When looking at a new retail management solution, it can be a scary and confusing time. You must think about the time it will take to go through the transition, data you will need to transfer and training of your sales staff. Ensure your transition is as smooth and timely as possible by adding these top priorities to your checklist.
When transferring data from your old system to the new one, you will first need to decide what data needs moving. How many years of accounting data do you have that you need? Will you be able to access your data after the switch? If you are not able to access it, you will need to do some prep work to figure out the best way to get the data out of your legacy system. The next step will be to determine how you will import you data into your new system. Do the fields have a different naming system? Is the import format different, requiring you to change the format you exported out of your legacy system? Once you have those items determined, it will be time to test it out. Before moving everything over, you will want to do multiple tests to ensure the import and export work. Don’t get discouraged by the amount of data to transfer, start early in the transition to avoid getting bogged down and derailed closer to the launch date.
Next, think about the integrations your new system offers with external systems. Start by making a list of all the external systems your current system integrates with. Evaluate and mark off any integrations that are essential, nice to have, or no longer needed. Take the list to your new solution provider to see if they currently have any of the remaining integrations you use. You will be able to determine if any workarounds or development will be needed.
Training and communication
Sales staff training and communication will be imperative. You will need to craft a communication plan and rollout strategy to your company. You don’t, however, need to tell everyone at once. It can be a slow roll out with high-level management first, then front-end sales staff a few months before the launch. You will want to be sure you include key dates and the overall rollout strategy to ensure everyone is aware of the role they will play. Your communication plan will have to explicitly state any new workflows or changes that your sales staff will need to take on and a clear outline of what training will be provided.
Build a timeline
Look at the time it will take to fully launch the project, then work backward for a full timeline. You will need to consider any development, or new integrations you need to setup, the time to train staff, and the slow or quick rollout you are planning. You will also need to think if you have a busy time or season you want to avoid, or if any valuable players will be on vacation.
The final step: Implementation. Now you will be able to put your timeline into motion. Don’t forget to be flexible, you may hit a hurdle here and there, but be ready with a backup plan to keep the rollout moving. Last minute details such as time of the day to implement, hardware requirements, connectivity and equipment may be a few things you will want to be ready to deal with in the first few weeks of implementation.
Launching a new retail management system can be a large undertaking, but with careful planning and prep work, it can be a smooth process.
Learn more about leaving your legacy system in our Spring Mobile case study, offered below.