Overview of This Article
This article is intended to provide the definition, purpose, value and process of the Customization Audit & Consultation offering from the CIM Pro Services team.
This article is for existing CIMcloud customers, currently hosted on a classic version of our platform with existing customizations, that wish to migrate to the latest version of CIMcloud (via our Classic-to-Current Migration Process).
- What is a Customization Audit?
- What is the purpose of this offering?
- What value does this provide our business?
- What is the Customization Audit and Consultation process?
What is a Customization Audit and Consultation?
A customization audit is a consulting engagement with a highly skilled technical resource (typically a Solution Architect) with deep domain knowledge of both the CIMcloud platform and custom development to understand and document any existing customizations and feature enhancements in your current platform as well as how they work.
Each customization is reviewed with your team to answer the following questions:
- What does this customization do?
- Who is it for?
- Is this still needed to accommodate current business practices?
- If needed, has it been replaced by standard platform features?
- If this not standard, what is the effort / cost to re-implement on the latest version of the CIMcloud platform?
- What is the purpose of this offering?
Answering the above questions helps to provide a detailed road map for lead implementers on how to best configure and implement the latest version of the CIMcloud platform to meet your business requirements, as well as the overall cost for the CIM Pro Services team to close any existing featured gaps identified during the audit.
Learn more about the lead implementer role.
This engagement is also extremely helpful in reducing unnecessary, long-term costs by finding ways to achieve business requirements through standard configurations and features that are native to the platform vs site-specific customizations.
Learn more about platform customizations.
What value does this provide our business?
Often times, businesses find themselves suffering from issues related to tribal knowledge and being overly dependent on a single individual as the subject-matter expert on their platform. The customization audit can assist in helping reduce this trend by providing an overview of the initial platform building blocks and associated customizations that make up your CIM solution.
Another important output of this engagement is providing your team with detailed information on platform customizations, how they work and are managed, which can be essential to successfully onboarding new hires to your ecommerce team and getting them up to speed quickly.
Lastly, while it is common for many businesses to customize their platform to achieve a specific use case, it is always preferable to maintain a solution that utilizes standard functionality vs customizations whenever possible. This helps mitigate additional risks and the long-term costs of keeping customizations compatible with future product releases. The CIM Pro Services team will work to find ways to accommodate specific workflows and business requirements by replacing customizations with configuration options wherever possible.
What is the Customization Audit and Consultation process?
- Customization Inventory
- The Audit
- The Consultation & Commercial Discovery
- The Road Map & Final SOW
Step 1: The Customization Inventory
The first step is to complete a high-level inventory of all existing platform customizations. This includes site front customizations, enhancements to the standard ERP configurations, custom pages and more. This inventory is a small, high-level engagement, typically conducted by a technical resource on the CIM Pro Services team. It is a prerequisite step prior to engaging a technical resource to begin the audit process
Step 2: The Audit
The second step is the deep dive by a technical resource to review and document the following:
- All customizations listed in the inventory
- The technical documentation and code that was written to implement and support the customization
- Any standard configurations that are now part of the default platform that could potentially replace the need for this customization
Step 3: The Consultation & Commercial Discovery
The consultation and discovery portion consists of a meeting between the CIM Pro Services team and the eCommerce stakeholders from your team to review the details of the audit. They will review each customization in detail and determine its validity, as well as identify standard features that can accomplish the same requirements.
In some cases, customizations can be replaced by default functionality with minor updates to your internal workflows.
It is important that the person wearing each of these “hats” is on this call (in some case, it may be the same person wearing multiple hats):
- Lead Operator – who will know how it currently works
- Product Manager / Business Analyst – who will know why it exists / what business need it fills
- Program Manager – who can decide whether or not it is worth keeping
Read the Critical Roles by Implementation Stage article for more info on all of the “hats” (a.k.a “roles” or “job functions”) involved in a successful CIM Program,
Step 4: The Road Map & Final SOW
Once the Consultation & Commercial Discovery with your team is complete, you will receive a full SOW outlining any remaining customizations that need to be factored into your migration project. The SOW will contain the commercial requirements, along with the level of effort and cost associated with implementing each customization.
This document will also provide our CIM Pro Services developers with a detailed roadmap for building their technical plans and implementation strategies.
The Cost of Customization Audits:
Customization Audits vary in degrees of complexity depending on the age of your current platform and the number of customizations currently running. These are billable consulting engagements that typically run from 10 to 20 hours at the standard CIM Pro Services billing rate.
Requesting a Customization Audit:
If you are interested in migrating to the latest version of the CIMcloud platform, and would like to request a customization audit and consultation, please feel free to reach out to a member of the CIMcloud account management team, enter a task in your customer portal, or simply give us a call at 864-272-4000.