In many cases, we convert a user's old POS system database to Cloud Retailer. When we do so there are a few things to consider:.
Garbage in, garbage out
If your current system contains a bunch of ugly data either clean it up before we import or consider starting from scratch. Another example is customers that want us to import from spreadsheets that contain all of a supplier's products - this is typically a big mistake. Most suppliers don't do a great job naming their products and you'll end up searching through a hundred records trying to find the one that you sell.
In most cases, we do not bring over sales history since it can be more difficult than bringing over products and pricing type data. There's a cost/benefit to bringing over more data. There are exceptions to this rule, Microsoft Dynamics RMS for example - we bring over almost everything including sales history.
When we do bring over sales history it's important to note that this data should be used for general purposes like knowing how many you sold last year so you know how many to buy this year BUT it should not be used for things like paying last month's sales tax (when you were using the old system). If you need that level of precision, go back to the old system and temporarily get that data. We very, very often can keep your old software installed so you can use it for reference.
Additionally, our standard operating procedure is to bring 2 years' worth of history over, more is just bloat. If you'd like more history this needs to be explicitly called out on your proposal in the "special requirements" section of the document.
Quantity on hand with sales history
Your inventory on hand is derived from your products movement (purchase orders, sales and returns) since the beginning of its life.
When we import two years of a products history, we won't know what happened prior to two years ago. This will cause your inventory counts to be inaccurate up until your go live date. In order for us to calculate your quantities going forward, we create a milestone inventory count. We reset all your inventory to zero, then import an inventory count (based on your current quantity on hand from your old system) so that Cloud Retailer has the correct quantities going forward after going live.
The gap between the day when data was imported and go-live
We typically import your data a week or two before actual go-live. During this gap, if you make a change to one system you need to do it in both systems. If you create a new product in one, you need to do it in the other. We'll provide you access to your converted data and it's your job to confirm that it's fully accurate and that it works as expected. Since we never used your old system, we don't have a strong point of reference on what the data should look like or how you inputted things. Report any issues well in advance of go-live.
The idea of doing double work may seem like a negative but in reality, this is actually a benefit. It gives you an opportunity to practice with the new system.
If you were maintaining an accurate physical inventory count in your old system you should let the tech know this so we can arrange to import your quantity on hand data again (and only) the night before go-live.
If you're converting sales history or migrating multiple locations it adds a significant layer of complexity. Please discuss this with the tech managing your project to come up with a plan that works for everyone and work out the specifics of how to manage the gap.
Things you should NOT do during the import and go-live gap
After we take a backup of your system and import it your data should be changed as little as possible within your old system and Cloud Retailer until you go fully live. if, for example, you change a product code during this gap period the system will not recognize it as the same product when the second import is done. It will then create a new product and will also be confused about which product the sales history belongs to (new or old product) and potential duplication can occur. In a nutshell, you should especially and specifically avoid changing "identifiers" for anything (products, customers, employees, etc) in the system during this gap time.
The list of things you CAN do is smaller than the list of things you cannot. Here are the only database changes you should make during this gap time:
- Create new products, customers, suppliers, employees
- Limit editing of products, customers, suppliers, employees as much as possible. Updating product pricing is fine.
- Ring up POS sales, receive purchase orders, conduct inventory transfers
Anything else should wait if possible. if it cannot wait, have a conversation with your RITE tech so that you can come up with a plan.
If you use Cloud Retailers template database to create or modify your product data
If you use Cloud Retailer's built-in functions to create new product records or enhance existing product data, the entirety of your product data becomes shared ownership between you and RITE. We reserve the right to provide this data - in an anonymized fashion, to other Cloud Retailer users and 3rd parties.