You have decided to finally change your management software! It was a difficult decision because you are dreading the impact of the switch. Maybe you have had a bad experience with past product launches. How can this experience be best handled? The following offers advice for a smooth software deployment in the initial period:
The most important aspects of the deployment are training, the data conversion and system configuration. These events must be scheduled properly for an orderly transition.
Your managers must be comfortable with daily operations procedures in your new software prior to launch. Online training and self-guided practice in a sandbox account can give managers this confidence. If you are a large company with many managers, you will want to designate a technical contact within your company to assist the managers as they learn the new system.
You should understand what types of legacy customer and financial data will be retained (and what will not). Do not forget about credit cards; if you switch credit card providers be sure to have this new merchant account in place before the deployment. If you have auto-pay customers, be aware that it can be very difficult to get your credit card numbers for your new software. Do not just assume your current provider can or will give you the credit card numbers and expiration dates.
If you wish to integrate your website with your management software for online rentals and online payments, you will need to schedule these efforts. You will likely need to communicate any online payment changes to your customer base to avoid confusion. If you have a security gate system, you will need to configure the gate controller software to work with your management software. If you provide insurance, you will need to correspond with your insurance provider to make sure new information gets to the right place.
Your new management software likely has hundreds of settings and options. You will need to communicate your business rules to your software provider so they can help you configure the software to enforce your policies. This includes late rules, auction policies, fees, discounts and the content of all notices and late letters that are sent to customers.
Having the right plan in place can be the difference between a seamless software switch and a complete nightmare. Stay tuned for future articles about software conversion from DoorSwap.