System Solutions: A Best-of-Breed Strategy
Tip: You’ll find that customer relationship management (CRM) systems can’t really handle direct commerce order management. Some support rudimentary order entry, but no CRM package is really a robust order management tool. (Some accounting systems handle order entry, too, but can serve only the needs of direct marketers with extensive modifications.)
Unless you have a very complex or automated warehouse (in which case you probably already have a WMS in place), implement the order management system before determining what other solutions you need. You may find it meets more requirements than you anticipated, but if it doesn’t, you’ll have a much clearer idea of the weaknesses that other systems must address.
In addition, virtually all order entry systems these days have Internet commerce modules. This gives you a chance to evaluate, in detail, the strengths and weaknesses of the one that comes bundled with your order management application.
It may make more sense to modify one or two systems to satisfy your unmet needs or to acquire one or more new systems to meet those needs. As a rule, the more systems you implement the fewer the modifications you should make on any of them. After all, a major benefit of the best-of-breed approach is that it eliminates the aggravation of making, testing and supporting customized code that tries to extend systems into places they were never intended to go. And the less custom code you have to add, the better.