Management software suggestions

A friend asked for my assistance in finding a software solution to help manage a brick and mortar store along with several e-commerce platforms including Shopify, eBay, and Amazon.

Here’s what he said:

We are experiencing pretty good growth since opening the B&M. Unfortunately, it’s exposing just how much we need a central tool to manage everything. Hoping somebody here has found something like what we need.

Specifically, we need to:

Store data, not just files, but related information. For instance, when we update our store hours, we need to change them online in various places (list of places), plus update the printed hours at the front of the store (use the correct template, don’t make your own) and post social media updates (where do we post, what should those posts look like?)

Assign tasks to team members with reminders. All of this needs to be shareable with role-based permissions. We tried Click-Up, but can’t seem to find the sweet spot between usability and customization. In short, it’s not “the tool”. Ideally, we would be able to create and assign checklists to particular team members or roles.

We’re perfectly fine with paying for a solution. Google Drive and Google Apps only get us so far before it becomes a hassle - "where did we put that last year? Was it in Drive, Keep, Gmail, somewhere else?

It has to be mobile compatible. Who doesn’t do everything on their phone now?

I’m sure we need better processes, but (too many) tools are a limiting factor at the moment

Any suggestions that I can pass on greatly appreciated.

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I have no experience with this but I feel like this is what FileMaker was made for?

Otherwise the only other non-custom thing I can think of is Airtable

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I’m thinking Airtable or Notion off-the-cuff, too. The need to store data, files, and tasks narrows the options pretty quickly.

Personally I’d go with Notion. It seems the most mobile-friendly and the least technical.

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The thing that made me hesitant to suggest Notion was the lack of API (I don’t keep up to date on Notion so this may have changed). Making changes to webpages automatically off of notion data doesn’t seem trivial without an API.

Ah, I didn’t think automatic changes were part of the requirements. Just tracking what has to happen manually.

There has been talk of a Notion API, though. I don’t use it actively either, so I’m not sure what its status is.

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I would also recommend Airtable. Or, you can build a mini no-code app with Glideapps, which might meet you needs.

Notion allows publishing pages. Here’s the first duckduckgo hit:

Sure. I was under the impression that the business owner basically wanted a single place to maintain information and have it automatically spread to all its internet presence when things changed. I don’t think that would work with just a published notion page.

But, as @ryanjamurphy pointed out, they may just be looking for a single source to look at not automatically updating in other places. :man_shrugging:

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tried Asana?
Asana.com

pretty good, it’s very similar to ClickUp.

tasks

You can assign tasks to people and set due dates.

store data and files

Also supports it.


Example workflow:

You create a task called “New store hours starting on February 21, 2021”,
and create sub-tasks inside it, i.e:

  • “Update Website”, and assign someone to complete it
  • “Update Social Media A”, assign to someone
  • “Update Social Media B”, assign to someone
  • “Prints for Store front”, Upload a file in there(ie a template you already use), and assign the task for someone to complete.

hope you get the idea

You can also do this in Notion(already mentioned) btw.

I think they need to complement it with a design tool like Figma.com
(to create and store the design templates)

Also maybe Basecamp? If it’s just about storing and tasks

I think Office 365 would offer a complete solution for this?

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Having done (or attempted to do) this sort of thing many times over the years … while choice of software is important, the bigger issue is ensuring strong leadership along with nurturing the team to the true goals. Work it in pieces with the strategic goal in mind and pre-tested before roll-out. Be prepared to “try again”.

(Note: I chocked a bit on my coffee when I read the requirement for “role-based” permissions. I’ve seen it implemented well when there were few roles to define. But what always seemed to happen, in companies large and small, the number of roles expanded without control, software configuration followed, and disfunctional work processes and people resulted. Careful.)

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Microsoft 365 (was Office 365) will do everything listed by the OP. We use it at my workplace so I am very familiar with it.

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I agree that M365 should meet the OP’s requirements – esp. Teams, Outlook.

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I’ll third Microsoft 365. Power Automate/Flow provides some tools to create integrations and automations as well.

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