5 Learnings - on implementing Cloud based retail solution in a small retail chain.

User Sumesh k menon Date Nov-4th , 2016 Comments 0 comments
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Yes, you are a very enthusiastic retail entrepreneur, and about to implement cloud based technology in your retail business.    Its obvious that, when we started to grow from single outlet to few 10s of stores, you might think of implementing some process to manage the same.   This can make your life easier.   You have decided to implement and selected a cloud vendor, which suites your requirements.    You have bargained for all the features you require ( some not required now and kept for future purpose J )  for small amount and you were able to succeed in convincing the cloud guys in providing some best features.

Now you are ready to start working on the much awaited solution . 

Here comes problems or rather we can call it as challenges in implementation.  Some of the common situation you will go through are :

1.   No Resource to allocate

I have a small team, who are mainly concentrating on operations and they don’t have the time to invest full time on focusing on implementing the solution.   Even if you have allocated one person, he does on part time work on the new software implementation.    - 

Make sure that – no matter how small your team, dedicate on person from your team to champion the solution which you are going to implement.   Give him/her the authority to teach others whenever required and trouble shoot.   Let him be your Solution champion, and ask him to keep a good liaison with the software solution provider.

2.   No Dedicated Time for setting up

We don’t have time to spend on the initial setting up process – for the new software application. So we will do it one by one in the coming days – and don’t fix the target roll out date.

Setting up in the right way will decide whether you will succeed or fail .   The solution you have bought might be good, but as long as you don’t setup properly, its of no use.   Setting up properly means, you have to have a fair understanding of the initial setting up process, no matter which software you are going to use.   In a retail specific condition, you need to configure your company details , tax details , Product details and its variants, Product pricing , Store locations, users with roles and rights etc.,  

Probably if you are a small retailer with 1000 SKUs, you might need to spend few hours for the same.  Dont hesitate to put this effort if you want to have a good software in place.

3    Previous data might hold you back

I am running this business for few years and when i am implementing the new software in the middle of the year, i will try to input all the pervious data of this financial year in to the system , like inventory , Suppliers, GRNs etc.,

If you have a good number of staff to assist, it might work or you already have a structured data on digital format.   Else its not going to work out.  Have a structured approach for the previous data capturing and dont interrupt the daily transaction planned in the new software.    Because,   adding all your previous data will make your implementation date prolong without any dead line.

Its better to keep a software implementation start date, and try to start the operations in the software fresh from that date.   The old data can consolidated manually and put it as opening balance in as much possible place as you can.   Take the Physical inventory of that cut off day, and make it as your opening stock.

4   No sponsorship from owner

I am too busy as the owner of the shop, and i dont have time to look into the application for its effectiveness.  I will entrust the whole job to some one in your organisation.

By doing so, you are getting to trouble.   Employees will never be serious enough to handle the operation when the owner himself is not interested.      Hence have a full active participation in the software implementing process till its operational, and give guidance and motivation to you staff who is initiating the process.

5   Perfectionism

I will start using the software after having all my required reports got ready to access.

Too much perfectionism is perceived to be too bad.   To start using the software, just check if there is enough data captured  and you have the most important reports ready at your finger tips.    Never wait for the full reports to get complete,  which might take a long time, and by that time you would have more requirement poping up all around and chances are that your interest might deviate to something else.

So to conclude, if you want to implement your cloud application successfully, just keep in mind that , you need a whole hearted effort from you as the owner of the shop as well as the employees who are going to use the system on a daily basis.

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