Why Choose Out-of-the-Box Order Management Over Custom Coding?
Let’s admit it. There is a great allure to an offer that fully customizes a solution for your retail operations. It seems like a good idea. Some software houses do this, as well as several systems integrator as side projects. But, come decision time, consider your choices carefully. An out-of-the-box order management system offers many broader benefits. Despite the allure, custom-built solutions can end up painting your retail operation into a very expensive corner.
What is Out-of-the-Box Technology?
Loosely quoting from Wikipedia, “an out-of-the-box technology is a feature or functionality of a product that works immediately after installation without modification. It also means that it is available for all users by default, and who are not required to pay additionally to use those features.” It is also known as OOTB or off-the-shelf technology.
So, out-of-the-box order management technology describes a system that is ready to go (to be used) as soon as it is integrated into your technology ecosystem. Sure, every retailer may have a few custom needs. These are easy enough, and are to be expected. However, the core system should be a standard product. In that sense, there is no need to first install the platform, then have systems architects and coders develop the OMS capabilities on top. With OOTB, your systems' administrators can use it right away.
Benefits of an Out-of-the-Box Order Management System?
1. Smooth Integration
A well-designed OOTB order management system is designed for connectivity. Dozens of APIs are available for interconnecting standard existing systems. Often, in this case, standard integration cartridges exist to connect with systems like Salesforce Commerce Cloud (e-commerce). Otherwise, web services, microservices, and middleware options are also all available. These make the integration phase easier and seamless.
2. Industry Best Practices
Although a fully custom coded system may suit your business processes today, it will NOT help you grow. In other words, are you using this as an opportunity to improve your business efficiency? Or, are you simply trying to keep things the same, despite an evolving world of retail?
OrderDynamics’ out-of-the-box order management system is built with years of input from global retailers. As such, it is one of the deepest systems on the market. It has features that you may not need today. But, these are ready to go as soon as your retail business needs them.
When over 50% of the core product development is customer lead requests, you know that each feature has a practical value in retail.
Adopting out-of-the-box technology pushes your own operation to grow. Learning about new features other retailers are using often spurs the creativity of your own teams. It's important to push your own teams to think out-of-the-box. This on how to improve your own processes.
3. Stops Unnecessary Coding Costs
‘Scope creep’ is a huge problem in the custom coding world. It’s great for the consultant or developer since they keep coding in new features, changes, and alterations as they come. As a result, you extend the project. The invoices keep flowing, for time and materials.
Ongoing maintenance is another major concern and head-ache with custom code. Retail is a fast-paced industry. It is constantly changing. Your system needs to keep up with that. Custom code, as it does NOT evolve, unless you have that coder constantly hacking at it. Typically, it stagnates. There is no evolution path unless you create it. Unless developing OMS's is a hobby, it isn't how most retailers like to spend their days. On the other hand, OOTB systems take this burden away from the retailer. The providers make sure their system is continually evolving to keep you ahead of the industry.
Retail businesses change with each season, new styles, and physical product updates. That means you could need the developer for each hard-coded change. Each time that your routing priority shifts, or your business rule changes – you need a programmer. Simply put, all of this costs you money.
Out-of-the-box order management is an evolving code base. It is highly configurable – so your own systems' administrator can adjust it. Well-built systems are flexible so you can modify it to do what you need. Best of all, it keeps getting better, as new releases happen every two or three months. Additionally, new features are always ready to go as soon as you are. All told, an out-of-the-box order management system saves you money. Perhaps, more importantly, it saves you headaches!
4. Stability and Ease
Off-the-shelf software means rock-solid quality assurance, fewer bugs, and a stable environment. That translates into faster deployment, and more time in operation.
Remember also, that a good out-of-the-box order management system has been through a rigorous quality assurance program. This done at the platform level, the OMS product level, the integrations level, the in-store application, and the user interface levels. Plus, these systems are rigorously field tested with many customers that process tens to hundreds of millions of transactions annually. Yes, custom solutions include some system and functional testing. But, the quality assurance rigour of off-the-shelf systems is almost always vastly superior.
5. Heightened Security Concerns
OOTB solutions are designed to help you cut security threats. Specialized experts design the system for fault tolerance, fraud detection, and are continually vigilant against cyber attacks. This is all done on the customer’s behalf.
In contrast, custom software often applies generic security measures. Custom coders are seldom specialists in this area. Once the code has been handed to your operation, you are then responsible, and on your own. Wouldn't you rather spend your time solving retail challenges, instead?
Out-of-the-Box Order Management System or Custom Coding?
Despite a superficial allure to custom coded solutions, an out-of-the-box order management system is your best option. You get standardized, leading-edge technology designed by specialized experts in the field. Beyond that, it also helps your retail business focus on your own forward evolution. It also takes away the burdens of compliance, security, scope creep, and the continual bug-fix, quality assurance cycle.
Find how OrderDynamics’ flexible and highly configurable order management system can fit your retail business. Connect to discuss the next steps of your journey.
Charles Dimov is VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 23 years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.
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