How to Test a New Inventory App Within a 14-Day Free Trial
Choosing is confusing. And that’s especially true when it comes to deciding on inventory apps. Luckily, most of them come with a limited free trial that lets you get to grips with the software before you make a recommendation to your team. But the trials are short – and there’s a lot to cover.
Choosing the right system for a trial
If you want to get the most out of your free trial period, you need to know before you start that you’ve picked an inventory app that’s likely to have what you need.
Once you boot up your new inventory app, you’ll usually only have 14 days of free access. That might sound like a long time (and is typical for inventory apps), but remember this:
It takes an experienced consultant between 10 and 40 hours to decide whether an inventory app is the right fit for your business.
Before you start the clock ticking on your limited free trial, write down the answers to some of these questions and stick them on your wall:
What are your aims and priorities for this 14-day trial?
- What are the terms and limits of this trial?
- What are the must-have features and processes you’re looking for?
- What are the nice-to-have features and processes?
- And how much time can you spend on each day to test your new app?
Day 1: Exploring the settings
Your first day inside a new inventory app is all about getting accustomed to how things work. And the best way to do that is to explore the settings for each module inside your inventory app. This should give you a broad idea of the language and terms the app uses, as well as an understanding of where each module interacts with other modules.
Day 2: Learning about the basic processes
Here’s where you can start to get to grips with some of the simplest functions and features in your new app.
Along the way, you should also be looking at what kind of data requirements the inventory app needs. So, when you’re ready to start uploading products later, you’ve already got some idea of how those categories relate to the old data you have for your own products.
Day 3: Your first test
Most inventory apps with a free trial will come with demo data that’s ready to use: a few generic products that are easy to work with for someone who’s still learning.
This is the first time you’ll get close to some of the finer details and features the inventory app has or doesn’t have. And that means you might start to see some places where the app is missing things your business needs.
Days 4 & 5: Bringing in your real data
Once you’ve worked through the app’s demo data and you’ve got a feel for how things work, you can start to prepare and upload some of your own business’s test data.
Day 6: Testing your manual data entry
With your product data uploaded and ready, it’s time to practise bringing that data into the system manually. Different users will need to enter different types of data – and you need to be sure that each user can only enter the data that they need to enter.
Day 7: Setting up your document templates
This might not seem like a crucial step at first. But when you start to show your new app to your team later, this is an area where they’re going to have plenty to say.
Days 8 & 9: Putting your real data to the test
With your exported data uploaded and entered into the system, you can start to see how they work with the inventory app’s functions.
We’d recommend sticking to the most simple and common functions at first – the ones that you use the most daily.
Day 10: Bringing the app to your team
By this point, you should have a good feel for how the app works, and how to work with your data inside it.
And that means it’s a perfect time to start showing off some of the basics to your team.
Day 11: Testing the changes your team needs
During the demo, your team probably raised some issues or asked some questions about the basic processes that you hadn’t considered. So now you can go back into your trial and start trying out the things they mentioned (and testing them!)
Days 12 & 13: Testing the tough stuff
Now that you’ve tested and shown off the basics, it’s time to move onto the more complex processes for your sales, purchasing, and warehousing.
So what comes after the trial?
At this point, your company should be nearly ready to decide.
But you might still want a second opinion – a team of experts who can review your testing and discuss any issues or questions you still have. And if you’re confident in your choice and you’re ready to plough ahead? Remember that this trial was just the beginning. There’s a big difference between choosing an app and moving over to one – and with so many inventory apps on the market, it’s no mean feat.
So if you’d like the experience of a team of inventory software experts to help you along your journey – book a call with one of our consultants and we’ll talk about what we can do.