How to quickly decide which order management software.
You’re looking for a reliable solution and outcome. The only way seems to be an RFP or RFQ. These activities require substantial effort from yourself and the vendor. The more vendors you have the more work you create for yourself. Similarly, the more vendors the faster the complexity of the information you need increases.
You just need an answer “what would work for us”? Here are seven simple rules to help make your life easier and your project successful.
1. Start with your customer and work backward
2. Begin with a minimum viable product
At the end of this section, you’ll know what the smartest way forward is.
To be clear you need to choose one vendor, right now, and use their platform to create your minimal viable product. A sandbox if you will. You can look at other vendors if the one you choose falls short.
The business has a core activity, sell and fulfill a product to customers and make money. You need to focus on this core activity and discover a way to model this as soon as possible. You don’t know what you really need to know until you’ve done this.
Your time is money. We are in the 2020s. We live in the age of fast answers. Amazon is very aware of this and exploits this expectation every second of every day.
All around us we see technology solutions we can pick up and start using. We often don’t need to figure out how they work, we just need to find out fast what they can do for us. This should be the guiding principle of your journey of discovery.
As is the case in most products, and at the risk of repeating myself we start with the core problem we are trying to solve and work outward from there. In the case of order management systems, quote or order to cash. You need to try this immediately if the platform doesn’t make this easy to do, or do it well, you are in deep trouble. And it’s a sure sign there are other similar issues in the rest of the platform.
3. It has to have adaptable digital self-service.
Assume every person involved in buying from you has used Amazon. So the answer has to be based upon digital self-service. Just accept this, don’t argue. You are in for a really hard time if you do.
Digital self-service predominantly comes in two forms, EDI and b2b portals. Because it’s expensive to implement, it is only used by selective denominations of customers. However b2b portals address the news of the wider market. Users basically login, gather, or review the information and buy, then track the status of their orders.
The number of companies deploying self-service is still proportionally low to the size of the market. Here is a note of wisdom and to your immediate advantage. The reason is your competitors are using systems that do not have or cannot be extended to safely or cost-effectively deliver digital self-service. Think about this…
- They are using systems you should avoid at all costs.
- Their margin becomes your opportunity if you implement digital self-service (another of Amazon’s guiding principles)
The bottom line here is, don’t even consider proceeding with a vendor who cannot show you an easy way to do digital self-service well. Make sure whatever they show you can be easily adapted – please don’t be persuaded this latter point is not relevant. It really is.
4. It has to be VERY easy to use.
5. It has to be very straightforward and cost-effective to customize.
6. The cost, effort, time required for the MVP has to be super low
7. Keep it simple
Start with the customer, and think backward.
All the best