The Velocity of Ecommerce and Insight: Part 3 [Interview]
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes.
Interview series with Conrad Rohleder: Part Three
Everyday efficiency and clarity surrounding your business outcomes is optimised when you can integrate and review data effectively.
However, not all programs are created equal when it comes to integration. Often businesses become pigeon-holed or bogged down using multiple programs that do not communicate properly.
This can inhibit the growth and success of your ecommerce business. The solution? Learning to leverage business intelligence in ecommerce.
In the final part of our series, expert guest Conrad Rohleder discusses:
- The value of integrating your data to create a more accurate and holistic view of your business.
- The issues around handling inventory, marketing and accounting on three separate platforms that don’t interact or do not interact effectively.
- The challenges in finding effective business intelligence tools for ecommerce as a way to collate and integrate all this data.
To ensure you get the most insights from everything discussed in this video, ensure you watch parts one and two of this series first.
If you feel that your current approach to managing the logistics of your business isn’t working, Clearinity can help.
When you sign up with Clearinity, you’re signing up to optimize your ecommerce operations and scale your business the intelligent way. Clearinity brings life back to entrepreneurship with the very best in business intelligence for ecommerce.
Intro: Whether you’re on the go or in the office, A2X will save you time and money. You’re selling on an ecommerce platform and you want to do it right. This video is an interview with Conrad Rohleder, founder of Clearinity, a premier integration company.
Conrad Rohleder: When you had brick-and-mortar stores, a customer had to stand in front of you and you had to sell them a product. With ecommerce, you’ve got 10,000 orders a day and you don’t even need to talk to customers on Amazon. It’s huge!
Operations and insights
Karen Brady: What are maybe some of the problems that business owners run into when they are looking to do operations better and get better insight?
Conrad Rohleder: Yeah, so this is actually part of what we do all day long, and… and one thing that I found is pretty… pretty much the truth across any client that I’ve run into is that, with all the apps, with all the hyperspecialization, with everything else going on there, we run into operational silos as a problem.
And so for instance, inventory is using one set of data and accounting is using a totally different set of data, and then marketing is using a third set of data, right? Where people just… they get siloed into the one thing they’re doing because that’s with the apps kind of make you do.
So, this… this raises the problem you say, okay, well why don’t we just integrate the software? Well, that, first of all, is its own problem because it’s like, do the APIs work? Do the humans understand what just happened when we told these two things to talk?
Then we have the problem where the market isn’t delivering the same level everywhere. So, in general, I say the market right now is not delivering more than an 8 out of 10 when it comes to software qualities, right? And that’s a massive generalization, of course there’s exceptions, but that’s probably pretty realistic.
Then we have the other concern that probably 1 in 3 software implementations fail right out of the gate. Depending on the sector and your special customizations to your business, that can be much, much higher. I’ve run into clients that have tried 5 or 6 software and failed on every one of them because it just doesn’t do what they needed to do, okay?
And… and that’s why I say inventory is kind of the apex of operations. If you can properly model the inventory, you’ve properly modeled the rest of everything else that’s going on in that business. But the challenges there are no real standards for small business, so… and I’m left awash in the world of apps.
But I think another example of operational silos is when we come back to concepts of summary accounting. You know, Amazon doing a settlement every 2 weeks, that in and of itself kind of creates an operational silo where the accounting team can only work on a 2-week cycle, whereas operations need to happen much, much quicker than that, right?
So, even what we talked about before that ultimately, accounting benefits from more time and operations benefits from less time. We have these natural things pushing and pulling against each other, we’ve got to be ready for that.
So… and that’s why I say ultimately, whatever we’re doing with your business, whatever we’re doing with your operations, we need your operational model to match the app model, because apps have to be built on a certain set of assumptions, and they’ve got to say this is how we’re going to do it, and you may or may not work with those assumptions. So, you got to know what you’re up against, you know?
Part of that challenge right now though is that there is no tool out there to just like magically know how you do it and what apps will work best with your business model. So, I think that that just kind of rounds out this idea that operational silos and the world of apps and integration, they kind of go hand in hand.
So, if you can solve that problem, you’ll solve your business problems a lot quicker.
Karen Brady: Yes, so such great reminders when you said operation models must match business models, and that there’s no magic tool for running a business, so you have to make some adoptions there it sounds like.
I mean, the reality of integrating inventory apps with accounting apps is that it’s not necessarily to integrate and send all the data from inventory to accounting, and in many instances, it just creates chaos.
Accounting vs. Inventory
Karen Brady: Unlike inventory, accounting data does not need to be recorded at the moment that event happens. If you do integrate your inventory app to your accounting, data is dumped and massed into your books; this has real-time implications.
In order to get the most insight from your systems, seek advice from a professional integrator, such as Conrad of Clearinity.
Conrad Rohleder: Clearinity: ecommerce, operations, optimized.
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