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4 Questions to Ask CTMS Vendors

When it comes to selecting a clinical trial management system (CTMS) for your research organization, there dozens of factors to 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 relevant questions to ask, but there are a few more questions to consider 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 solution provider can help prevent you from selecting a vendor that is not a good fit for your company. Here are four questions to ask during the selection process to offer more 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 you pick the right system. CTMS providers often highlight about how many customers they have, but don’t readily share any information on retention. It’s important to understand this because it indicates 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, it should pose a red flag. 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?

The past few years have brought near-unprecedented change to the clinical research industry. For a CTMS system to continue to properly serve a research organization, it must adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of researchers. In today’s fast-paced world, CTMS vendors need to be quick 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 your selected vendor releases three to four updates per 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?

Not only should a CTMS vendor provide 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, and how they determine which features are included in a release. This is often a good indication of your vendor’s marketplace awareness. Additionally, it helps ensure you select a vendor who understands trends and develops software to help keep you successful in the ever-changing research industry.

How Many Service and Support Personnel do you Employ?

The level of customer support your CTMS vendor provides to its customers is almost as important as the system itself. If you face a problem or have a question, you want to know you will receive answers 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 users are up and running in no time.

Ultimately, thinking of questions such as these when choosing a vendor will help your organization in the long run. By understanding how a vendor holistically could fit into your organization, you are poised to select the best one for your organization’s needs.

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