As the year end approaches, software vendors often offer significant discounts in order to secure your business and book it in the current year. This is also true with some vendors at the end of each quarter. But don’t let the last-minute vendor discounts distract your company from prudent due diligence in selecting warehouse software.
Here are questions to ask yourself:
- Is this the Order Management or Warehouse Management platform you would select if this discount wasn’t offered?
- Is your company ready to make the final decision?
- Have you gotten all the written responses to your RFP and your follow-up questions answered?
- Has the vendor and value-added reseller (VAR) successfully demonstrated the system, addressed your concerns and discussed the changes you deem absolutely mandatory (i.e. modifications needed with time and cost estimates)?
- Have you fully developed your budget and gained management approval?
- Has your lawyer reviewed and made recommendations to the software license, maintenance license and professional services agreements?
It is very difficult to not cave in to significant vendor discounts. However, those attractive offers are granted when you sign the agreements and transfer a deposit for application licenses and services. Once those deposits are made they are generally not refundable. If you are TOTALLY ready, sign and gain the lower pricing. If not, make sure you’re selecting the right system, then further negotiate your pricing.
Last December, one of our clients acquired a bundled deal for a major subsystem in conjunction with the other VARs’ OMS, but they did so a little too quickly. While it looked like the right decision at the time, but considering the implementation challenges they’ve faced, more time evaluating the product and the company would have been prudent. A low six-figure investment is at stake.
Lesson learned (again): Don’t let the lure of discounts side track your system selection process, because your company will have to live with this technology decision for the next 5-10 years.
Curt Barry is president of F. Curtis Barry & Company