Overall Satisfaction with IBM Sterling Commerce
It is used across the entire organization for inbound, outbound, inventory control, supply chain management, returns, Cognos reporting, and more.
- Centralizing data.
- Instantaneously updated data.
- Ad hoc reporting.
- The user interface of the system is very "click" intensive. By that I mean that a user must either [mouse click] or [keyboard stroke] an inordinate amount, in order to accomplish a routine task. I contend that the user interface must have been developed by a "gamer" and not a business software development-type individual. This is very inefficient.
- While the system is very capable of creating ad hoc reports (downloading data and importing into Excel), it is weak in the other direction. I would like to be able to manipulate / annotate my downloaded data and upload it back to the system in a batch process fashion. This would increase efficiency and reduce some of the aforementioned gamer-like clicking. Perhaps the system is capable of this and our organization is just not taking advantage of such features.
- Recently, I spent a significant amount of time inputting data, in order to "trick" the system into providing the desired result. For example, the quantity of a specific product / SKU will display a result of [ 0 ], while most of the time no entry will be displayed if in fact the actual quantity is zero. The "trick" is this; Step 1 - Increase the value by [ 1 ], then [save]. Step 2 - Decrease the value by [ 1 ], then [save]. The system will now display the desired result. Wow!
- It seems ROI is not necessarily used within my organization as a quantitative value. Many projects are implemented based more on instinct and emotional buying aspects than sound business decisions. While it may seem as if the IBM Sterling system has improved operations, there is no empirical data to substantiate that.
I was not involved nor do I have any specific knowledge as to why IBM Sterling was selected.
The previous software (DCS) was utilized until it was no longer supported by the vendor. It is difficult for this organization to perceive a software purchase as an investment or a value-added component. It is looked upon as an expense. Until a different perspective in terms of ROI is adopted, I suspect the IBM Sterling software will remain in-place until it is no longer supported by the vendor. Sad.
I would be interested to know how much is out-of-the-box and how much customization a specific organization's requirement would be.