Posts Tagged ‘ecommerce’

Before I get started on my rant about Magento, I need to make it clear that I LOVE open source software and I absolutely LOVE this particular open source ecommerce platform. I think that Magento has tremendous promise and is an excellent choice for a company’s ecommerce platform. Now that I’m done with my praise, I’ll get to my rant…

Honestly, they have to be kidding! I know that the whole point of open source is to get the programmers work where they get paid. Hey, WordPress is open source. It’s not like these guys are independently wealthy and just make cool software out of the kindness of their hearts. However, Magento is far from an enterprise level platform. Even with the additional features, Magento is not at that level. Case and point… They can’t even process sales tax correctly.

The latest release of Magento (1.3.1.1) didn’t fix a bug that was created when they released 1.3.1. This bug is a rather serious bug that makes Magento practically useless for ecommerce. Since ecommerce is what this platform is supposed to be used for, Magento 1.3.1 and beyond are worthless until they fix this bug. The bug is that no matter how you setup your tax groups, there is no way to enter an order into the Admin interface that doesn’t get charged taxes if you have a tax setup for that postal code.

Now, a careful ecommerce guy will read that last sentence and find another flaw with Magento. Yes, Magento does their taxes based upon zip codes. There is no state in America that allows you to base your taxes on a postal code. Postal codes are setup by the US Post Office (which is NOT a government agency). Our local and state governments recognize cities and municipalities ONLY, not zip codes.

In my opinion, Enterprise level software should be able to handle sales taxes properly. Magento doesn’t. There is plenty of work left for the folks over there before they have an Enterprise level application. How about the fix the community edition tax problems before releasing “Enterprise” software.

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Micromanagement is often seen as the root of all evil in the workforce. Employees who are “micromanaged” (whether they are or not) can become severely disgruntled, making for a poor work environment.

Most of the time, micromanagement is the result of an inept manager, a manager who has been raised to his level of incompetence. However, when used effectively, micromanagement is a highly effective tool for getting projects back on track. In a five part series on WordsCause, I am sharing a recent experience I have with a derailed ecommerce project that I was able to not only get back on track, but the team delivered more than what was promised in less time than was originally projected!

The end result? A website that doubled the conversion rate from 2.5% to more than 5% consistently. Read the first part of Successful Micromanagement in Information Technology.