Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 27

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key software can become an emotional roller coaster. The following
are items important to consider when
selecting a software package.
Identify a Selection Team
The individuals selected will be
responsible for a decision that will
impact the future operations of the
company. These individuals can be
internal, external (consultants), or
a combination of both. During this
process it is essential to ensure that
there is cross-functional representation who will appropriately define the
needs of the organization.
Set Objectives and Analyze
the Company's Needs
Throughout this stage of the process,
the selection team should be working with the company as a whole.
Interviewing personnel, by department or function, will help identify
needs specific to individual roles in
the company. They will work directly
with upper management to define
business direction and goals. They
will define and evaluate key business
processes for future improvements
to process and workflows.

Prepare a Request for Proposal
Once needs and objectives have been
identified, the selection team should
send a request for proposal to predetermined software vendors. The
proposal should provide information on current systems as well as
background information on the company's trade (general, civil, specialty)
as well as other key characteristics
of the business (self-perform, service management, inventory). These
descriptions are important to eliminate vendors who are unable to provide a solution to an essential need.
As proposals are received, the
selection team must analyze the
responses based on factors such as
system cost, technology, vendor references, etc. Many buyers score the
vendors' responses by comparison to
the software specifications of the RFP
and the fit with their business need.
Once the response analysis is completed, the team should present it and
a shortlist of vendors recommended
for demonstrations to management. It
is recommended that two to three vendors be selected for demonstrations.
Coordinate and Facilitate
the Demonstrations
Once the contractor's selection team
has analyzed all responses and created
a shortlist of vendors, they should prepare a "demonstration agenda" that
accurately reflects the specific software
needs of the company.They must identify what is important for the selection team to see in the demonstration,
focusing on those processes that are
specific or unique to the company.
The team should be prepared to ask
questions regarding how the proposed
solution will address challenges or
shortcomings of the existing software.
Undertaking a demonstration without
a strong agenda leaves the vendor to
focus on best characteristics of the
software and the contractor with unanswered questions. A detailed agenda
provides a focused perspective of how
the software will work for this specific
company, not how the software works
for all companies. It is important to
stress to the vendor the significance of
the proposed software solution being

configured to fit key processes and
replicate reports without requiring the
user to manipulate the company's processes to accommodate the software.
References and Site Visits
Following demonstrations, the
selection team should compare the
vendors' products, create follow-up
agendas, if necessary, and check references. At this point, the team should
have a good idea of the most suitable
software for the business and arrange
for a site visit to begin working with
the most appropriate vendor.
Contract Review
If all due diligence performed in previous steps points in a clear direction,
the selection team should start the
process of purchasing and installing a
software. Before agreeing to purchase,
the contractor must perform a detailed
contract review. Perhaps, at this stage,
the contractor should work directly with
the corporate attorney for assistance
in understanding terms, conditions,
and limitations. The contractor should
ensure that the vendor has included the
system and modules that fit the specified business needs. Understanding the
roles and potential reliance on being
"in the system" are important considerations in the purchase because software licensing is based on number of
concurrent users.The contract reviewer
should review licensing and support
contracts, as well as specifications for
any customizations that are required.
The selection team must ensure that
all costs are included in the agreement;
most importantly, they must verify that
costs are covered for adequate and
realistic implementation. (A preliminary implementation plan should have
been provided during the proposal
response process.) If necessary, the
selection team should prepare a letter
of recommendation for management
and board of directors.
Planning for Implementation
After the software agreement is
signed and the software has been
purchased, the selection team may
need to develop an implementation
team (which might be the same as

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27


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017

NASBP Upcoming Meetings & Events
2017–2018 Executive Committee
From the CEO: Advice for the Advisor!
How Can Construction Contractors Expedite Payment on Federal Contracts?
The Growing Importance of the Bond Producer in the Efficient Resolution of Claims
Practical Tools to Help Jump-Start Your Company’s Cyber Plan
Bond Agency Owners: The Hardest Part is Letting Go
New Software Selection and Implementation is not a Weekend Project
Is Canada Soon to Have Its Version of the Miller Act?
2017 NASBP Resource Directory
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - Intro
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - cover1
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - cover2
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 3
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 4
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 5
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 6
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 2017–2018 Executive Committee
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 8
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - From the CEO: Advice for the Advisor!
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - How Can Construction Contractors Expedite Payment on Federal Contracts?
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 11
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 12
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 13
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - The Growing Importance of the Bond Producer in the Efficient Resolution of Claims
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 15
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 16
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 17
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - Practical Tools to Help Jump-Start Your Company’s Cyber Plan
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 19
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 20
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - Bond Agency Owners: The Hardest Part is Letting Go
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 22
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 23
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 24
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 25
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - New Software Selection and Implementation is not a Weekend Project
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 27
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 28
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 29
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - Is Canada Soon to Have Its Version of the Miller Act?
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 31
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 32
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 2017 NASBP Resource Directory
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 34
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 35
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 36
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 37
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 38
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 39
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 40
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 41
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 42
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 43
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 44
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 45
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - 46
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - cover3
Surety Bond Quarterly - Fall 2017 - cover4
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