Most businesses introduce new software (or upgrade older software) on a regular basis, across multiple departments. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and other large-scale systems designed to serve an entire organization’s needs are, in theory, able to save time and money, and improve the company’s performance.
However, it’s often hard to tell whether your new technology is worth the investment—especially when you’re spending upwards of thousands of dollars on licensing or a monthly subscription, and countless hours of new education and training. Clearly, your software seems to be worth it on paper (or else, you wouldn’t have invested in it), but how can you tell for sure that your tech adoption is working?
Analyzing the Problem
If you want to know for sure, you’ll need to measure your technology’s effectiveness with two main types of evaluation:
- Analytics technology. It seems almost ironic that a piece of analytics technology could help you monitor the performance of another piece of technology, but that’s exactly what Vyopta does; platforms like Vyopta give you objective insights into your new technology’s performance, including how much time your employees are spending using the software, and how it’s performing (including statistics like uptime and speed).
- Subjective feedback. Though inherently less provable than your objective data, you’ll also want to collect some subjective feedback from your employees and other internal users, who may be able to articulate issues with the software that your objective reporting misses. For example, they may have trouble logging in on certain devices, or may have had personal trouble understanding how the platform is supposed to work.
With both objective and subjective analysis, you’ll want to focus on a handful of key areas to determine whether your new technology platform is worth your investment.
Human beings are creatures of habit, so even convincing your employees to adopt a new piece of technology can be a challenge. On top of that initial resistance, you’ll have to train all your existing employees (and your new employees) how to use this new software. The highest costs here will be at the outset, as you’ll probably need to spend at least a few hours per employee to get them up to speed on the protocols of the new system.
If your employees consistently have trouble learning the platform, it’s a sign that the user interface is lacking, or that the system is being used counterintuitively. Take note of any sharp drops in employee productivity when first using the platform, and listen closely to subjective reports.
No app is perfect—even Amazon’s servers occasionally go down—but you’ll want your technology to be fairly reliable if it’s going to form the basis of your team’s operations. Pay attention to how easily it performs on different devices, how quickly it responds to users, how intuitive it is to use in a live environment, and how available it remains in general. If you notice any hiccups that preclude your employees from being successful in their roles, you’ll need to make a change.
You should also be able to measure how much time your new platform saves your workers. There are many automated ways to track your employees’ productivity, so take regular measurements and try to compare apples to apples. How much faster are employees able to complete their responsibilities? How much more can they get done in a day?
Cumulatively, your performance in the preceding areas should be able to help you understand how much money you’re saving by using the app. If each of your 100 employees saves an hour per week, for example, the app will save you 100 hours of time per week, and at $50 per hour, that’s $5,000 of savings per week—which is probably more than you’re paying for the license.
You can also go a more direct route to measure the cost savings of your platform. If the technology allows you to improve your inventory management, by reducing product loss by a certain percentage, you should be able to attribute those savings directly to the platform; for example, if you reduce product waste by $1,500 in the first month after adopting the platform, you can roughly estimate a $1,500 cost savings (on top of any time or functional savings you’ve accumulated).
With those estimated figures, you should be able to tell whether your latest technology is pulling its proverbial weight. If the technology is still new, remember that it usually takes a few months of experience before your employees hit peak familiarity with the new processes and procedures; otherwise, if your tech is scoring consistently low in each category, it may be time to shop around for a better platform.