How much does RIMS cost?
We are a really small agency. Does it make sense for us to automate?
Yes! We have a sheriff's department serving only 1,500 people in a rural area that has been a satisfied RIMS user for many years. After all, you all do the same things and you all need to keep records. Automating dispatching and records keeping has the same benefits; only the scale is different. And with our scaled pricing, just about everyone can afford RIMS.
We don't do our own dispatch - the Sheriff's Department handles that. How would RIMS make sense for us?
You obviously would not want to buy RIMS CAD, but you will still find our records management software very useful. We have several customers that fall into your category.
How easy is it to learn RIMS?
Ease of use is an overused term, but it is a critical factor in determining user acceptance of any software. For us, ease of use is the most common compliment we receive about RIMS --- we've had 30 years to get it right! This is reflected in our training program which is two days for dispatchers, one day for records personnel, and one to two days for officers, depending upon the products you buy.
My department has its own way of doing things. Can your product be customized to our operation?
This is always a knotty problem in that there is no simple yes/no answer because each agency's idea of what they want customized is different. The only certainty is that no two agencies do things exactly alike. We have spent a lot of time over the years making RIMS easily configurable directly by our customers when it is installed, in more than 100 ways. That said, it is possible that you will want something that is not currently in RIMS. If you want to pay extra for it, we can usually accommodate you, but in general our customers tend to think RIMS is a pretty good fit "right out of the box."
What hardware and software platforms does your product run on?
Do I need to hire a consultant to determine what we need and write us a request for proposal (RFP)?
Unless you are in a large agency, the answer is usually NO! Large agencies need consultants to help them determine their requirements, pare their wish lists and arbitrate among competing desires in the department. They are also more likely to require a customized RFP since most are legally required to go out to bid in obtaining a new system. However, for smaller agencies, all or most of these conditions are generally not present. If you know absolutely nothing about computer-aided dispatch/records management, you may still feel more comfortable with a consultant. Otherwise a consultant is a luxury: Hire one only if you have more money to do the proper research than you have personnel with the time to do it. We've seen agencies actually spend more on the consultant than they spend on the software! If you are required to go out to bid, we can provide you with a sample Request for Proposal document, which you can customize to meet your needs.
We've had our current system for years. Can you convert its data to your system? We commonly convert an agency's old data when installing RIMS, however, there is no magic import program. The cost is a function of what's being converted—its format, number of files and information content. The good news is that in replacing other systems over the years we have compiled a library of conversion programs, making it a straightforward process in many instances.
I've heard it takes many months even years to get one of these systems installed and up and running. Is that true? For some vendors that’s true—big, long projects justify those big, high prices. But it's not true with us. 180 days is a typical schedule for us. We do provide full installation and training services to get you up and running quickly.