The days of booking appointments through a paper-based system are gone. You’ve decided to take upgrade your operations by looking at kennel software. But what should you be considering while you make this critical decision?
There are two types of software: on-premise software that needs to be installed on your work computers and cloud-based software that you can access through the internet.
What is the main difference between these two types of kennel software?
Mobility. A cloud-based software system will have the same essential features as any software you would download and install, but you do not have to be at work to access it.
Each type of kennel software will have its own structure, and you will have to decide which system is most compatible with your business needs. And that’s not just with your business operations, but compatible software that works with any device–Macs, iPads, tablets, smartphones. Cloud-based software means all you need is the internet.
Consider these criteria while evaluating which fit is the best for you:
1. Check their websites to see if the software is feature-rich and if these features are easy-to-use.
- Online booking
- Simple check-in & check-out
- Customer access
- Operational reporting (feedings, medications, & activities)
- Accommodates the amount of clients you have
2. Call in to speak with a representative, chat with them through their websites, or email them.
This will test out their customer support. Make sure that their staff is attentive, understands your business needs, and can answer all your questions thoroughly.
3. Go through a demo.
Make time for a demo so that a representative can show you an inside look of the software. Their objective and yours should always be to see if the software is a good fit for your business.
Consider ease of use for your benefit and for your staff’s. When you train your staff in how to use the software, how big with the learning curve be?
Does the software support how your business operates? (i.e. holiday deposits, daycare playgroups, payments options)
4. Ask each company for their competitors.
A credible company will always know who their competitors are and will have no problem divulging that information to you. You’ll find out who the notable companies are in the industry and you’ll get side-by-side comparisons as each company pitches to you why they are better. This will quicken the process for you so that you won’t have to filter through other software duds.
5. Think of your business operations. What processes can be more efficient? Does this software provide the best solution to my problems?
Don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of options. Have a focus. Whether you need a faster check-in process, an automated email reminder system, or a more organized and easily accessible customer database, know what your priority is for your facility. Then after you have figured out the best solution, find out what else they have to offer and then incorporate that into your daily workflow.
6. The software is customizable to your business.
Don’t fall into tailoring your business operations to your software. It should be the other way around. Software companies should do their best to make sure that all of your business needs are met. Find a software company that flexible enough to accommodate services unique to your business.
7. Check out a review site like Capterra to see what independent reviewers are saying about kennel software. Get opinions from other pet professionals whom have already done the research and rated their top software companies.