Three signs that your technology processes systems might be holding you back

Technology is a major component of successful eCommerce operations. Merchants can use retail software and hardware to accomplish a variety of tasks, from product management and inventory optimization to order management to fulfillment. Technology is a significant investment that retailers can make to put themselves ahead of their competition.

However, there frequently comes a point where technology is no longer performing at the level you need it to be. Some technology becomes outdated and irrelevant to your current operations. In that situation, merchants may need to purchase additional software or replatform to ensure their software is working to benefit current processes, rather than holding them back.

eCommerce software solutions such as SalesWarp enable retailers to consolidate operations and effectively manage a variety of processes from a single platform. This minimizes the impact that replatforming has to merchants’ current processes, as solutions like SalesWarp can be deployed quickly and easily.

Here are three signs that current technology solutions may be holding you back:

1. Current technology systems are short-sighted

Technology investments are often long-term in nature. No company buys expensive software and services with the intention of upgrading them if scope of operations change or upward expansion becomes a goal.  Unfortunately, technology can become dated far more quickly than many merchants would like.

As a result, many retailers end up wasting time because they try to create operational workarounds to bypass outdated technology. They spend needless amounts of time trying to use software for tasks it isn’t designed to accomplish. Further, this makes integration of multiple software solutions more difficult, as merchants will need to account for the various workarounds as well, which can lead to incompatibilities.

2. Support is far and few in between

Technology is a fast-moving industry, with some software vendors frequently providing support through product updates and customer service. It’s only natural to view software as an ever-evolving solution, constantly changing to account for new developments in the industry for which it’s intended.

Whether retailers use their own in-house developed technology or those purchased from a third-party, support should be a necessity. Retailers should never be stuck in a situation where the vendor is unreachable or unable to fix the problem. This creates a major inconvenience that could hamper future productivity, and one that essentially negates the benefits of implementing ebusiness software to begin with.

“Ultimately, running on an outdated (eCommerce) management system presents an additional level of risk that may not only hinder efficient operations, but could also decrease the level and qualify of support your receive from your vendors,” a report from Logistics Management explains.

3. It’s risky to upgrade your current eCommerce or warehouse management system

Although a variety of merchants may fall under the broad category of retail, every business is unique – they have their own needs, their own audience and their own challenges. Thus, when retailers purchase a eCommerce management system, it might not always come with all the capabilities they need to do their jobs. In this instance, it’s pretty common for merchants to develop custom code to accomplish the missing capabilities.

The challenge is hiring vendors or getting internal developers to create solutions that are compatible. This can be a significant time investment. The fact that a vendor’s software doesn’t meet a retailers needs, or isn’t flexible enough to keep this coding moving forward means it also represents a risky investment.

Retailers need to identify all the functionality they need to make sure the eCommerce software they are considering meets those needs. If not, they may be better off with eCommerce operations management software that can be customized, such as SalesWarp which is commercial open source. If their current solutions don’t offer this capability, they may want to upgrade. Flexibility is key, and merchants should always look for that option when the replatform and upgrade current technologies.