If you have ever received a feature chart for a product you were looking to purchase, you may have found that the feature chart didn’t answer all your questions about the product. Perhaps the feature chart gave you great insight to eliminate some other options you may have been considering but it didn’t give you the trust to purchase the product immediately. Or perhaps you have bought the product you loved from a feature chart only to be disappointed when you received it and it didn’t match your needs entirely.
The above scenario happens often in a multitude of industries and has become increasingly popular in the SAAS industry. We recently received a feature chart of various accounting integration platforms and how they compare against each other for ecommerce business owners. While some of the information was fruitful and accurate, it doesn’t offer the business use cases, the problems, or the workarounds for certain workflows that may be needed to best fit your company. We were left with too many “ What if..” questions to appropriately decide which accounting platform was best based on this feature chart.
Clients may wonder why we don’t offer feature charts of all inventory management systems or for other inventory integration platforms we work with. At Clearinity, we believe that feature charts just don’t offer the complexity your business needs to make the smartest, most appropriate decisions to help your business scale efficiently and effectively.
Feature Charts don’t offer Nuance
Feature Charts don’t offer complexity or nuances in their answers. Typically they are represented in yes, no format. This can’t possibly help with the innumerous other critically important mapping components, integrations, or actual functionality for your business. Feature charts don’t help you decide if the level of support you need after one of those features stops working either.
Additionally, they don’t help you visualize what features you will need in the future as your company begins to grow. Sure some features today may look great but what about in 5 years? How will they handle your company then? Lastly, they just don’t help you weigh the usefulness for your specific needs, and identifying those needs beforehand can be tedious, complex, and long.
Feature Charts are often one size fits all. While they accurately display generic use cases and the benefits the product or service may offer, it doesn’t allow for your specific business complexities to be addressed. For instance, some accounting platforms will say they offer inventory management features. While you seek inventory management as a feature, what Accounting Company A versus what Accounting Company B calls an inventory management feature could look wildly different. Furthermore, even if you thought you needed the feature, six months of growth and experience may illustrate how useless that part of the application actually is.
This is incredibly important to deciding an appropriate system for your business
Not all inventory management systems will fit your business workflows best. Additionally, what you may think your business needs is not always entirely correct.
That is why we rely on our consultation method and stick to the mission of being tech agnostic. We know your business is unique and needs not just the right system today but the right system for tomorrow too. We believe that not every system is built equal or will work for every business. We also know what to look out for as what we call “shiny objects”, or those features that make a system look sustainable but are just distracting from the twelve other things the system doesn’t do that great.
Experience and Knowledge is Best, Not Feature Characteristics
It should go without saying that experience and knowledge are best when it comes to deciding on a technology that could scale your company, or crush it. Feature characteristics of a system will never truly answer your questions and may never really show you what’s “underneath the hood”.
When it comes time to choose a platform, it’s not only about what system fits you best but who is helping you implement these systems as well. Even with the most confident decision-makers, knowledge and experience with inventory management software systems are going to be critical in a successful implementation.
Sometimes that looks like a consulting firm, other times it looks like a dedicated support team. Clearinity is proud to say we help you with both. A cloud integrator firm that will help you make strategic decisions while supporting you through and after implementation as well.