Tech debt speaks to the drawbacks of operating with outdated tools. What better way to show the use of primitive tools than through the symbol of an orangutan. They craft crude, natural objects into tools like backscratchers, makeshift rain ponchos, and more.
Every business has tech debt; it’s normal because of how fast technology changes. The goal is not to eliminate tech debt, but to measure and manage it.
Eighty percent of your tech systems should be standard—what everyone is using. If you are told that you need bespoke products, get a second opinion. People like to think that their business is unique, but, in reality, most retailers have three main functional areas: customer service, business intelligence, and supply chain, and technology already exists to help you manage each of these areas. When chosen intentionally and architected correctly, these systems can help you scale and grow, instead of locking you into a system that solves for today and ignores tomorrow, creating more debt.
Your business probably has many stakeholders, and each of their needs change over time. While most stakeholders are experts in their field and industry, they often do not know how their functions impact other departments. Visualizing workflows can help everyone see their needs both today and tomorrow, and find solutions that work across departments, instead of operating within silos.
If you’re part of a small business, consider hiring someone to architect your technology. The reason is simple: when it comes to implementing the right technology for your business, the solutions already exist. You just need to find the right partner to help you architect a scalable solution that you know how to maintain. At Assemble, we understand the complexity of the tools, we are fluent in retail best practices, and we combine our technical expertise with our industry knowledge to architect the right solution for you.
Assemble uses The Everyday Retail Blueprint to help retailers build tech stacks that are connected and in sync. Our process helps retailers solve for today’s symptoms, address their root causes, and prepare for tomorrow's opportunities.
When you take time to architect your tech stack around the three standard functions of retail (customer service, business intelligence, and supply chain), you can ensure that all of your systems are connected and in sync. Your inventory system is talking to your marketing system, and you are not advertising products that you do not have inventory for. The right technology investments pay dividends and allow your team to grow and scale without being held captive by technology.