By Mark Winegar on Fri, 11/09/2012
"Quality has to be caused, not controlled." - Phillip Crosby
At this point you have a known objective to achieve and alternative technologies to help you succeed. Each one has been evaluated as to function, user-friendliness, accessibility, portability, and technical support. Now what?
You may find yourself confronted with two or more equally compelling choices. This is a good problem, keep reading. If not, you already have your answer.
Now its time to consider cost because you still have a choice between two or more viable and equal solutions. Which is the best bargain? The first step is to find the true cost. For instance, you may be able to negotiate a price based on volume or purchase a site license and save. There may be educational discounts. But there is more to total cost than just the price.
Are there parts to be replaced? If so, how often and what do they cost?
Ask about maintenance expenses? How often should preventative maintenance be done? What does that cost? Is there a maintenance contract? And don't forget to check into the warranty and extended-warranty!
Ask about software upgrades. How frequently is the software upgraded? At what cost?
And be sure to check into technical support costs. Some companies offter progressive flavors of technical support with scaling costs. Will your personnel need training to effectively use the product? If so, who does it and how much will that cost?
Then there is the not-so-little matter of supplies and operating expenses. Be sure to budget that into your costs.
Once you've tallied all of the various costs of each candidate you can make your final comparison.
Before making a purchase decision consider how you will implement the new technology! There are three methods; pilot, phased, and cold-turkey.
Cold-turkey is to be avoided if possible but too often it is the only viable often. This method involves simply piicking a time to start working with the new technology and abandoning the old methods. It involves the greatest risk.
Chain stores often implementation new technolgies ushing the pilot method. One outlet is selected for the pilot and the technology is put into place there. Any problems can be identified and solved before rolling the technology out to other stores. Risk is limited to a single location. This method can be used whenever you have multiple sites with a shared function such as a large school district with multiple elementary schools.
The phased method is often best used when a new technology will be used in a central location and can be implemented in stages. Each stage is installed, tested, and adjusted as needed before the next stage. If problems occur you can fall back on the old way of doing things as they are still in place.
Plan your implementation well!
I hope these tips help you make wise decisions. When in doubt, ask!
Sent from my iPad