Top 54 Retail Inventory POS Software (Dec 2022)

2023's Best 55 Retail Inventory 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. Rezku POS Software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $99 per license
  • Mar 09, 2022
Compare Rezku POS Software Vs. Toast POS

Rezku POS is a cloud-hosted iPad point of sale solution designed to serve all categories of restaurants and bars, and that can also be installed on-premise. The primary features of Rezku POS include staff management, advanced menus, tableside ordering, customized floor plans, mobile access, online o...


3. 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.


4. 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.


5. Epos Now

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $39 per user/month
  • Mar 09, 2022
Compare Epos Now Vs. Toast POS

Epos Now is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) software offering users a unified platform in which they can control inventory, employee activity and back office.


6. Shopify

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $29 per month
  • Mar 09, 2022
Compare Shopify Vs. Toast POS

Shopify is a web-based eCommerce shopping platform that is fully customizable to suit any type of business needs. This hosted shopping cart application allows anyone to sell goods and services on the web. The program is easy to use and setting up of an online shop would only take a couple of minutes...


7. 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.


8. MINDBODY

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $159 per month
  • Dec 30, 2022
Compare MINDBODY Vs. Toast POS

MINDBODY is cloud-based appointment scheduling, and club management solution designed salons, spas, wellness centers, and massage centers among others in small and midsize businesses.


9. 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...


10. 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.


Pricing Guide - Retail Inventory 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. 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.


12. Aralco POS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $99 per month
  • Mar 14, 2022
Compare Aralco POS Vs. Toast POS

Aralco POS is a cloud-based point of sale and inventory management software solution that has an e-commerce integration. Aralco POS is designed with a goal, which is to meet the needs of the small and mid-size retailers within the footwear, automotive and industrial supplies, apparel, as well as pha...


13. PHP Point Of Sale

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $28.25 per month
  • Mar 20, 2022
Compare PHP Point Of Sale Vs. Toast POS

PHP Point of Sale is a cloud-based point of sale software that helps drive small retail businesses to more customer-focused and profit-generating establishments.


14. Salon Ultimate Software

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $175.99 per license
  • Mar 20, 2022
Compare Salon Ultimate Software Vs. Toast POS

Salon Ultimate Software is a growing cloud-based Salon software, it is designed to support small and medium size salons. Salon Ultimate Software received a rating of 5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.6/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


15. 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 ...


16. 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...


17. TradeGecko

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $39 per month
  • Jun 01, 2022
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QuickBooks Commerce is an inventory and order management software for small and medium enterprises. Its key features include distribution warehouse management, analytics, barcoding, inventory optimization, supplier management, and stock control.


18. 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.


19. Loyverse POS

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $5 per employee/month
  • Apr 01, 2022
Compare Loyverse POS Vs. Toast POS

Loyverse POS is a cloud-based, mobile point of sale/POS software designed to help users working in small retail, restaurant and salon establishments. It helps users with the management of the inventory, visualization of the sales analytics and management of customer relationships.


20. Odoo Point of Sale

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $7.50 per user/month
  • Apr 01, 2022
Compare Odoo Point of Sale Vs. Toast POS

Odoo Point of Sale is a growing cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Odoo Point of Sale received a rating of 4.2 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.1/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


21. NetSuite POS and Retail Manager

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price:
  • May 13, 2022
Compare NetSuite POS and Retail Manager Vs. Toast POS

Netsuite POS is a cloud-based business management software developed to work in retail shops in all industries. The software works well in all sizes of businesses, small-sized businesses, medium-sized businesses, and large-sized businesses.


22. Square Register POS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $799 per license
  • May 24, 2022
Compare Square Register POS Vs. Toast POS

Square Register POS software is a cloud-based mobile phone app Point of Sale Software available on the App Store and Google Play. Square Register POS is built to operate on a mobile phone or a tablet. Some core features of Square Register POS are online payment processing, inventory & digital receip...


23. 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...


24. DEAR Inventory

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $325 per month
  • May 18, 2022
Compare DEAR Inventory Vs. Toast POS

DEAR Inventory is a cloud-based inventory and order management that offers complete back-end management. DEAR Inventory aims at helping the small business as well as medium business to streamline and simplify the daily operations by automating inventory and order management.


25. Nobly POS Software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $49 per month
  • Jun 07, 2022
Compare Nobly POS Software Vs. Toast POS

Nobly POS is a cloud-based Retail & POS software that enables retailers to garner more insights on their products through analytical tools and reports.


26. Insight Software

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $35 per feature/month
  • Mar 31, 2022
Compare Insight Software Vs. Toast POS

Insight Software is an award-winning cloud-based Salon software, it is designed to support small and medium size salons. Insight Software received a rating of 5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.3/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


27. Ace Retail POS

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $675 per license
  • Jun 01, 2022
Compare Ace Retail POS Vs. Toast POS

Ace Retail POS software is an inventory management point of sale solution. The solution offers a number of functionalities that include an e-commerce integration tool that coordinates between a companys e-commerce site and back-end accounting and inventory system.


28. Liberty Software

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price:
  • Mar 31, 2022
Compare Liberty Software Vs. Toast POS

Liberty Software is a pharmacy management software integrated with various functionalities such as workflow, task management, document management and inventory management.


