How to choose a system for implementation in the Dealer network?

    In the previous article about what DMS is and how to position its implementation in the dealer network consisting of independent business players, we have already touched upon a number of questions on how to correctly define a project in front of a business and a network of partners.

    We have developed five main theses that form our goal!

    I recall:

    • Rapid implementation of a uniform methodology (standard) for the rapid launch of the company's products and services and their implementation ;
    • Automation of the Client's Path and MOT for the seamless transfer of the Client from the stage of warming up his interest in the product to the sale and service ;
    • Providing the partner network with all necessary information and minimizing errors in the transmission of this information, with a high degree of security ;
    • Ensuring the profitability of partner enterprises by standardizing the processes of the network based on the best solutions in the field of business automation ;
    • Simplification of integration of new staff of partners and methodological support at all stages of working with products and services


    Things are easy?

    And here we often recalled the old joke ...
    In the wild forest, the beasts got into the habit of offending mice. And here are a mouse on the board.
    - What are we going to do, citizens of the mouse? - asked the elder
    All are silent. No ideas. Silence. Suddenly one mouse offers:
    - Let's ask a wise owl !? -
    Ito is good. Let's go to the owl. So, they say, and so, owl, offend us. What to do?
    Owl, without thinking
    twice : - You guys need to become hedgehogs. So that no one could touch you with a finger!
    Well, mice shout "Bravo Owl!". Rejoice. Suddenly, the very initiative mouse asked:
    - Owl, how can we become hedgehogs?
    To which the owl, pointedly at his brows, replies:
    - Guys, I am a strategist! And all this tactical nonsense interests me a little!

    In this essay, I would like to tell you what criteria you need to choose to answer the question: What system will become the DMS? or as "mice turn into hedgehogs."

    Let's go guys!

    ARTICLE 2. How to choose a solution?

    To answer this question, you must first understand what the client wants? And in this case, we have two of them: the Representative Office that wants to manage, and Partners who want to have a complementary set of tools that provide full support for their business.

    Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to determine the functional perimeter to which the potential DMS candidate should correspond. This is a complex, not trivial task that requires a long, thorough analysis and joint work of both the Representative Office and the Network. Moreover, the solution of this problem always has the character of a commercial secret of a company, since reflects its development strategy. For these reasons, I will omit the details of the description, but I will only say that in our product it consisted of more than 400 functional points, each of which was part of the methodology of dealers working with products and services.

    Only at the closest approach to this description can a system be considered as a candidate for the role of a DMS system. And, of course, this system should be able to “catch up” with this correspondence up to 100% in an acceptable period for business.

    The business views in which the functional perimeter needs to be considered are the following:

    • CRM (customer relations, operational contacts, cold contacts)
    • Sales to individuals and legal entities
    • Corporate sales
    • Sales of used products (if the business involves working with them)
    • Financial services
    • Service maintenance
    • Warehouse accounting
    • Basic accounting operations (cash, r / s)
    • Reporting
    • Integration unit with external systems and services

    Thus, the first criterion can be determined with confidence as: Maximum functional compliance of the candidate with the Representative Office methodology, taking into account the specifics and expectations of the Partners.

    But simply functional coverage is not enough for the success of the event.

    After all, we plan to implement the solution in a geographically and methodologically diversified area. If you take, for example, Russia, it becomes obvious that independent counterparties are able and should choose the optimal accounting models. This may be the division of business into independent legal entities with different tax accounting rules. This may be the optimization of warehouses and the accounting of materials using different accounting models (FIFO, LIFO, PMP), depending on the size of the storage spaces and the nomenclature. This may be a different functional composition, depending on which areas of business the partner supports. Etc.

    Therefore, an important component of the DMS candidate system is its flexibility.

    Second criterionwhich we can fix with certainty is the flexibility and adaptability of the DMS system to different business models of partners.

    In addition, we understand that the geography of implementation and use of a DMS solution often covers not only individual regions, but also the Country, and even international alliances (for example, CIS). And in this case there is always the question of multilingual support and consistent support for end users. The question of end-user support is a complex topic to which I plan to devote a separate article in this series. But what is important to mention now is that support should be multilingual and cover all the time zones in which the dealer network operates.

    Based on the foregoing, the third criterionThe choice of a candidate in the DMS is the localization of the solution and the geography of the presence of support.

    I would also like to pay special attention to such an issue as the solution architecture. Namely, cloud and local solutions, which are now in sufficient quantities on the market. Moreover, consider the architecture not only from a technical point of view, but also from a business point of view. The table below presents the general characteristics of the system and their importance on a 10-point scale - the Priority Factor.

    When we, 7 years ago, asked this network question, we received an unequivocal answer: “We must have bases! (Dealers)”. What was the reason for such persistent desire?

    1. My clients are my base!
    2. Internal non-availability of infrastructures of both dealers and providers themselves
    3. provide a sustainable cloud service.

    Since then, much has changed. Dealers realized that the integrity and transparency of the base is the basis for seamless communication with the customer. And, moreover, only integrated methods of working with this base can build a competent Customer Journey, in the center of which is Customer experience!

    The technical side of the issue has also undergone significant improvements: communication channels have become wider, more reliable, more accessible. Modern data centers provide a full range of server capacity virtualization services, with a minimum \ maximum down \ up-time modes.

    Therefore, today the effective implementation of DMS solutions in the world is based on cloud solutions.

    Fourth criterionthe decision to choose a candidate DMS-system - it is his architectural flexibility! Even if today your network is not ready to “go to the clouds”, in the near future it will become its architectural standard. Therefore, the system should be able to work both in local data-stores of dealers and easily migrate to cloud data centers.

    And what about dealers?

    I have already said in previous articles that our dealer network consists of independent business players, whose annual turnover, at times, is commensurate with the representation company. Therefore, it is impossible to dismiss their expertise in the field of building their effective networks and systems for their management.

    Ask your dealers what they are using at the moment! Create a DMS community inside the network. Analyze existing solutions, and I am sure that this will be the most useful event in selecting a DMS candidate.

    By the way, after such an analysis, we found that 100% of the dealer network uses a single platform for automating its decisions (1C) and more than 50% use a single boxed industry or adapted solution from the same manufacturer, which later became one of the decisive factors in making decisions about the choice.

    Thus, we have formed the Fifth DMS-system selection criterion - this is the current system / platform used by the dealer network!

    And under the final I would like to draw attention to such an important issue (criterion) as the cost of the DMS.

    It always consists of several components:

    1. The actual cost of the solution out of the box
    2. The cost of bringing to mind, i.e. before the functional MPV with which the Representative will be ready to go to the network
    3. The cost of licenses and “boxes” that will need to be used for internal needs of the Representative Office and for the purposes of piloting with Dealers
    4. The cost of monthly support, which will ensure the stable operation of the Central DMS, DMS dealers and their data exchange
    5. The cost of all necessary expenses related to the implementation of infrastructure
    6. The average cost of services to refine the evolution of the system and refactoring

    Summarize our findings.

    The criteria required to make a decision on the selection of a DMS candidate should be as follows:

    • Maximum functional compliance of the candidate with the Representative Office methodology, taking into account the specifics and expectations of the Partners.
    • Flexibility and adaptability of the DMS system to different business models of partners
    • Easy solution localization and wide geography of support
    • The architectural flexibility of the future DMS
    • Current system / platform used by the dealer network
    • Cost of solution

    In the following articles on this topic I will describe the strategy of implementation, piloting and support.

    I would be happy to help and get feedback. And may the force be with you!

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