By Andrew Hackett
What is MVP?
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a version of a product with the minimum required number of features to be usable by early customers who can then provide feedback for future product development. It allows you to arrive at a workable solution, which meets your immediate demands while providing a solid foundation for improvements. For example, in an OMS scenario, your MVP might be real time inventory availability and display. A good baseline which opens a lot of doors for continued functionality, we go into more detail about what an MVP can look like in OMS here.
It’s difficult to make every change at once, and there is no right or wrong approach to the MVP of your OMS implementation. Take a look at your business and figure out what works best. What are your biggest pain points? Where are the biggest opportunities for improvement? What will be easy to measure? Because if you start where you can get the most value and the fastest return on investment it will be much easier to get funding for your future projects.
Good MVPs often take very little time to develop, allowing you to quickly bring your implementation online and get to market as fast as possible. We’ve rolled out OMS projects in as little as 4 weeks for our own clients! Additionally, MVPs can also help you evaluate your ideas and their value proposition before committing to the full build as you receive measurable results in real time. This helps you to iterate and create a better end experience for your customers. The MVP approach can also help you to find clarity and focus on the core functionality of your OMS and what you’re looking to achieve. It allows you to test business concepts with minimum costs and minimal time to market. An MVP approach prevents you from adding redundant functionality before the implementation goes live, when adding a huge amount of functionality all at once, you won’t have your fast time to market and it’s very easy to lose focus on the specific problem you aim to solve.
Iterative, phased rollouts are key in an MVP approach. So where do you start? Well prioritize ROI, check out more details on how to maximise the ROI of your OMS here. In short though, you might want to start by identifying what type of customer experience you’re looking to provide and what core capabilities your business needs to do that. Or perhaps focus on your biggest pain points. Whatever you choose, starting where you will get the fastest return so you can justify future projects will always benefit an MVP approach.
Your pain point might be sourcing. For example, you may be dealing with many split shipments as you don’t have enough control over when/how an order is split. You might want to consolidate split orders into a single shipment and need to organise transferring orders. Or maybe you want to accept pre-orders and backorders. The key is to start simple.
You might start with Home Delivery orders, then Ship to Store for pickup, followed by in-store pick up of online orders, and finally Ship from Store. Making sure each process is working smoothly before rolling out the next. With these process established you can then templatise them and implement across all of your regions if you have them.
There is no singular right way to approach an order management MVP rollout. No two businesses—and no two projects—are exactly the same. There are myriad approaches you can take, but one thing is clear: get live quickly, and build up from there.
A Winning Investment!
In many cases, businesses rely on stakeholder or investor buy-in/support to secure funding and start a project. The key to receiving this buy-in is to build confidence in the project you’re pitching and its ability to achieve the desired outcome (i.e. increase revenue, reduce abandoned carts etc.). Developing an MVP is an effective method for securing this buy-in as it allows you to test your ideas with minimal investment and then acquire more as that investment proves its value.
Ultimately, stakeholders want to invest in products that will be successful. This key advantage to an MVP is that it not only proves the merits of a product, but it also provides a physical result stakeholders can see, use, and be provided with data on. Furthermore, and if investors buy in, the implementation can launch without stakeholders having to wait months for a return on that investment.
Mature implementations are often the result of years of development – with a price tag to match. But because they are created iteratively, over a longer period, the cost is spread out – often with reinvestment of the revenue generated from earlier versions. As you gain more users and gather more information to inform the direction of the product from the MVP, you can begin to invest more, and more intelligently. Want to discuss planning your MVP implementation? talk to someone at Ayata!