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Dear Workforce How Do I Keep Software Companies at Bay While We Evaluate HRMS Software Needs

Does every software company go straight from an initial phone call to sending product demos? So far, I have contacted two organizations, and each contact has resulted in a demo. We are in the market for a human resources information system, with staffing as the first module. I want to get an idea of what's available in terms of product specs, but I’m not yet ready to schedule demo after demo. How should I approach this analysis?
May 20, 2005
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Related Topics: Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS/HRIS), Dear Workforce
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Dear Staving Off:

Start your HRMS evaluation process from the inside. Make a list of the departments/people within your organization (payroll, benefits, recruiting, training, compensation, etc.) and bring them into the evaluation process early on as a steering committee or evaluation team. Ask each one to build a list of functional requirements and weight them on a must-have, need-to-have, like-to-have and wish-to-have basis.
Once you have a list of weighted functional requirements, it's time to begin asking vendors if they can meet your specifications. There's no sense wasting anyone's time on an application that won't fit your functional needs.
Once you've narrowed your list to vendors that meet your requirements, have them perform a scripted demonstration so you can do an apples-to-apples comparison later on. Make sure your team helps develop the demonstration script.
One other item: know how much you can spend before you get started. Consider a cost-benefit analysis to determine where you might generate savings and a return on investment, so that you can get a feel for what you might be willing to spend. Once you've determined your budget, don't be shy about asking vendors to provide a ballpark estimate based on your functional requirements and specifications. It's pointless to have someone do a demo if the price is beyond your budget.
SOURCE: Tedd Long, director, HR technology practice,Findley Davies, Toledo, Ohio, July 7, 2004.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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