"The tech arena can be something of a minefield for firms, especially for those who may not have the time or inclination to undertake sufficient due diligence."
The definition of a bargain is a loose one and putting on my sceptical hat I can’t help wondering if any of the goods purchased had even been sold for the original advertised price. Not being a retail expert, I presume there are some rules and regulations around this but, then again, I also presume that there are ways and means of bending such rules to make anything look like a bargain.
Since these ‘sales’ I have been on package watch to see which ones make the grade and which ones don’t. The daily trips to the post office seem to indicate that most items bought online didn’t make the grade and weren’t quite the bargains they were made out to be, but time will tell.
In fairness, shopping online can be a little hit and miss at the best of times. It’s sometimes difficult to know exactly what you have bought, be swayed by the next big sale or simply forget why you bought the thing in the first place. After many, many conversations, I have the feeling this is also how some advisers feel about systems, solutions, platforms and a range of online tools.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen a number of brokers get back in touch with us who have previously enquired and trialled OMS but then decided to try their luck with another solution. Only to find that this didn’t quite do what they expected it to. Now this is not me pointing the finger at other tech providers. Who knows how these conversations actually went. It may have been a ‘grass is always greener’ scenario which can tend to cloud many people’s judgement at the best of times. Cost is also a factor. Some may have been swayed by cheaper introductory offers but not realised the full costs involved after a certain time period and/or didn’t fully understand that certain bolt-on services come at a cost.
The tech arena can be something of a minefield for firms, especially for those who may not have the time or inclination to undertake sufficient due diligence. Then again, some people will always want more and never be happy with what they have. That is life. However, for people who want to maximise the benefits attached to a tech offering then they must fully understand what they are buying into, the capabilities and respective costs of alternative solutions and not rush into a decision.
So, when looking to work with a tech provider, intermediaries need to ask probing questions, speak to other users about their experience, know exactly what they are agreeing to and how to get the most out of it. Don’t be that person who spends their days at the Post Office sending packages back. Be the person who does their homework, is happy with that they ordered and utilise it to the max.