Designing and building a swimming pool is a complex process. There is a lot that goes into it, and a lot of different hands touch the project from start to finish. Swimming pool industry software, specifically pool building software, can make designing a pool much more efficient and eliminate many of the headaches that can come with it.
Customers can get a high-end visualization of their dream backyard pool, and you can upsell options because they can see the end result as it will appear in their yard. It’s easy to sell the dream when it’s close enough for them to touch, and pool-building software does just that. However, you must ensure you use the right software for your business and team.
Before you purchase software for your pool business, consider these key areas so the transition is smooth and it delivers exactly what you need.
The budget might not be the most important part of your decision-making process, but it is usually a significant factor anytime you add equipment or update your operations.
Set a budget and stick to it. You know your business better than anyone, and you know how much you can spend on new software. Yes, it is a wise investment that will get a good return in the long run, but you need to be able to manage that initial cost of purchase until the ROI kicks in.
The costs extend beyond the software. Other areas that may need to be included in the price are:
- The software itself
- Any necessary hardware or hardware updates
- Possible operating system upgrade
- Devices for using the software in the field
- Training either through the company for the software or training to improve your team’s computer skills
- Other software updates
- Installation and implementation
- Potential downtime during the installation, implementation, and training
- Customization may include additional features, software, apps, etc.
Some software companies include all these costs in the quote they give you, but some do not. It is always prudent to ask before signing that dotted line.
Training and Implementation Time
Some software is very user-friendly, and your team will pick it up quickly, but some may be a little more complex and require more training. The skill level of your team members will also factor into the training and implementation time, so keep that in mind when choosing your new software.
If your team is tech-savvy, then the downtime for implementation and training should not be much. You can also stagger the training times so that some team members are in training while others are in the field selling. That can minimize the impact this transition time will have on your business.
When you buy can be as important as the cost, especially when it comes to a seasonal business like the pool industry. If you can time the implementation of your new software to fall during the off-season, it will give you and your team a little time to get in there, learn the software, play around with it, and work out any kinks.
If you get your software at any point during your busy season, you may find that your team is scrambling to learn the new software while trying to get sales and service customers. That can lead to a lot of issues, from missed sales to dissatisfied customers to problems with the software.
You will take your time to choose the right software, take a little more time to implement it at a time when things are slow, and your team can get comfortable with it before taking it out in the field.
Your Team’s Current Skill Level
When looking at new software, you should consider your team’s current tech skill level. Finding software that will fit their skill level is easier and much more efficient than trying to increase their skill level in a short time.
Sure, sending them to get additional training may be an option and an expense you are willing to spend, but if you want something, you can get up and going with little prep and, in a short time, match the software to the current skill level. You can always go back later and upgrade.
If you have someone who is very tech-savvy, you may appoint them as your go-to person to help others get up to speed once they learn the software. That can help keep your operations running smoothly.
Think about the features that you want your software to have. What would make your operation easier? What features would help you better serve your customers? What would make your sales team’s job a little easier? Think about those things and ensure you get exactly what you want.
Swimming pool industry software can increase sales and improve not only customer satisfaction but employee morale as well. Just take the time to choose not what’s cool or popular — but what is best for your business.