2022
Compare Lightspeed Restaurant Vs. Toast POS

Lightspeed Restaurant is a cloud-based, comprehensive point of sales (POS) system helping the users in managing the staff, serving the customers and monitoring performance, so they can ensure that the guests receive the best.


12. Cash Register Express

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $599 per license
  • Mar 03, 2022
Compare Cash Register Express Vs. Toast POS

Cash Register Express is a point of sale cloud-based software that allows users to streamline their business management as well as saving resources. It manages customer data in a very secure manner and sustains configurability.


13. Springboard Retail Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $80 per month
  • Jun 01, 2022
Compare Springboard Retail Software Vs. Toast POS

Heartland Point of Sale is a cloud-based POS and retail management software that offers a fresh approach to POS solutions and a better retail software experience. Starting from item entry via look up or scan to customer lookup and creation, this POS system offers all the features you need and is als...


14. pcAmerica Cash Register Express

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $599 per license
  • Jul 07, 2022
Compare pcAmerica Cash Register Express Vs. Toast POS

Cash Register Express is a cloud-based point of sale system that is suitable for use by retail shops, small businesses, liquor stores, grocery stores and other types of stores.


15. Smartwerks

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $119 per month
  • Aug 18, 2022
Compare Smartwerks Vs. Toast POS

Smartwerks is a cloud-based Point of Sale software with inventory and accounting solutions. It provides users with a platform where they can sell their products faster, optimize their inventory, reward customer loyalty, and manage item repairs.


16. Jewel Mate

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $3,500 per license
  • Sep 23, 2022
Compare Jewel Mate Vs. Toast POS

Jewel Mate is an on-premise point of sale and retail management solution that is designed to help jewelry stores to automate their operations and reduce the amount of labor done. The retailers and wholesalers are also beneficiaries of the solution since it helps them process the day to day activitie...


17. Shoptiques POS

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $125 per month
  • May 16, 2022
Compare Shoptiques POS Vs. Toast POS

Shoptiques POS is a retail processing software that allows the user to manage stores, products, and staff using real-time reporting analytics. It also allows the customer to handle order checkout and manage inventory.


18. HIPPOS

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $49 per terminal/month
  • May 16, 2022
Compare HIPPOS Vs. Toast POS

HIPPOS is a cloud-based Point-of-sale software designed for retailers, restaurants, hospitality, and hardware businesses.


19. Agiliron

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $85 per month
  • Apr 28, 2022
Compare Agiliron Vs. Toast POS

Agiliron is a Software as a Service and mobile-based point-of-sale (POS) solution designed to cater to both mobile and in-store businesses and the online sales channels. The solution core features include e-commerce, warehouse management order management, email marketing, customer support, and inven...


20. Clover POS

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $39.95 per license
  • May 15, 2022
Compare Clover POS Vs. Toast POS

Clover POS is an integrated server-based and cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) system designed to offer retailers built-in payment solutions. Some of its core features include gift card management, order tracking, data reporting, a point of sale and reporting among others.


21. ConsignPro

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $129 per feature
  • Apr 27, 2022
Compare ConsignPro Vs. Toast POS

ConsignPro is retail software designed to manage the operations of resale and consignment businesses. The software offers an easy and intuitive management solution for the retailers. It was developed by Visual Horizons Software and launched in 1996. ConsignPro serves to regulate the sales revenue...


22. IndicaOnline Dispensary Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $249 per month
  • May 16, 2022
Compare IndicaOnline Dispensary Software Vs. Toast POS

IndicaOnline is a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution designed to allow the users process transactions as well as manage daily operations for medical marijuana dispensaries and businesses.


23. Liberty4 Consignment

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $750 per license
  • May 17, 2022
Compare Liberty4 Consignment Vs. Toast POS

Liberty4 Consignment is a comprehensive software tool designed for the management of consignment, thrift and resale stores. Its features include account management, inventory management and point of sale operations, consignor payments, report generation, email integration and word processing, multi-...


24. Diamond relations CRM

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $35 per user/month
  • May 18, 2022
Compare Diamond relations CRM Vs. Toast POS

Diamond Relations CRM is a web-based software tool for customer relationship management (CRM) designed for jewelers and jewelry retailers. Its main modules include marketing automation, sales automation and collaboration module and customer self service portal. The additional features of the softwar...


25. EDGE

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price:
  • May 18, 2022
Compare EDGE Vs. Toast POS

From space saving short bar loaders that handle 4” bars up to 60” in length to 12-foot and 6-foot magazine loaders that can feed up to 2” diameter - the EDGE line of bar feeders have both defined and established the standard in the segment we term “economical excellence”. Whether your needs are s...


