When it comes to selecting a CTMS for your research organization there dozens of factors your will probably consider before making your final decision. Does the pricing model make sense for my company? Will the system provide a fast return on investment? Does the system provide the necessary functionality to get the job done?
All of these are very relevant questions that should be asked, but there are a few questions that might not be considered during the selection process. While the system itself is the often the most exciting part of the process, failing to ask questions about other aspects of the vendor’s company can help prevent you from making a selection that is not a good fit for your company. Here are 4 questions you need to be sure to ask during the selection process, because they offer insight into your future success with the selected vendor.
What is your customer retention rate?
Understanding a CTMS provider’s customer retention rate is critical to ensuring that you pick the right system. CTMS providers often like to brag about how many customers they have, but don’t readily share how many people stop using their system. It’s important to understand this because it’s an indicator of how much value the vendor brings to the table for the research organization. If a large number of people sign-up but then don’t renew their subscription, a red flag should go up in your mind. What is happening after the sale that is causing discontent? Was the system oversold on its capabilities? Is support not available?
How frequently do you release software updates?
In the past few years, it seems like the change taking place in the clinical research industry has accelerated to a never before seen pace. In order for a CTMS system to continue to be useful to a research organization, it must adapt and change to meet the ever changing needs of the research industry. In the fast-paced world of today, CTMS vendors need to be fast in order to provide the best experience for researchers. This is why it’s critical to understand the release cycle for the CTMS vendor you select. Make sure that you select a vendor that releases 3-4 updates a year. This way, changes to the industry are accounted for in a very short period of time.
What new functionality are you working on for future releases?
The third question ties in with the previous question. Not only should a CTMS vendor be providing releases on a regular schedule, but the content of those releases should be relevant to the users. During the CTMS selection process be sure to ask what the company is currently working on for future releases. This is often a good indication of how aware the vendor is of the marketplace. This can help you ensure you select a vendor who knows the trends and develops software to address the changes in the industry.
How many service and support personnel do you employ?
The level of customer support that a CTMS vendor provides to its customers is almost as important as the system itself. In the event that you face a problem or have a question you want to know that you will get help in a timely manner. This is why it’s important to ask how many service and support personnel the CTMS vendor employs. There should be a sufficient number of staff available to handle calls in a timely manner and ensure that the users are up and running in no time.