Just type “nursery software” into Google’s search bar and you’ll see a whole host of information about different products and their related features, packages and benefits. With so many companies clamouring for your attention, it’s no wonder that choosing a software provider is such a challenge!
So, how do you find a company who will offer you nursery software which combines the features you’re looking for, with the right level of support? Software demonstrations are a great way for you to get a personal walk-through of a company’s product. Here are 10 essential questions you should arm yourself with before speaking to a sales representative.
1. Who are some of your current customers?
You want to reassure yourself that the company you choose can cater for businesses of all sizes, and that they have plenty of experience serving people who work in the same sector as you. Ask whether their customers include any well-known nursery chains.
2. Why should we choose you over your competitors?
This question lets the company know that they’re not the only ones competing for your business, and that they need to work hard to be your first choice. If the company is experienced in their sector, they’ll know their main competitors and how their product stacks up against others.
3. Is this a stand-alone product or can it be integrated with other software?
Some companies will offer products which integrate with other nursery software such as EYFS tracking or fee collection. This may be perfect for what you’re looking for: an all-in-one solution. However, you may only be looking for a stand-alone product, in which case you’ll need to clarify that you don’t have to buy this software as part of a larger package.
4. How often is the software updated?
Especially in a sector like childcare, where new legislation changes are being introduced all the time, you need to find out whether the company updates their software and whether this is at any extra cost to yourself.
5. Is training included in the cost?
Ask whether the company provides ongoing training, and whether this can be provided on or off site. It can take a while for staff to familiarise themselves with using new software, so it’s important to find out whether there’s a thorough induction process, as well as ongoing software training for those that need it.
6. Can current data be imported over in one go?
Whether you currently use other software, or have spreadsheets containing masses of data, it’s a good idea to find out how this will be transferred to the new system and (most importantly) whether this can be imported over in one go.
7. What support will I get?
Does the company have a dedicated team who will be able to assist whether it’s by phone, email or live chat support? Will their opening hours fit around a typical working day at your setting? Make sure you’ll have access to essential help and support when you’re likely to need it.
8. Are there limits on how many children I can have on the system?
Find out whether the software product can handle large amounts of data. Ideally, you want nursery software which will grow with the size of your setting, rather than costing you more as your headcount increases.
9. Can I control what information certain staff members are able to see?
Dealing with confidential information about staff, children and their families, you should have the option of preventing certain people from accessing parts of the software.
10.Can the software be customised?
It may be that you wish to use your setting’s branding and logo on your software, or have it personalised in some other way to meet your needs. You’re bound to have discounts and additional products/services that you’d like to add to parents’ accounts. Find out how far the software can be customised to your own requirements.
Put these 10 questions to the test! Find out more about Parenta’s award-winning nursery software and book your free demonstration today.