One of our team went to the Pharmacy yesterday to pick up a prescription he dropped off the previous morning. When he got to pick it up, the pharmacy clerk told him that they didn’t have enough pills to fill his prescription and they would have to give him a few now and have him come back tomorrow for the rest of them. As it so happens, one of the projects this team member has been working with is online ordering with inventory control. So, he asked the ‘deadly question’. Doesn’t your system check the inventory when I drop off the prescription to make sure the pills are available? Of course, the clerk couldn’t answer that, so he got a Pharmacist. Same question with the same deer in the headlights response. Not to be dissuaded, he talked to the Pharmacy Manager and explained his problem in depth. What he learned was that the system first checks for drug interactions with any other meds the patient is taking. Then it checks to make sure it isn’t a renewal that is coming in too early. It checks the dosage for appropriateness. It checks to evaluate whether the patient should receive a pharmacist counsel. And, yes, it does check to make sure that there are sufficient pills to fill his order. However, the manager shared, that part of the system does seem to have some bugs associated with it. It is supposed to anticipate, based on average usage, how many of that kind of pill to order that night for next day delivery. But, somehow, they still seem to run out of many kinds of pills by mid-day. He’s mentioned that to his systems engineer, but that bug just doesn’t seem to get corrected!

There are a lot of e-commerce order and inventory tracking tools out there that are advertised to work, right out of the box. And, in general terms, they do. But no out of the box software is going to be able to work to fill your particular and individual needs as well as a system that is totally designed around them. Nor are they designed to grow and change as your needs grow and change. That’s the huge difference between out-of-the-box software and what we design for you. For example, we base your inventory control on your particular situation that will anticipate low inventory before you actually get there. If you want, we will set your system up to immediately order more supplies when you reach a critical inventory point. And your system will tell you where you stand with inventory. Every time a client places an order, you will immediately know if you have the inventory to fill his order and if you have enough to make it through the day or week, based on our formula of average usage by time period, special events, and periods of normal high demand.

In the software industry, those pre-packaged software folks have a term for software that will fill most needs of most customers. They call it ‘Roughly Right’. Here at webSURGE, we call that kind of software a disaster waiting to happen. What you really need and what we really build is a software built to handle your individual needs, with the flexibility to adapt as your needs change, and with a team of dedicated professionals to make whatever improvements need to be made to ensure your on-going e-commerce business.

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