29. Ambitious Point of Sale Software

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • Jun 01, 2022
Compare Ambitious Point of Sale Software Vs. Toast POS

Ambitious Point of Sale Software is a POS solution that helps businesses in the creation of bids, sales orders, and invoices. The solution offers a number of functionalities that include an order processing feature combines the power you demand with the simplicity of operation to get employees produ...


30. Vend

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $99 per month
  • Jul 02, 2022
Compare Vend Vs. Toast POS

Vend is a cloud-based and on-premise Point of sale system that is specifically designed for use in businesses of all sizes from small-sized businesses, medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises.


31. 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.


32. 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.


33. Unleashed Software

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $319 per month
  • Aug 18, 2022
Compare Unleashed Software Vs. Toast POS

Unleashed Software is an inventory management software for manufacturers and distributors to achieve control over products, make better decisions, manage customers and products, and make profit reports.


34. When I Work Scheduling

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $2.50 per user/month
  • Oct 12, 2022
Compare When I Work Scheduling Vs. Toast POS

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...


35. Vision Store

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price: starts at $1,500 per license
  • May 15, 2022
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Vision Store POS is a retail & POS software that helps connect costumers and sales channels to order for products from anywhere and make payments online.


36. NOVA Point of Sale

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $89.99 per month
  • May 15, 2022
Compare NOVA Point of Sale Vs. Toast POS

The Nova Point of Sale app empowers business owners to be connected and in control all the time. This software offers extremely powerful and efficient tools for store owners for one or more locations. This makes decision making and taking action faster and ensures that people and products are where ...


37. Zing

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $14 per month
  • May 15, 2022
Compare Zing Vs. Toast POS

Zing is a cloud-based software that syncs instantly with multiples stores and devices. It is an indispensable tool for e-commerce sites and online stores because it can accommodate high resolution images as well as a Point of Sales. It can be used on PC, Mac, as well as Android and iPads. This POS a...


38. Profit Premier by Edge Technologies

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $500 per license
  • May 15, 2022
Compare Profit Premier by Edge Technologies Vs. Toast POS

Profit Premier by Edge Technologies is a cloud-based point of sale and retail solution that offers users with all the functionality required in a retail shop. The solution is designed for retailers, small-sized businesses and medium-sized businesses.


39. Preferred POS Software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $89.95 per license
  • May 16, 2022
Compare Preferred POS Software Vs. Toast POS

Preferred POS Software is a trending cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Preferred POS Software received a rating of 3 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.2/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


40. BarTab Software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $39 per feature/month
  • May 16, 2022
Compare BarTab Software Vs. Toast POS

BarTab Software is an on-premise and cloud-based point of sale solution that is designed for bars and pubs that runs on iPads. BarTab Software is a tool that maintains the till reports which provide notifications in case of a variance occurrence.


41. VIENNA Advantage POS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: Has a free version
  • May 15, 2022
Compare VIENNA Advantage POS Vs. Toast POS

Vienna Advantage is a retail ERP software designed to help users automate approvals and tasks. The software supports email SMS integration which makes it possible for users to track all communications related to a particular file or record.


42. HandiFox Inventory

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $39 per month
  • May 14, 2022
Compare HandiFox Inventory Vs. Toast POS

Handifox Inventory software is a cloud-based and on-premise mobile inventory control system built for small-midsize businesses that are inventory-based. The solution is also available on Android devices and supports Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 8, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, and Windows 10 operat...


43. 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...


44. 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.


45. Skubana

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per month
  • May 15, 2022
Compare Skubana Vs. Toast POS

Skubana is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) and ecommerce operations management software providing users with an all-in-one and cloud suite of managing the users’ entire online businesses.


46. 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...


47. RetailEdge

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $495 per license
  • Nov 23, 2022
Compare RetailEdge Vs. Toast POS

RetailEdge is an on-premise retail point-of-sale software solution that is designed to serve the small and mid-size businesses. With the software, a user can manage to have multiple location support as well as a mobile POS.


48. 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.


49. Cin7

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $299 per 2 users/month
  • May 14, 2022
Compare Cin7 Vs. Toast POS

Cin7 software is a cloud-based inventory management solution built to support small & midsize wholesale and retail businesses. Cin7 provides inventory management, warehouse management, reporting, and point-of-sale functionality within a single suite.


50. Clear Spider

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $300 per month
  • May 14, 2022
Compare Clear Spider Vs. Toast POS

Clear Spider software is a cloud-hosted inventory management suite that is intended to serve every business size. The Clear Spider suite includes warehouse management, inventory management, order & shipping management, as well as billing and analytics, among other solutions.


51. Cashier Live

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $75 per store/month
  • May 18, 2022
Compare Cashier Live Vs. Toast POS

Cashier Live is cloud-based retail Point of Sale (POS) which was designed to assist the store managers and owners run their businesses on different devices. The solution core features include Point of sale, inventory, and reporting.


52. 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-...


53. PrimeCare

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

PrimeCare is a software that can help manage various processes used by pharmacies when it comes to servicing various long-term care facilities. These facilities, include but are not limited to assisted living, specialist nursing facilities, mental health facilities, and board and care. It comes with...


54. Quetzal

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $75 per month
  • May 18, 2022
Compare Quetzal Vs. Toast POS

Quetzal is a cloud-based software developed to offer a platform for retailing in a specialized field. The software works well in small-sized businesses and medium-sized businesses dealing with items such as fashion, leather goods, and gift shops.



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.