Why you want Out-of-the-Box Retail Technology
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Why You Want Out-of-the-Box Retail Technology

When your retail operation has grown to a certain point, you will want to launch an omni-channel strategy. This means you need an order management system (OMS) as the backbone system. At this point you will need to consider whether to use a platform-build solution on which coders can develop an OMS or an out-of-the-box DOM (distributed order management system). Platform solutions often sell the dreamy option of having a fully customized solution. This is great but the slick presentation often forgets to mention the costs and impact and burden of continually maintaining custom code. Out-of-the-box retail technology reduces this burden. Moreso, it keeps retailers at the forefront of omni-channel best practices and capabilities. Here is why:

Market Shenanigans Out-of-the-Box retail technology reduces a retailer's burden

It is a simple setup gig. There are some System Integrators who convince their clients that a platform-build solution is best. Sell the sizzle of a fully customized system created expressly for the retailer. What is often forgotten is the small element of a hidden agenda. Platform-build solutions require CONSIDERABLE consulting hours beyond the system integration. It then requires the consulting firm to step in to design and code a custom built application for the retailer. Beyond the build phase, it also means additional consulting long after the system is finally built and deployed. Remember that billable hours on custom code take place every time there is a need for system maintenance, tweaks, business rule changes, upgrades, and coding error fixes.

How Often Does Your Retail Change?

Platform solutions have an extremely costly Achilles Heel. Platform solutions need highly specialized programmers to develop the main system, then to tweak, adjust and recode the system every time there is a change or adjustment needed. So, at the end of the season when the retailer wants to shift business rules and priorities to deplete inventory from the stores first, guess who you will need to call to make this happen? Before changing over to the new seasonal offering, back to your office comes the expensive consultants. Cha-ching!

Naturally this is good for those needed for the continual stream of coding. It’s a continual stream of work. Long after the OMS deploys the project evolves, shifts and changes. Long after the OMS deploys the project is still under construction, with programmers billing away. In one retailers case that approached OrderDynamics, the open invoice became a regular and expected burden on their budget and profitability.

Professional Advantages

Man sitting with computer and phone - checking which system will work best.Out-of-the-Box retail technology means it is built as a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) offering. Good SaaS offerings mean the software is continually upgraded, updated, and improved in the background. Unlike licensed technology, the retailer never has to worry about having the staff, or paying consultants to run a painful and costly upgrade cycle. SaaS means the software is always ready to go, and the system is always ready to use.

Out-of-the-Box DOM technology also means that specialists have architected, coded, and worked to debug the system. Rather than taking the custom coded option, seek a power system which is flexible, and which is highly configurable. At the end of the day, all those extra hours of coding, recoding, adjusting, tweaking and ad-hoc testing, have to be paid by someone. The key is to make sure that someone is not you… to avoid: Cha-ching!

 

Read More: 3 Reasons You Want a Standalone OMS

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Advanced Order Management: What is it Truly?

 

What Are You Missing? Out-of-the-Box retail technology means specialized pro's have architected, coded and fully debugged the system

Afraid of missing out on the advantages and new technologies that your competitors will ALWAYS get, automatically – at no extra fee? That’s exactly what you miss out on with a custom built system. You miss out on the automatic updates. You also miss out on the system that evolves with the best practices of retailers around the world. For example, when OrderDynamics rolls out a major paradigm shifting new technology like Retail Order Consolidation, or Shipping-Rate Brokering – all customers on the system get it immediately and automatically. Retailers on platform systems miss out, or need to bring in their coders to program up another needed feature.

Is the short term gain of having a customized system worth constantly being left behind the competition in the mid and long term?

Key Lesson

Get Will the Real OMS Please Stand Up? WhitepaperFirst, just say NO to platform-build solutions. When considering an OMS ask the vendors whether they support out-of-the-box retail technology. If they don’t, consider a vendor who can provide you with this significant advantage. OMS decisions are important. You don’t want to end up stuck with the inferior position of an acceptable platform. With the need to constantly recode your system just to barely keep up with your competitors.

Second, work with a Systems Integrator that can be trusted. If they suggest that they can build a custom solution for your organization ask them for alternatives. If that really is your best alternative, then great. However, have your consultant consider both types of systems before choosing. If they cannot, or choose not to provide this, then seek an SI who will work with you more favorably.

Many are good people who hold your best interests in mind when providing guidance. Looking for a recommendation? Consider the following partners who know order management technology, and integrating systems to give retailer peak performance:

  • Ascent Enterprise Solutions,
  • Born,
  • Bricz,
  • CNetric,
  • Guidance,
  • Isobar,
  • OSF Commerce,
  • LuminosLabs,
  • PixelMedia, and
  • Tieto

The SI for You Satisfied with his choice - Retailer sits with arms behind back

On the list above, each system integrator has the consulting and technical ability to custom code any solution a customer would want. They will recommend it to a client, when it is absolutely the right, and best option for that retailer. However, when it comes to order management technology, they regularly choose out-of-the-box retail technology like the OrderDynamics’ solution. Simply put, it makes sense and is in the best interest of their clients.

When choosing a new system, look from an out-of-the-box DOM that will have you up and running in as little as 90 days. Choose a system that continually gets better to support your retail chain. Don’t put up with a light OMS, or system hacked together on the fly. Today’s retail needs advanced systems that work well, and are easy to change on a moment’s notice.

 

Author:

Charles Dimov - Director Marketing OrderDynamicsCharles Dimov is Vice President of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 21+ years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.