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If your software is so good, why doesn’t it cost more?

I know what it’s like.  You look at two items on the store shelf.  They look almost the same but the price of one is way more expensive than the price of the other.  In your head, you hear the old saying “you get what you pay for.”  And that’s often true.

But not always.  A smart shopper digs a little deeper.  Sometimes the more expensive option is just over-priced.

So, when a potential client asked how are we able to sell for less than the other suppliers, I had some explaining to do!

Here’s what I said:

1.  We have the largest installed base of municipal financial software in Canada.  With over 700 clients, the cost of development is shared between a larger customer base.  And price isn’t the only advantage here.  Better features, more training opportunities and the benefits of a wider experience base all work to our clients’ advantage.

2.  We build quality software.  We have a consistent, disciplined process of development and testing that ensures dependable software products.  Building quality software from beginning to end reduces costs of redevelopment, administration and support.  And, of course, quality software also makes life more enjoyable for our clients!

3.  Our training is better.  Now, that might seem a bit strange because everyone knows that providing superior training must cost us more.  And that’s true.  But the money we pour into superior training means our clients have a better understanding of the software, reducing support costs for the long term.

4.  We do our own development.  Some suppliers of municipal financial software build their products on the backs of products built by other companies – usually products that were originally designed for business use, not for municipalities.  As a result, they are constantly tweaking the software to work the way a municipality needs it to work, increasing costs.  And, of course, you end up paying not just the costs of the municipal software supplier but you also have to pay for the underlying business software, as well.  So you end up paying twice for one solution.  And not just for the original purchase of the software but for ongoing support costs, as well.

There are other reasons why other companies have to charge more, of course.  But that gives you some idea of how we are able to provide superior software and support for less than other suppliers. 

The moral of the story, of course, is that sometimes the less expensive alternative is actually the better alternative!