While creativity and inventions are solution-centric, innovation is innately problem-centric.
And to come to this unforeseen solution, the problem-centric innovation in itself becomes a problem because this is something new for both the clients and the vendors.
Pertaining to this, the client-vendor relationships go south due to misunderstandings of changes, an inability for both sides to communicate ultimate vision, and the inability to account for every variable that is not defined in the scope of work, but mentioned in the passing conversation.
In my opinion, it is all about sides accepting the same goals, and doing everything possible to achieve them.
Since, we are literally creating something that doesn’t exist, isn’t it better to be a team rather than being opponents?
With the same belief, we came up with a campaign ‘Project Life until Live – #PLUL’ to create awareness about the client-vendor relationship. I suggest you to read one such incident here.
Again we are here with one such interesting incident, which will help us all extract the essence of the business –
A client of ours owns a multi-brand garment store with a local POS – Point of Sale System.
Every time a purchase was made, the data was stored in the POS system with the database prepared in the local device.
Everything was going on smoothly and he was turning into the master of his trades.
Then the winds of digitalization blew and the entire focus was shifted to adopt the new trends of digitalization.
Going with the flow the client searched for the quality-inducing application development of the project and he found the link to collaborate with the TRooTech Business Solutions.
Coming back to digitalization, the client wanted custom POS system development and posted an RFP with an application that could replace his current POS system.
This was not at all difficult for cutting-edge application development firm like us, since we appreciate every business that are readily willing to step into the world of digitalization so as to pace up with the existing trends of the business world.
Have a glance at our belief here – Stop. Change. Adopt Digital #scadbyTRooTech.
And we enthusiastically started with the analysis and development of this custom POS system but not for a longer time.
Wondering – What, When, Why, How, Where things became a bit complicated?
Well, we found out that the data to be extracted and fed into the application was from the local POS system.
Thus, keeping aside the innovation in the POS application, the main concern became the management of transferring the dynamic data to the database of the application.
But only my technical buddies will know the agony!
This is not just a basic system that includes an electronic cash registry and software to coordinate data collected from the daily purchases.
Today, the retailers can increase functionality by installing a network of captured devices including barcode scanners, card readers, RFID readers, etc.
While the device that the client was using was a customer-grade and not are not ‘retail-hardened’ meaning.
In other words, the POS system was not able to withstand the rigors of retail use, neither was it properly configured to run robust, full-featured POS software.
Thus, we went into understanding the computing requirements for running the POS software and build an application that can efficiently do so.
Let’s See When Did The Actual Issue Occur In Custom POS System Development
Deal with the fact – the main barrier to such a suffering of the project is due to the gap of understanding.
Being up with the digitalization trends, we are free to perceive any up gradation, but, but, but as we move towards this up gradation, we have to look into the technical side as well.
Such a standstill sort of situation arises in mainly two conditions:
1) Local device POS system
The main problem to such a situation is that when the local POS system is considered, it is mostly offline.
In such a local POS system, the inventory is uploaded once in the system as input and then sales order and purchase order are replaced which remains within the system.
Moreover, this offline POS system there are several disadvantages such as data does not get sync in with the other systems, the data is not saved in the local database, and the online placing of order is not possible.
The client can only work in the arena that includes sales order generation, purchase order generation, and product management within the system.
Moreover, the credit card transaction is not possible in such offline POS as it requires access to the customer’s database for which ultimately an active Internet connection is required.
When the data is stored in the local device POS system and is to be migrated to the database of the application.
2) Outdated System to Be Renewed
At a point even the most rigid of the rigid business heads will feel glitches and quirks about the monotonous system they are using.
POS software changes and improves at a lightning speed.
While many of the businesses may think that their POS system is more than adequate for their business needs, but you’ll never know how much better technology has arrived into the marketplace until the clients have gotten deeper into the firsthand experience.
Thus, all of a sudden the clients feel the need to access the real-time data on sales, inventory, and labor has become imperative to stay competitive and provide top-tier service.
When the client is having the outdated version of the same technology and wants to be up with the coming trends of the industry and want to have an application.
Do You Know What Client Should Do At That Time?
The clients pay off for something they can’t even touch.
So, the paranoia of getting being at risk is legitimate in the application development marketplace.
But in reality, due to this fear the clients fail to give clarity of their requirements.
In this case, the client wanted to build an application that would go on a long run.
The data was to be fetched from the offline local POS system.
Here the client was enticed with the idea of digitalization, but the major problem was the extraction of the data from the local offline database.
Moreover, this came up when the project was in the development stage. Had we known this in the analysis stage itself, we could have designed a solution and then proceeded with the project.
Now, when such sudden issues arise in the development phase, the entire plan was to be reevaluated, the database to be restructured, but still the problem was how to get the older data into the new application.
For the client, everything doesn’t work correctly until very late in the project.
What We Did To Solve The Issues
When such issues occur, it is on the vendor’s account to delve into the requirements and confirm about the future scope of the expansion from the clients to avoid rework.
In such a project, if the scope of the project were properly defined and cross-checked, a more efficient work could have been possible from the start itself, and the time and resources for the rework could have been saved.
The vendor should ask whether the client is targeting the application for long-term or short-term basis.
In a short-term, a separate application should be created for the client and if the requirement is long term than a POS system from scratch could have been developed.
How Did It Affect Related Processes and Resources
The problem popped-up in the development phase. This demanded a hell lot of research, analysis, work, and rework.
Analysis & Strategizing:
The best possible solution in the middle of the development stage was to re-analyze the entire flow of the project. So, though in the middle of the project, we were back to square one in the project.
The problem here was that the data was to be taken from the previous POS system used by the client. So, the entire database architecture and the server were to be restructured.
When we are halfway in the project, this means that the development is about to get concluded. In this case, when we encountered the issue, it implied the logics to be re-written.
All these process were to be taken into consideration once again.
Use of resources for more amount of time to analyze and find the solution.
In my opinion, it is all about both the parties working with the same goal and both equally stretching every limit in order to achieve it.
The best solution we came up was we put a high performance server should be placed in between the POS system and the application so on one side data is pushed to the server and from the local device and on the other hand data is saved from the application so as a result the exchange of data takes place in a seamless manner.
How Can You Avoid Such Issues and Building Better Relationships
Certain issues and repercussions can be avoided through a proactive approach.
In reality, the fault is in nobody’s court. Such a situation can be a major spark of conflict and be a spoiler to the client-vendor relationship.
On the client side, it is of utmost important to accept that there is a significant amount of behind the scenes activity going on that is both difficult to explain and is much more complicated that it seems on the surface.
On the vendor side, it is important to have a discussion at the end of every stage, not from a confrontational perspective, but to be on the same page as the client.
After all, we are both literally creating something that is non-existent.