We are seeing more and more software companies offering their products on a monthly basis as opposed to a purchase/license basis.
One of the reasons for this is that software systems can be a large investment. There is the cost of the software and sometimes hardware purchases as well. In todays economic environment coming up with a large outlay or borrowing of cash can be difficult and most companies in our industries have a very production equipment first oriented attitude.
By commiting to software on a monthly basis you can get the many benefits software can bring to your company without the large initial outlay of cash that may take away from other parts of your business.
By commiting on a monthly basis you get benefits that can contribute to a better managed and therefore more profitable business immediately rather than waiting until you can afford to make an outright purchase.
The money saved doesn't have to go to an information system now the money saved can go to other production enhancing investments
Some of the benefits you can realize immediately are:
1. Information that allows you to make better and faster decisions
2. Identify trends and patterns sooner so you can react more timely
3. Increased efficiencies so that more work can be done by less people and done in a more accurate method.
4. Better Communication between office, plant and customers. Better communications reduces errors, improves quality and increases production efficencies
5. Improved Customer Service because data is at your finger tips
6. More convenience for customers with features such as On line Inquiries that provide 24/7 access to their data. Strengthen the bond with your best customers
Paying monthly also allows you to see more immediate return on your investment. If you are paying say $400 per month for software you can very quickly justify that expense as opposed to $10-$15,000 upfront investment.
The downside is that over time you will pay more for your software but if the software continues to deliver the desired benefits then it doesn't really matter. If the software does not bring the benefits you were expecting it is easier to remove that software and try another.
Whether you pay monthly or make the purchase/license decision it is vital that your company gain the benefits that software can bring to it.