Your very own internal monster, a custom order management system, is ALIVE.
…but is it causing more harm than good?
Wasted engineering resources, poor customer experience, and an inability to scale – there are a lot of nightmares that come along with customized tools stitched and bolted together to perform critical order management functions. Connecting ERPs and WMSs to storefront tools with custom middleware can create a tech stack that has a mind of its own. But the scariest thing may be the sheer number of retailers that have (with good intention) built custom tools to make their technology “function” the way they envision it should, just to realize it’s not feasible for the businesses’ long-term goals.
If you’ve customized your internal tools to handle critical order management functions like workflow automation, inventory management, and transaction processing – don’t worry. You can still take control back from the monster you’ve created. Here are three signs your internal IT team should turn your Franken-system over to order management experts.
1. It’s difficult to add, swap, or sunset technology as quickly as your customers demand it
Your ecommerce marketing team notices a sharp decline in checkout conversions. Once they determine nothing is broken on the website, they realize you’re losing customers to a competitor that offers more convenient payment methods. Some of your most loyal customers could become brand advocates for your competitor because they offered one-click payment and have a better overall online shopping experience. Now that’s terrifying.
If you had a dedicated order management system (OMS) in place, you wouldn’t have to submit tickets or requests to your IT team to make updates to your system and wait until it was an engineering priority. You’d be able to work with order management experts – whose sole focus – is simplifying seemingly complex concepts like adding, removing, or swapping technology to make your customer experience as easy and profitable as it can be. A dedicated order management system will have a long list of prebuilt integrations with the latest and greatest technology your customers expect.
2. No one knows exactly how your Franken-system was built
Colleagues come and go, but the technology powering the foundation of your business stays the same (until you decide to replace it). Right when Victor, your IT mastermind, has everything set up and perfected, he decides to retire. What he built is amazing…today. When your customers’ buying habits, your tech stack, and your operations change tomorrow, you will curse Victor for building something that isn’t easy to change as your company evolves. When Victor left for Switzerland, his knowledge of the Franken-system he built went with him, and you’re lucky if he answers your calls for help managing his brainchild.
3. You’re constantly adding band aids (many with URGENT priority)
Quick – we need a hot fix for an issue we found during our Black Friday sale! Your IT team could be the best in the world, but since they don’t solely focus on order management, they may not have thought through each and every scenario that needs to be considered before pushing out updates. Reactively adding band aids instead of proactively implementing order management best practices leaves no winners. A dedicated order management system will have prebuilt workflows that automate both simple and complex business requirements, without breaking critical functions. Prebuilt workflows allow you to change technology quicker and with less risk.
Beware the Franken-system
If you’re reading this, you may have built a monster yourself. But you don’t have to let it take you to the grave. Deconstructing your Franken-system and implementing an OMS can seem costly and overwhelming at first, but will save on engineering resources, enable an outstanding customer experience, and allow you to scale in the long run. The longer you feed the Franken-system, the longer it will live to haunt you.