26. KORONA

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $49 per month
  • May 23, 2022
Compare KORONA Vs. Toast POS

Korona is a cloud-based point of sales (POS) software that is designed for all retailer sizes. Integrated in this POS module are CRM and inventory management.


27. Yo!Kart

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $999 per license
  • Jun 08, 2022
Compare Yo!Kart Vs. Toast POS

Yo!kart is a multivendor e-commerce software for businesses to build customer engagement, develop e-commerce capabilities, enable global presence, and develop an e-commerce marketplace platform.


28. Cleanwash

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $129.99 per license
  • Jun 08, 2022
Compare Cleanwash Vs. Toast POS

Cleanwash software is an on-premise solution designed for dry cleaning and laundry management solution. The main module of this software is the point of sale, but it also offers inventory & customer management modules.


29. COMCASH Retail ERP

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $125 per license
  • May 25, 2022
Compare COMCASH Retail ERP Vs. Toast POS

COMCASH ERP is a retail management software solution for multi-channel and multi-location retailers. The software was designed by COMCASH, Inc., headquartered in California, United States. It offers a verity of cloud-based features for efficient regulation of your retail business. 


30. ECi RockSolid POS

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $5,995 per license
  • May 25, 2022
Compare ECi RockSolid POS Vs. Toast POS

ECi RockSolid POS is a point of sale solution, inventory management and accounts receivable system specially designed for lumber and hardware businesses. This software offers a way to create collaboration between a hardware store vendor and a team of expert developers.  The POS solution offered by t...


31. Craftsman

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $78.50 per license
  • May 25, 2022
Compare Craftsman Vs. Toast POS

Craftsman is software that automates the sales operations of jewelers. Various features of the software deal with the sales, accounting and inventory management aspects of the business. The software was developed by Applications Systems Corporation based in Bosten, United States. Craftsman streamli...


32. Wylie Systems

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $45 per month
  • Jun 12, 2022
Compare Wylie Systems Vs. Toast POS

Wylie Systems is a design and construction software designed for companies to bring innovative solutions to the creation and design of metals, custom metals, railing designs, creation of partitions, and queuing products.


33. Rapid Bev POS Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 10, 2022
Compare Rapid Bev POS Software Vs. Toast POS

Rapid Bev POS software is a comprehensive cloud-based point of sale platform mainly built to serve wine shops, liquor stores, breweries, wineries, and wholesale distributors. The core features of Rapid Bev POS are inventory management, security, labor management, reporting, e-commerce, accounting, a...


34. SimpleConsign

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $129 per location/month
  • May 25, 2022
Compare SimpleConsign Vs. Toast POS

SimpleConsign is a cloud-based retail and point of sale system that is developed to be used by businesses and individuals. The solution is developed to be used in businesses of all sizes such as small-sized businesses, medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises in various industries such as cons...


35. BusinessMind

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $195 per user/month
  • Jun 16, 2022
Compare BusinessMind Vs. Toast POS

BusinessMind is a point of sale management solution for jewelry businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as inventory management, accounting management, and reporting etc. The software was designed and launched by DCIT Corporation headquartered in New Jersey, United States.


36. Sunami

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price:
  • Jun 23, 2022
Compare Sunami Vs. Toast POS

Sunami is a POS cloud software and a restaurant management system. It provides fast and reliable desk service, retail services, department stores, gastronomy and escalation services, bars, franchises, pizza and delivery, cafeteria, ACH franchise orders, payroll management, online catering, central m...


37. MyTime

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $129 per month
  • Jun 19, 2022
Compare MyTime Vs. Toast POS

MyTime is a cloud-based booking and scheduling software that helps managers convert prospects into online bookings through widgets and third-party booking integrations.


38. Phorest Salon Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $99 per month
  • Jun 22, 2022
Compare Phorest Salon Software Vs. Toast POS

Phorest Salon Software is a growing cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Phorest Salon Software received a rating of 4.9 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.4/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


39. CellSmartPOS

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $45 per month
  • Jun 24, 2022
Compare CellSmartPOS Vs. Toast POS

CellSmartPOS is a point of sale and retail management solution for small and medium businesses. Its capabilities include inventory management, customer management, accounting management, and others. The software was designed and launched by CellSmartPOS headquartered in New York, United ...


