Avoid Pitfalls in Vendor Selection

You saw software do something your organization cannot do today but should do soon. What do you do?

Capterra blog details how technology is changing how churches connect with its members. As a result, faith-based organizations are adopting and leveraging technology-centric tools and services. To better engage their communities. Avoid the potential for poor decision-making and costly mistakes when selecting and procuring vendors.

Follow these tips.

1. Adopt the mantra of trust but verify.  If you can’t exploit a tool it might as well not exist.

  • Software offerings maybe built on older data models. Containing code that is difficult for rewriting applications.
  • Be circumspect of vendor participation in developing criteria and specifications. They will naturally lean towards their own proprietary functions.
  • Find people with project management skills. To offer competent advice and perspective as well as market alternatives.

2. Guard reputation. Your organization links to the ethics practiced by all vendors you use.

  • Adopt a code of conduct or expectations for vendor behavior.
  • Find out vendors’ business models, partnerships, longevity, financial posture and future expansion plans.
  • Ask references questions. Include level of complexity for integration with other applications or platforms. What additional fees exist? How are updates and upgrades accomplished? What are their mitigation procedures in the event of a breach.

3.   Request on-site demonstration.

  • Ask questions of the vendor(s). For example, heavily discount any function or service not yet being used by a reference customer.
  • Favor incremental approaches that roll out a bit of function at a time.  For larger implementations may appear less expensive. Yet usually entail a lot of rework.
  • Identify a clear exit path – how data is recoverable if you change direction for any reason. Have it be part of the demonstration. Ask about data assessments and migration (transfers) services.

4. Be responsible stewards.

  • Pricing models include annual, donated, subscription and per user. Be specific about the licensing models – one time fee or subscription and so on as well as what the basis of licensing is – run time, server size and so on.
  • Additional fees ( set-up and maintenance) are common but others are usually negotiable.
  • Test the market even if you like your vendors. To ensure you are getting value. All vendors increase costs and service fees over time.

What Do You Think?

Author Disclosure

I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I have no vested interest in any of the products, firms or institutions mentioned in this post. Nor does the Analyst Syndicate. This is not a sponsored post.

Disclosure

The views and opinions in this analysis are my own and do not represent positions or opinions of The Analyst Syndicate. Read more on the Disclosure Policy.

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