Standing up a new wholesale B2B e-commerce platform is no small task. You’re getting ready to make a big change to your organization, and you need to get your team on board. Putting together a solid process and implementation timeline gives everyone something to rally around, allows you to plan for any unknowns, and breaks what feels like an enormous project into accomplishable tasks.
We’ve been doing this for a decade, and we have a good understanding of how to approach the process of building an effective process and implementation timeline together.
Bringing The Team Together
Getting commitment from your team is an important step in bringing clarity to what probably feels like an enormous task. For individuals or smaller teams within the projects, it helps them understand what steps they are responsible for, so they can focus on knocking their stages out of the park with solid planning and execution.
On a larger level, surfacing the process and implementation timeline will help everyone understand the dependencies between all the different tasks. Developing an understanding of the sequence of events and what blocks might occur is a crucial piece of knowledge that needs to be understood at the very beginning of the process.
Understanding the dependencies of various tasks also highlights the critical components of the process, versus what can be punted if necessary. These must-haves can then be used as rallying points and goals during the process.
Planning a timeline uncovers any surprises, before they’re surprising.
Unique client needs get uncovered and can be baked into the process. Your team can also plan around any outside factors that need to be worked around. Your business continues to move forward, even as you make this change, and it’s essential that you factor in the impact your day-to-day needs will have on implementation. Running a season, planned go-to-market strategies, upcoming events or promotions, and big product releases will all have an impact on your process and implementation timeline.
Building The Timeline
But how do you actually put the timeline together, so you can get everyone on board?
Reverse engineer the end product and plan backwards from the release date. Alongside giving you an understanding of the “whats and whens,” making the timeline the authority gives clarity to progress. This frees the software provider and the brand from having to be the overseer, as everyone can refer to a static plan to stay on task and plan around any missed deadlines.
We’ve Got The Experience
We’ve been through this process many times and learned that no two implementations are the same. There are common threads between clients - industry challenges, ubiquitous systems, etc - but each brand has a unique background that informs how they approach these challenges and what outcomes they are striving to achieve. Each client comes to the table with different team sizes, skill levels, and experiences that need to be accounted for as we build a bespoke plan for each successful rollout. We listen first, then plan together, so we can smoothly execute, test, and roll out your platform.