Vendor Selection

Ecommerce teams struggle with how to approach selecting the best-fit ecommerce platform and other technology that will make up their platform ecosystem. There are so many variables that it’s hard to know where to start. This is where Digital Juggler helps; my approach ensures we focus on your unique requirements and apply our tried & tested framework. Our starting point is that no technology is ever 100% perfect for any business, so your vendor selection decision requires us to assess the relative pros and cons of suitable vendors.

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Strong project governance

A lack of attention to detail during ecommerce platform selection will result in your platform failing to satisfy business needs, which has the following impact:

  • Puts unnecessary stress on your team
  • Costs you more in the long term, as you have to pay to fix issues
  • Creates operational inefficiency because the platform isn’t aligned with business needs.

I’ll help you understand what resources you need, define a clear RACI to map roles & responsibilities and get the fundamentals of good project governance defined and implemented.

As a starting point, it’s essential you have Board level sponsorship to ensure your project is effectively supported throughout its lifecycle.

My proven platform selection framework ensures you get the right focus. I’m on your side – I want your project to be a huge success, so my experience and energy will help motivate your team.

Proven vendor selection process

Below is an outline of the 10-step process that will guide you through the challenges of project set-up, market evaluation and ecommerce vendor selection.

  1. Project initiation – agree goals & objectives, define the project team, agree project management structure & process, roles & responsibilities, governance.
  2. Project plan – defines milestones, dependencies and review cycles.
  3. Project budget & scoping – identify business critical needs and functional requirements for the platform, define budget constraints.
  4. Document business critical requirements – stakeholder workshops to document key requirements.
  5. Internal documentation review – review with project team for sign-off
  6. Vendor shortlisting – filter vendors based on operational capability, functional needs and budget; recommend 2-3 based on cost/feature fit.
  7. Vendor demos – define scenarios & invite vendors to deliver focused demos. Liaise with vendors to build a 5 year TCO (total cost of ownership) cost model.
  8. Vendor evaluation – use a weighted scoring matrix to objectively compare the shortlist on feature fit and affordability.
  9. Due diligence – preferred vendor is selected and reviewed in detail.
  10. Contract negotiation – ensure contracts support ecommerce team with relevant SLAs.

The primary focus when considering a new ecommerce platform is to select the best-fit vendor. Once you have a recommended vendor, you can then evaluate SI implementation partners, if one is required.

Depending on the size and complexity of your project, it sometimes pays to invite vendors to involve a leading SI partner in the vendor selection phase; SIs have experience in delivering multiple projects and can help answer any detailed technical implementation questions, as well as help provide a realistic cost model.

Want to learn more?

If you would like to discuss how I can support your replatforming project, please contact James today or say hello on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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