Do You Really Need All Those Order Management System Modifications?

Recently we had a chance to follow up with a client and vendor on the outcome of their seven-month order management system modificationsimplementation negotiated last year. There are some unique lessons learned about making modifications to  an order management system; or an ERP or warehouse management system for all of us.

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Guidelines for Order Management System Scripted Demos

One of the most important aspects of selecting any order management system is actually getting a demoOrder Management System Scripted Demos of the vendor’s application. There are a couple of different approaches to demos; depending on where you are in the system selection process. One is used to get the general feel for a system early in the search process and lasts one to two hours. What you get is a high-level overview of a few of the system’s functions.

The second type of demo, which is what the focus of this post is about, is much longer taking a day or possibly a day and a half; depending on the complexity of your business. This longer demo is used to select the finalists after vendors have responded to your Request For Proposal (RFP).

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Learning From Companies' Order Management System Installs

I’ve had two extensive projects with two new installations of a commercial order management system.order management system While it may raise questions about how prepared companies are as they embark on implementing systems, I think that everyone can learn from them. Let me share with you some highlights:

The first is a company with sales of $75 million annually; evaluated both Tier 1 ERP and order management system capabilities. This company selected a large scale Windows-based client server system. What were some of the issues?

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Accurate Budget Estimates for Implementing Order Management System

As we have written many times, 50% of large scale implementations end up over budget and well behindAccurate Order Management System Budget the original proposed implementation schedules. Typically, we have always identified investment in several areas: hardware, operating software, third-party software, professional services and applications licenses. In order to plan initial new system implementation budgets for large scale order management system and enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), it’s prudent to go well beyond these categories of expense and engage in broader based planning and due diligence.

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Will Your New Order Management System Provide the Needed Reporting?

You have just spent many months doing your due diligence to replace your aging order management order management system reportingsystem: gathering user requirements, writing an RFP, getting capable system vendors to bid on it, conducting demos and selecting the finalist. Yet there is one more activity that, if not done superbly, will shake management’s confidence that implementation of the new system will go smoothly.

Download: How to Improve Your New Systems Selection and Implementation Process

If you haven’t adequately studied and documented how management, at every level from CEO to department managers, will get the needed information they’re used to having - your credibility could be in trouble. We are talking about the necessary reporting and key performance indicators needed in order to run the business on a daily, weekly, monthly and year-end basis. Even when business analysts feel they have done an adequate job of determining user requirements, the reporting functionality frequently gets cut short. There are a variety of reasons for this:

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How to Reduce the Order Management System Learning Curve

In most businesses the transition to a new order management system (OMS) does not occur frequently. order management system learning curveOne of the main keys for your OMS implementation to be successful is to be sure you have tasks and assignments for developing training materials and standard operating procedures. The new OMS will affect the productivity of many departments, including contact center, distributoin center, accounting, merchandising, marketing and management reporting.

Some companies often struggle for six to eight months after implementation to regain their productivity and proficiency levels. Here’s how your company can shorten the order management system learning curve.

READ: How to Improve Your New Systems Selection and Implementation Process

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Evaluating the Best Partner to Install ERP or Order Management System

The major software companies, especially enterprise wide systems from Microsoft, Oracle (JD Edwardsorder management system EnterpriseOne), Sage and SAP, have made huge head ways into the order management system marketplace for moderate to large e-commerce and catalog companies. It’s important to remember that the ERPs have a development legacy outside this marketplace. In most cases these software companies reply on Business Partners or Value Added Resellers (VARs) to develop industry specific functionality which gears the base ERP to your order management, distribution, marketing, merchandising, etc. requirements.

Download: How to Improve Your New Systems Selection and Implementation Process

To sell to widely different market niches, today’s ERP systems have flexible configuration set up and often “layers” to provide standardization of functionality and unique requirements at the same time.

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4 Easy Steps to Select an Order Management System: Steps 1 and 2

Whether your company is in need of a commercially packaged warehouse management system, point of bigstock-Four-Gears-Steps-Principles-In-58922081sales system, inventory control system, direct-to-customer order management system --or some combination of the aforementioned, the selection of the right system is a major undertaking for your business. No matter what type of new system you’re considering, that purchase is going to be a long-term investment. It has significant ramifications for how you serve your customers, the productivity of your personnel, and the management information it can provide to help you manage and grow your business.

To make an accurate system assessment and choose the right system for your company’s needs, we recommend you follow a four-step selection plan. This plan includes:

  1. Organizing the project;

  2. Defining your business needs;

  3. Gaining a complete understanding of the vendor’s systems and capabilities; and

  4. Examining the expected ROI of the system.

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How Bad Can Installing An Order Management System Be?

That’s the rhetorical question Matt Jordan, CEO, Premier Performance, Inc. asked of the audience at the Senior Executive Forum at the Operations Summit 2015 about installing your order management system. Matt is a client of ours and he has gone through several ERP and order management system conversions and shared his experiences.

DOWNLOAD: 13 Information Technology Cost Reduction & Productivity Improvement  Ideas

Matt quoted several findings from a study of ERP systems by Panorama Consulting, which parallels our experience with order management system installs involving call center, fulfillment and e-commerce.

Order Management System costs and overruns

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Can You Afford to Not Address Your Order Management System Issues?

For many multichannel retailers, this past holiday season brought about many challenges, the least of Evaluate Order Management Systemwhich were order management system challenges.  These system challenges certainly impacted the overall business flow and processes, but more importantly they negatively affected the customer, company productivity and your company’s profitability. 

With customers having been conditioned to good experiences with other retailers such as Amazon.com, Walmart and Target – you must also compete with them when the customer's expectation is so high.  Now is the time to look back at this past season and reassess these system challenges, and how to set a plan for making changes.

Companies should take this opportunity to evaluate and act on these system issues. By focusing on these systems issues now, retailers can ensure that impactful changes can be implemented and tested. Here are a few ideas to get get the assessment going:

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