How to Advocate for a Quality Solution: Understanding the Implementation Process
May 23, 2023
In the food industry, margins are often thin and quality is of the highest importance to consumers. A quality management solution can be a worthwhile investment that reduces shrink and other costly issues resulting from poor quality, while increasing sales. However, investing in a new business solution requires buy-in from a lot of different stakeholders. In most cases, you’ll want to get your IT team’s support before you choose a quality solution. This can be a challenge if the IT department doesn’t see your solution as a priority or believes it can create a solution in-house but will make implementation go a lot smoother. IT departments are already busy and may view a new solution implementation as too time-consuming or burdensome, so it’s important to be clear about expectations upfront.
This article will provide a high-level overview of a typical solution implementation. Use this to set expectations with your IT team and get them on board.
Steps in a Quality Solution Implementation
Kick-off and requirements gathering
Training and ongoing support
Generally, you’ll only need IT’s support at the beginning. The solution provider should provide training and ongoing support once the solution is implemented.
Kick-off and Requirements Gathering
In most cases, the solution provider will assign a Project Manager to guide you through implementation. The first step is to meet with the Project Manager and get an overview of the process. You’ll need your IT Manager and QC Manager to provide input on the solution requirements, including workflow and order data integration requirements. The solution provider will also need a master list of commodities, specifications, and SKUs. Your IT team will provide access to the distribution center Wi-Fi network.
The solution provider will configure the software based on the requirements you provided. This shouldn’t require any participation on your end, but at this point, you’ll want to start acquiring any devices needed to run the application, such as mobile phones or tablets. Towards the end of the configuration process, you’ll be able to download the software to your devices to prepare for testing.
Your IT Manager should be engaged in this part of the process to ensure that the devices meet the software requirements outlined by your solution provider and the devices are set up properly.
You’ll work with your Project Manager to perform quality assurance testing on the application. The technology vendor’s own team will perform QA checks, but you should be thoroughly testing the software yourself to ensure it works the way you expect. Here are a few areas to check:
- Does the software fit in with your workflows and operations?
- Is the data feeding in correctly from POs or other data ingestion methods?
- Are you able to capture all the data you need during your quality inspections?
- Are all your organization’s requirements met?
Your IT Manager will work with your QC team and buyers to test the application.
Training and Ongoing Support
Ongoing support and maintenance is one of the biggest advantages of working with a technology vendor rather than building an in-house quality solution. After investing some time up-front to help with the implementation process, your IT team won’t need to be involved with system upgrades, enhancements and maintenance, saving them time and resources. Another advantage is that IT won’t need to spend time and resources training users on a new system since the solution provider will handle that.
Approaching IT with Your Request
Before making a final decision, ask quality solution providers to describe the level of support needed from IT. Once you have an accurate idea of this, you’ll have some talking points to bring to IT decision-makers. You can assure them that the solution will not disrupt their operations or place large resource demands on their team. This will help you gain buy-in from key stakeholders in your organization, moving you one step closer to gaining the tools your QA team needs to thrive.
iFoodDS Makes the Implementation Process Smooth for Your Team
We provide a dedicated Project Manager, in-depth training, and ongoing support for your team with minimal IT investment required. Download our implementation sheet to learn more about the process and how we support your team.