People are resistant to change, it is a well known fact. It is uncomfortable, challenging, and disruptive, particularly in the workplace. One of the biggest arguments we get against replatforming is having to retrain employees and the loss of productivity that entails. What people miss though is the potential to increase efficiency (and profitability) as a result of smoother workflows, better processes, and better flexibility. Yes, there will be a learning curve, and yes there will be a period of decreased efficiency, but the long term benefits will more than make up for the short term costs.
For example we had a client move to HotWax Commerce from Magento a few years ago. It was a big change for them, they had to take a leap of faith that leaving their existing platform, which had limitations but was working okay, for a brand new platform was the right business decision.
Strong leaders, who are not afraid to take calculated risks, are able to see through the short term struggles and reap the long term rewards of replatforming
In the early stages of training the users on managing products, fulfilling orders, and running promotions there were a lot of comments like “that’s not how we used to do it,” or “this is how we did that in Magento.” These sentiments are very common to people who have become accustomed to doing something one way. They were comfortable with one methodology, and even if they acknowledged that it was not perfect, they were resistant to change.
Over time, the new work flows and processes started coming naturally and learning other processes was more intuitive after they were more familiar with the system. The speed and efficiencies were especially pronounced in processes that in the past had been entirely manually like pick / pack / ship.
It was not overnight and it was not without challenges and frustration, but eventually everyone adapted to the changes and the company started to see sales growth, better order fulfillment, and more successful promotions. This resulted in 400% year over year sales growth in the first 12 months.
Making changes across an enterprise is not for the feint of heart, but it can be the difference between stagnation and acceleration. Strong leaders, who are not afraid to take calculated risks, are able to see through the short term struggles and reap the long term rewards of replatforming and seeking out better software solutions with the flexibility and features to support a growing enterprise now and into the future.
Patrick Gibbons is VP of Client Experience at HotWax Systems. With nearly a decade of experience working with OFBiz, has a deep understanding of E-commerce, ERP, and warehouse management. Patrick has helped numerous clients worldwide implement OFBiz, improve business processes, and increase profit while decreasing customer and employee frustration.