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What to Think About When Purchasing HR Software

May 27, 2000
Related Topics: Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS/HRIS), Featured Article
We know thethought of purchasing HR-related software makes your heart pound withexcitement, and anxiety. So to make it easier on you, we’ve spelled out (inplain English) a few general areas to think about before you start yourventure. This list is by no means complete, as the buying process depends onyou. But it’s a starting point. And if you’re not looking to buy, please keepthese in mind to evaluate your satisfaction with your current system.


• First of all, do you really need a newsystem?

• What are your goals for this software?(i.e., What business objectives would it fulfill?)

• What functions are you interested inusing (such as payroll, time and attendance, or self-service)? Are you open tolearning about other functions that you may find useful in the future?

• Is the software intended for yourself,your department, several departments, or the entire organization?

• While this system may solve one oftoday’s problems, will it in turn create other problems? What are thoseproblems, and how can you eliminate them?

• Have any of the potential softwareusers made objections to the introduction of this system? And have youconsidered those objections?


• Have you outlined the expenses thissystem will require?

• Have you considered the cost ofmanpower and materials for integration, training and maintenance of the system?

• What are you allotting for thosedreaded upgrade costs?

• Are costs for all of the abovedifferent with each vendor? If so, can they explain why?

• Is your existing hardware and otherequipment compatible with your desired program? If not, what else do you need?


• Do you already have several vendors inmind? Do you intend to consider products from smaller software companies?

• Ask colleagues about their experienceswith the vendors and products you’re considering.

• Is this system compatible with softwarethat you may add on in the future?

• There’s no better way to know you likea program than to try it yourself. And if the project is so big and customizedthat no demo is available, try to see it in action somehow. Sales associatesshould be happy to oblige.

• Have you tried calling vendors’customer-support hotlines to check the staff’s knowledge and overallhelpfulness?

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