Small eCommerce Companies: Thrive by Avoiding IT Department Thinking
Large companies have the budget and staff for comprehensive IT departments. They even have the need for the personnel and processes. These employees perform an important and necessary function in many Fortune 1000 firms.
The same type of IT departments aren’t practical, affordable, or even necessary for small eCommerce companies. In fact, lack of an IT department proves to be an element of agility for smaller firms to manage fast-changing inventory, customer fulfillment demands, and rapid responses to the market.
With solutions like tablet-based WarehouseOS®, the functions of small eCommerce companies can be rapidly and cost-effectively addressed with an ROI achieved in days. Three primary processes are enhanced in e-business including production processes, which include procurement, ordering, and replenishment of stocks; processing of payments; electronic links with suppliers; and production control processes, among others.
Customer-focused processes, which include promotional and marketing efforts, selling over the Internet, processing of customers’ purchase orders and payments, and customer support, among others are also tracked and managed with low IT involvement.
Finally, operating as a distribution center, warehouse, or fulfillment center, solutions and apps offered by WarehouseOS® address internal management processes, which include employee services, training, internal information-sharing, video-conferencing, and recruiting. Electronic applications enhance information flow between production and sales forces to improve sales force productivity. Workgroup communications and electronic publishing of internal business information are likewise made more efficient. None of this involves engagement by a costly decision-interfering IT department.
eCommerce makes “mass customization” possible with IT spending years with coding, planning, and implementation. eCommerce applications include easy-to-use ordering systems that allow customers to choose and order products according to their personal and unique specifications. This can work more effectively if a company’s manufacturing process is advanced and integrated into the ordering system, yet the small, 10,000 square foot warehouse facility does not require an IT department to accomplish this level of customized customer demand.
Some pundits differ suggesting that operating an eCommerce business has become a major challenge for the “required” IT department. This is false. That said, even the smallest eCommerce businesses need to have a flexible, stable environment to be productive and stay competitive.
Those who come from an IT background complain that eCommerce brings further headaches for the IT department as there are usually several more systems that need to be incorporated to create a fully functioning online offering – from an online store that can integrate with online marketplaces to systems that accept payments and others that connect with delivery services. The argument is the suggestion that integration is problematic, since the information and data generated by eCommerce needs to be shared with the other systems. These IT department leads (working to protect the value of their jobs) suggest it is the only way that each department and the management can have a clear view of essential data, ranging from sales and stock levels to opportunities and constraints, thus providing the strategic insight required.
They put up warning signals that data integration between online systems and back office systems can often be limited or non-existent and, therefore, a great deal of manual monitoring of events and data entry must take place when an order is placed online.
With WarehouseOS®, small eCommerce firms do not have to wrestle with this old construct thinking. It is a product that can easily sit between all operational technology systems and automate a wide range of required processes. eCommerce business owners bring in these new technologies without the burden of IT department thinking. The goal is to maximize product turns and profitability without getting mired in technology which becomes a burden.
To learn more about WarehouseOS® and how it can affect your eCommerce business for the better, contact us HERE.