40. FloristWare

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $149 per month
  • Jun 28, 2022
Compare FloristWare Vs. Toast POS

FloristWare is an on-premise and cloud-hosted POS (point of sale) software solution that is designed specifically for retail florists. The platform comprises of several applications that help enhance the operations of the retail business in the flower industry.


41. Salonbooker

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $129 per month
  • Dec 30, 2022
Compare Salonbooker Vs. Toast POS

Salonbooker is a salon management and scheduling solution for salon businesses of all sizes. It offers online booking and scheduling and the management of day-to-day activities. The software was designed and launched by Booker Software Inc headquartered in New York, United States.


42. Ricochet Consignment Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $99 per month
  • Jun 25, 2022
Compare Ricochet Consignment Software Vs. Toast POS

Ricochet Consignment Software is a point-of-sale cloud-based platform that is built to help consignment shops as well as thrift any size of businesses. The software can be deployed on the Cloud, On-Premise and as an Open AP.


43. Instore

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $39 per feature/month
  • Jun 24, 2022
Compare Instore Vs. Toast POS

Instore is a point of sale management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers support for multiple payment methods along with inventory management, analytics, and other services. The software was developed and launched by Own Group Inc headquartered in California, United States.


44. Restaurant Manager

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $199 per license
  • Jun 23, 2022
Compare Restaurant Manager Vs. Toast POS

Restaurant Manager is a Point Of Sale (POS) software that can be efficiently used in any food distribution points. This software can be easily tailored to fit the individual needs of any restaurant. Users can carry out a number of functions, including inventory management, ordering, mobile managemen...


45. ConsignmentTill

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $399 per license
  • Jul 05, 2022
Compare ConsignmentTill Vs. Toast POS

ConsignmentTill is an on-premise retail and point of sale system explicitly built for consignment stores and those shops that handle “buy-outright” retail products. The software solution offers POS transactions, commission payouts, inventory control, printable reports, Shopify eCommerce integration,...


46. Club Caddie

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $299 per month
  • Feb 24, 2022
Compare Club Caddie Vs. Toast POS

Club Caddie is a cloud-based golf management software that helps golf course professionals and operators manage daily fees or public golfers of all types, including pass holders and members.


47. LS Retail

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price:
  • Mar 28, 2022
Compare LS Retail Vs. Toast POS

LS Retail is a business management and POS software that helps businesses understand and adapt to changing customer buying habits and manage product purchases and sales.


48. Manhattan Active Omni

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price:
  • Jan 09, 2022
Compare Manhattan Active Omni Vs. Toast POS

Manhattan Active OmniChannel is an OmniChannel retailing software that enables retailers to manage customer orders across brands and channels and analyzes customers social conversations to provide customer insights and understand their buying behaviour.


49. MyPOS Connect

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 28, 2022
Compare MyPOS Connect Vs. Toast POS

MyPOS Connect is a hospitality and retail POS software that allows retailers to manage businesses POS operations. The software improves sales data access, provides business data for reporting, manages stock functions, and updates stock availability.


50. Mi9 Retail

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $150 per feature
  • Aug 24, 2022
Compare Mi9 Retail Vs. Toast POS

Mi9 Retail is a point of sale software designed as a unified commerce platform where businesses can grow with analytic insights, build loyalty, engage customers, and harness their e-commerce website.


51. ACCEO

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $3,659 per license
  • Jul 14, 2022
Compare ACCEO Vs. Toast POS

ACCEO Smart Vendor is a retail & POS software designed to help single store and multi-location retailers drive productivity. Completely customizable, the software has reporting analytics that users can harness to identify inventory trends, generate historical data, and react to shrinkage problems.


52. Rain POS

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $99 per user/month
  • Jul 12, 2022
Compare Rain POS Vs. Toast POS

Rain POS is a web-based point of sale (POS) system and is integrated with the user’s website. This software makes inventory management easy and simple. User’s items are automatically updated every time an item is sold or added.


53. POS Prophet Systems

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jul 15, 2022
Compare POS Prophet Systems Vs. Toast POS

POS Prophet Systems is a software product for point of sale (POS) services and retail management designed for retail and quick service restaurant (QSR) businesses. The product consists of selectable modules. There is the POSExpress QSR module and the equivalent POSExpress Retail module for restauran...


54. Florist POS

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $24.99 per month
  • Jul 15, 2022
Compare Florist POS Vs. Toast POS

Florist POS is a web based retail management and POS solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as inventory control, employee and client management, accounting, and others. The software was designed and launched by Floranext headquartered in California, United States.



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.