13 Pitfalls to Avoid When Acquiring an Order Management System
Who should be on the team? You need representatives from each key department in the business: marketing, merchandising, e-commerce, order entry and customer service, purchasing, inventory management, fulfillment, circulation, accounting, and even maybe catalog design.
You also don’t want to treat your team like a committee. People are used to attending meetings, and if they aren’t zoned out altogether, at best they perceive the meeting to be like a committee. A team is different. A team has a goal and is responsible for developing effective strategies to reach that goal. Give your team responsibility as well as authority and accountability. Light its fire, and keep it focused on the task at hand.
5. Having no sponsor. An individual at the highest executive level has to be fully on board with the whole process. He or she needs to be kept apprised of its progress and must be able to make those course-correcting decisions at the inevitable forks in the road. From time to time, the leader also will have to put the team back on track.
6. Having no timeline. This is a doozy. How long should this entire process take? There are no hard and fast rules, but there never seems to be enough time, either. In general, it can take three to six months to prepare for your systems-selection process, another three or four months to select a system, and from six to 12 months to implement it.
That’s 12 months minimum, and nearly two years on the outside. Yet few companies allow that kind of time in their systems-acquisition process. Typically, you should spend two months in prep, two months in selection and two months in implementation. And even these are very aggressive goals — and practically assure that you’ll be cutting corners. Yet it can be done. But if that’s your situation, you’re all the more bound by your timeline.