Performing a Software System Review

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Once a software system has been fully implemented and incorporated into a company’s business processes it should be reviewed periodically to gauge its impact on the business. A good system will have a positive impact on the business it supports in terms of the marketing, sales and operations. It will support the company’s efforts to increases sales, reduce costs and improve efficiencies. The system should be evaluated on an ongoing basis regarding its impact on these areas.

Marketing Impact

Software for the auto repair business should support marketing efforts in that it should provide the information and capabilities necessary to support customer retention and measure performance of marketing programs. Appointment reminders, preventive maintenance reminders and marketing correspondence for special circumstances should be supported directly through the system or via third party integration. And the ability to capture information necessary to evaluating the performance of these activities is critical. Measuring the effectiveness of systems on marketing would be the portion of activities supported by the system versus the total of marketing activities employed by the business.

Sales Impact

An effective system will support sales efforts and provide the information necessary to evaluate sales performance. An important part of sales is the presentation of information and the ability to produce it quickly. Accurate pricing should be readily available and should be able to be presented to the customer in an easy to understand format. Also, the system should provide information necessary to evaluate sales performance such as recommendations sold or quote capture rate. Measuring system impact on sales is calculated as the portion of sales requirements supported versus the total of sales support requirements.

Operational Impact

The impact of a system on operations is measured largely in terms of efficiency and cost containment. A system should support the flow of information through the business seamlessly. The process flow shouldn’t have any activities that are performed outside the system due to lack of functionality. People should be able to perform tasks in the system in the fewest number of steps possible. The measurement of system operational impact is calculated as the portion of areas supported effectively versus the total of activities in the primary flow of business through the company.

Utilizing System Performance Measurements

Looking at the impact of a system on business activities can identify weaknesses or under-utilization. It’s important to ensure that business activities are as effective as possible and business support software systems should provide the ability to do so. Measuring system effectiveness on an ongoing basis will ensure maximum possible impact.

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