When someone is looking for financing on a home purchase, it is common practice is to select three to four lenders, and get a quote on APR, fees, points, and closing costs. People choose to do this to help ensure the decision they’re making is a well-informed one. But how do they narrow down the list of lenders (literally in the thousands) to a manageable three or four? They might choose their own bank (deciding factor: trust), a lender who has a good reputation in the industry (deciding factor: knowledge), and a lender who advertises an attractive rate (deciding factor: intrigue).
As with financing a home, the dozens (and dozens) of vendors supplying homecare software can be overwhelming. You’ll likely want to narrow down the field before you invest time in performing due-diligence. Identifying a subset of vendors is usually the easy part, but can still be tricky (click here for what to do when you’ve narrowed them down). Below are a few tips to help you identify a select few to focus on.
Tips on “Narrowing the Field” when it comes to Home Care Software Providers
Stand on the shoulders of others
Sometimes, it makes sense to simply leverage the power of the informed consumer. There are a plethora of resources available to anyone with Internet access. Organizations such as KLAS frequently rate home health software providers based on independent, anonymous surveys of actual users. These surveys discuss multiple aspects of the software providers, including sales, training, functionality, and service. Select the top 3 to 5 vendors on this nationally ranked list, and begin your process. Request a free copy of the latest KLAS report.
Use an industry expert to help guide the process
While there are many resources available to make informed buying decisions, sometimes the process still warrants the services of an industry expert (e.g., a “consultant”). Finding an industry expert who will be best suited to perform this task is a job in and of itself, and also requires careful selection. Many consultants “recommend” vendors based on referral agreements, but there are also many good consulting groups who will charge you for their services, and help select a software package best suited for your agency.
Let them come to you
Using an RFP (Request for Proposal), you can solicit bids from vendors of your choosing. Depending on your internal level of expertise, this may require the assistance of an industry expert to help you create the RFP. Once created, you can “invite” vendors to bid, simply by contacting them and submitting the RFP. Keep in mind that the more you submit, the more responses you’ll need to weed through. Depending on the depth of your RFP, it may make sense to create a scoring mechanism to help weed out those who fall below a pre-determined threshold.
Remember that with any significant purchase, you should be willing to invest the time necessary to make the decision. Making a decision based on subjective data can get you into trouble. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions—it’s your budget after all!