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Choosing sustainability management software for your business

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  • 1. SSC White PaperCHOOSING SUSTAINABILITYMANAGEMENT SOFTWAREFOR YOUR BUSINESS
  • 2. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Choosing Sustainability ManagementSoftware for Your BusinessTo combat these spreadsheet disasters, software crafted for the solepurpose of tracking sustainability has sprung up in the past few years.Many systems are aimed at helping large companies, but we will takea look at systems that work for small and mid-sized companies too.Are you tracking sustainability throughan excel spreadsheet or planning to? Aspreadsheet is often cumbersome andprone to errors. Make one smallcomputing error in a spreadsheet andyour entire sustainability plan could beaffected and misrepresented.
  • 3. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Choosing Sustainability ManagementSoftware for Your BusinessThis presentation provides a summary of the white paper ChoosingSustainability Management Software for Your Business, which has beendesigned to help you answer questions you may have aboutsustainability software.
  • 4. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Choosing Sustainability ManagementSoftware for Your BusinessThe white paper provides information on: Deciding whether you need software Creating a short-list of vendors Determining a cost analysis Identifying the capabilities you need in asoftware platform Understanding your user base Establishing technical support Preparing for third-party auditsDownload this complimentary white paper to learn more!
  • 5. Before We Begin…
  • 6. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Before We Begin…Think of the white paper ChoosingSustainability ManagementSoftware as a roadmap to helpyou navigate through the world ofsustainability software.Remember to do your homework,make your own inquiries, andrequest demos and trials alongthe way. In other words, thisshould NOT be your only sourceof information.
  • 7. Do You Need Sustainability Software?
  • 8. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Do You Need Sustainability Software?It is essential when considering a softwarepurchase to also consider what you will beusing your software for, your „softwaregoals‟ rather. Knowing the reason formaking your purchase is crucial to findingthe right buy, as every package providesvarying functions. When thinking of yoursoftware goals, also evaluate the flexibilityof your company.Unless you are developing your own software, chances are your company willneed to change its day-to-day processes. Turn to clients, suppliers, andcompetitors in your network to find out what direction they took with theirsoftware. What goals did they set out?
  • 9. Finding the Right Software
  • 10. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Finding the Right SoftwareA Few Simple Steps:1. Create a Vendor List2. Create Selection Criteria3. Settle on a Price Cap4. Winnow the List5. Test the Project6. Negotiate on the Price7. Sign a Contract8. Make the Payment9. Use Your ProductDownload the full white paper to learnmore about each step and how tospecialize your softwareThis is a “Goldilocks” moment for yourcompany, where only you can decide whichsoftware system is just right.
  • 11. Choosing a Vendor
  • 12. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Choosing a VendorStart with the usual suspects by usinga search engine such as Google orBing. Be sure to see what your currentsoftware provider has to offer in thearena of Sustainability Software aswell.Know what you want out of a vendor.Do you want someone with size,breadth, and history? Or a small localvendor? Also know what kind ofrelationship you want to have withyour vendor.Find out more about vendor relationships here!
  • 13. Settling on a Price
  • 14. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Settling on a Price When you are evaluating software options,it is important to look beyond the basesticker price. Rather you must consider theprice of ownership. While many of the best-knownsustainability software platforms can cost$50,000 and up, there are often packagesdesigned specifically for smallerorganizations. The average small- andmid-size company should be able to workwith a $5,000 - $15,000 budget. Inquire as to how much it will cost to set up the software. In most cases avendor will install software for free, however some will ask for a fee.
  • 15. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Settling on a PriceYou will need to be able tojustify your investment inSustainability Software. Onceyou understand the cost, it‟stime to start nailing down thebenefit side of the equation.Here are some basic steps tomeasure your return:Measure YourSuccessCreate a Write UpCraft a Method ofTracking ProgressEstablish a BaselineDecide on Benefitsto MeasureKnow Your Strategy
  • 16. What Do You Need? Mapping Out the Future
  • 17. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.What Do You Need? Mapping Out theFutureBe sure to clarify your needs to your chosen vendor. Most of the time if you arewilling to pay for software development, a vendor will create the sustainabilitysystem of your dreams. But beware, this can be a financial trap. For now,understanding and utilizing a basic package will suffice.Make the following inquiries to discover your needs: What kinds of data does the software track? What standard reports are automaticallygenerated? What standards are these reports aligned with? What emissions data sets are included in thebasic package? Learn more inquiries by downloading ChoosingSustainability Management Software for YourBusiness
  • 18. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.What Do You Need? Mapping Out theFutureConsider where your SustainabilitySoftware roadmap leads by thinkingforward to your business‟ state in 100days, or perhaps in a whole year. Planningfor the future will aid in calculating yourTotal Cost of Ownership, or TCO.Do so by inquiring as to how your vendorplans on handling updates and softwarechanges in the future. What does theirroadmap look like?Remember: This is your software, souse an active voice.
  • 19. Using the Software and Training Your Team
  • 20. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Using the Software and Training YourTeamIt is crucial to determine who will beusing the Sustainability Software.Chances are a variety of individualswill be using it, and not everyone willbe a sustainability or software expert.What will the software be used for? Reading reports Publishing information Communicating with stakeholders Generating ad-hoc queries Generating an energy efficiencyreport Also consider that this software will not beused by employees who are sitting side-by-side. How will you connect your users?
  • 21. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Using the Software and Training YourTeamMost vendors will offer a basic trainingprogram, invest in this! Such a programwill cover how to use the variousmodules, how to navigate from sectionto section, how to enter and extractdata, and how to get help. Your vendorwill have a recommended trainingapproach. By aligning this with yourknowledge of your team, you will havethe best learning results.Training Considerations:1. Cost of training2. Time spent training3. The Approach
  • 22. What Happens When Something Goes Wrong
  • 23. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.What Happens When Something GoesWrongA multifaceted approach to supportwill be essential to a successfulsoftware deployment with your users.When negotiating a package price,remember that support is part ofthese negotiations.When something does break, you needto know what sort of Service LevelAgreements you have with yourvendor to correct the issue. Thisagreement should define variouslevels of severity and correspondingresponse methods.
  • 24. Facing An Audit
  • 25. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Facing an AuditAn audit is not always something tofear, as scary as it may at first seem.One benefit that you can look for inyour new software is that it willminimalize the stress of an audit.A key component of your auditor‟sreport will be to validate that youhave the appropriate processes inplace to enter, maintain, and reporton data accurately, as well as theappropriate controls in place toensure that the right people havethe right access to your data at theright time.Find out about audit trails here!
  • 26. Making the Big Decision
  • 27. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Making the Big DecisionMaking the choice to switch to updated sustainabilitysoftware can seem like quite the monster. But bydoing your homework, and seeking a consultant,your green software can be utilized easily in no time.
  • 28. www.sustainabilityconsulting.comCopyright © 2012, Strategic Sustainability Consulting. All rights reserved.Choosing Sustainability ManagementSoftware for Your BusinessDownload the white paper Choosing Sustainability ManagementSoftware to get started with your roadmap to help you navigatethrough the world of sustainability software.
  • 29. Download the complimentary white paper in itsentirety by visiting the SSC website today:Choosing Sustainability Management Software forYour BusinessWhat are your thoughts? Join theconversation on twitter @jenniferwoofter!