Ask the Board – June 27, 2016 | MARGOT MYERS


Based on past experiences, what lessons can be learned from failures with network implementation/operation?

No matter how thoroughly and comprehensively you plan your network deployment, there will inevitably be something you didn’t anticipate. It could be as simple as a store manager who isn’t paying attention and fails to report a malfunctioning display. (That is a good reason to have centralized remote monitoring of the entire network so you don’t have to rely on site managers.)

Those unexpected glitches are one of the reasons I am a proponent of running a pilot in a few sites to work out the kinks before a major deployment. If there is a piece of hardware you have chosen that turns out not to meet your needs, it’s far better to replace five or 10 of them than hundreds of them. If there is local content development, and field staff is unable to figure out how to use the CMS you have selected, maybe you need to test some other options for better usability.

Since budgets are almost always a concern, identifying failures (or opportunities for improvement) at an early stage before a full deployment helps to avoid wasting precious resources. It’s also an opportunity to gather data to prove the value of the network and justify further expenditures.

Failures may be inevitable, but they provide information that allows you to regroup and recover so you can chart a path to success. 

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Director, Global Marketing & Communications
The Platt Retail Institute

Industry Consultants Council

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