Updated: Jul 13
1. Must haves and nice to haves
Before you get started on your MIS journey it might sound obvious but its good to clarify exactly why you are look for a new MIS to begin with. Are you unhappy with your current solution, if so why? If you have not had an MIS system before, what has prompted the need to investigate this now? This will then help define your choices for the system you ultimately go with.
Obviously after you speak to suppliers you might rethink what are fundamental features, but it’s always good to keep in mind the reason you made contact in the first place. What are the internal pressures and bottlenecks you are looking to relieve?
This helps define functionality and modules that are “must haves” from the “nice to haves”
2. Who is your champion?
This point might be the most important point out of all the 5 tips listed here and it is who is going to be internally responsible for your MIS project. This is the factor most out of control of your potential new supplier but is fundamental to an MIS being a success. At Imprint this person is referred to as your “Imprint Champion”. This can be a subject for discussion all by itself, but essentially it is crucial to decide who is most suitable. The person with the right level of drive, tenacity and free time to commit to this project is the person that can help bring your project in on time and on budget.
3. Time scales and milestones
Another massive concept to get your head around is planning an appropriate timescale and event milestones for your project once it is green lit. We often speak to people who are in a rush for a quotation and a system. These projects rarely get past the first hurdle or end up ever being implemented. Set yourself realistic goals all the way from your selection process right through to your "go Live” date.
It’s the part that nobody really wants to talk about and the elephant in the room that must eventually be addressed. Be upfront with your new potential supplier about costs and budgets if possible, particularly as a project advances past the first demos and quotation. Be realistic about what can be achieved with the budget you have vs what you want to achieve.
5. Ongoing development plans.
How you are going to support and evolve your MIS moving forward? As well as looking at a system that will work for you right now, make sure to think about your own business model going forward. If you’re thinking of branching into other areas of production can your new provider develop with you. Whilst important to start with what is needed right now, thinking ahead is also never a bad idea.