- Technology is a mixed bag of on-premise and cloud platforms.
- Company-wide dependence on unintegrated or incompatible technology.
- Unidentified responsibility gaps between staff and 3rd parties.
- Unidentified gap between strategic initiatives and application.
I was brought in recently to begin untangling a web of old systems, processes, and dataflows to rebuild a technology and information delivery ecosystem capable of rivaling the competition. It’s a common problem for retailers, and characterized by breakdowns in communication and workflow at every level of the business.
It’s not the first time I’ve waved the digital transformation wand at a company, and I have a rubric: end-to-end control of data, SaaS systems that don’t bludgeon my budget with costly and relentless upgrades, and iron-clad processes for managing technical talent and standards for onboarding new technology. And a technology platform that can make that happen; for me that is iPaaS.com.
I knew what I was up against, and budgetary constraints were only one small part. There was a trust breakdown happening between the CFO and Director of Retail Operations, and that’s not uncommon when technology issues become larger than business concerns. The ancient ERP system had to go, but I was up against Mrs. Afraid of Change on the finance team, and her right-hand Mr. Loves Excel. Every other system was dependent on this nightmare point-to-point data workflow, and replacing it meant breaking a dozen critical integration pieces that would immediately halt progress. Rewriting them wouldn’t break us out of the cycle, and I didn’t have the budget or time to rework them all even if I wanted to.
Complicating my issue, the B2B and B2C teams were working separately because of bad dataflow and broken integrations, and growing less aligned on how to move forward technologically. The legacy ERP had limits and was impossible to integrate with any modern SaaS POS without massive customizations, and even trying to would just create more problems: the already unintegrated ecommerce unit would have no direct integration to support BOPIS or other key in-store KPIs like returns, loyalty, giftcards, cross channel payments reconciliation, amongst others.
Continuing to scale the company technology this way was untenable and would ultimately bankrupt it. If there wasn’t a change away from this broken web of integrations and trust breakdowns across the organization, the greatest contributors in respective silos would slowly move on to other productive opportunities while the organization continued a steady decline into a single-channel entity, whichever of those that remained standing at the end, and the brand would be unsalvageable.
- Decisions are made from data rather than opinions.
- Add new technology with stated outcomes and timelines.
- Restore condence to team with required dependence upon tech.
- Increase adaptability with technology.
- Reduce costs from all digital transformation efforts.
- Enable other departments to operate effectively.
I had experience with iPaaS.com previously. Using the built-in Reusable Connectors, I was able to quickly migrate data from the old ERP to a new system. While that implementation was in progress, I worked with my Managed Integration Service Partner (MISP) to configure Managed Data Relationships, Validation Rules, Filtering Rules, Dependency Handlers, and skyhooks to trigger multi-system syncs between iPaaS.com and our 3PL’s tech, ecommerce, and upgraded EDI, a powerful lightweight POS, and several other applications.
They managed vendor expectations for me, pushing my goals, not theirs, which actually made everyone happy as the success stories started to compound for every vendor. When the new ERP was ready to go live, instead of dozens of connecting points to write, I needed only one. And I did it all at 50% less than the costs of the alternative.
All the systems worked together, but more importantly, the CFO and Operations Manager began working together on business goals rather than technology issues. None of this is difficult with the right technologies and Managed Integration Service Partner (MISP), and iPaaS.com to make it possible for them to do their jobs; it had already made it easy for me to do mine.
The greatest contributors would slowly move on to other productive opportunities while the organization continued a steady decline.
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