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Avon Cancels $125 Million Order Management System; Was The iPad App Too Hard To Use?

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Avon Products is putting an end to a $125 million software overhaul that has been in the works for the past 4 years. While testing the system in Canada, Avon noticed that it drove away many of the door-to-door salespeople who fuelled the company’s cosmetic revenue.

Avon first launched the new order management system in Canada in the second quarter. The new system was based on software supplied by SAP AG, a German multinational software corporation.

A spokesman from SAP told the Wall Street Journal that the company only worked on the back end of the system, which contradicts what Bill McDermott, SAP CEO, said in an October 2011 interview:

“Andrea Jung [then CEO and chairman] at Avon wanted to have the Avon lady enabled on the iPad so she could digitize the experience with the consumer. She wanted [goods] ordered on the iPad so the whole demand-driven supply chain would react instantaneously. This was innovating a 100-year-old company and making it brand new again.”

InformationWeek noted that an iPad-based Avon demo app was shown off at the SAP Sapphire event in 2011. The iPad app was so hard to use that it prompted Avon salespeople to leave the company.

According to filings with regulators on Wednesday, the company decided to cancel the software’s rollout to other countries like the U.S., U.K., Russia, Brazil and Mexico. Avon will keep using the new order management system in Canada and will continue to update the systems as they see fit.

[via TabTimes]

A technology enthusiast and Computer Science student. Follow me on Google+

  • Mike Fradette

    I don’t see any Apple relevant news in this article…or am I supposed to assume they were using iPhones and iPads?

  • Al

    I had to read parts of this 6 or 7 times before I could fully comprehend what was going on. And they clearly didn’t “pull the plug”. They just aren’t rolling it out elsewhere at this time. Salerni needs to go.

    And what is the relevance to Apple.

  • Bill

    Are you in grade 2? I don’t know who moderates the comments but the above comment from Al should not have gone through. If you don’t understand the phrase “pull the plug” look it up.

  • WatDah

    I agree. This guy is pretty bad.

  • Tony

    Clearly your reading level Bill, isn’t of the highest pedigree. Al
    stated that there were multiple parts of the text that had to be re-read
    multiple times to fully comprehend. No-where does he state that he
    didn’t understand the phrase “pull the plug”. He simply stated that he
    doesn’t agree with that statement. Finally, considering there was a
    grammatical error in the title, I didn’t have high hopes for the rest of
    the article. Too not to.

  • johnnygoodface

    This has nothing to do with this article: but I got tell you, the iPhoneInCanada team, that the advertisment poping up constantly at the bottom of the screen is getting on my NERVES!!!! I’m a dedicated reader but I’m just about to stop reading you! Do something

  • WatDah

    LOL now it reads “Too Hard Too Use”!!

    What happened to the other comments….?

  • Scott

    They were probably removed for being completely inappropriate.

  • WatDah

    But they weren’t…..
    Just 2 people pointing out this article has absolutely nothing to do with Apple. One of them (Al) said it was hard to follow the poor writing (to which I agreed). And a guy name Bill, who’s basically calling Al an idiot, but didn’t realize Bill himself was the idiot.

  • Scott

    Hence they were inappropriate.

  • Bbrysucks

    Do something yourself, like using adblock or a hosts file that eliminates all ad nonsense et garbage.
    You shouldn’t be using the net without some sort of protection.

  • Peter Pottinger

    LOL SAP AG no wonder the interface failed, they could hire me at a fraction of the cost and I would design something that not only works but is enjoyable to use. K.I.S.S

  • Chrome262

    You should see the SAP nightmare that is here. Every vendor uses it, and the hospital tried to implement it so we can have real time ordering, but nothing ever works, its suppose to integrate together but none of the individual SAP set ups work with the others. And seriously it is way to complicated, and over engineered. hummm like BMWs and Mercedes hummm. lol

  • erth

    it wasn’t the software, it was the amount paid to implement the software. most often, companies cheap out on the company implementing. they think they can save money by hiring the cheapest one, well, we have proven again that they never win. SAP is a great software, and works very well when implemented correctly for your business.

  • Chrome262

    What?? I don’t believe hospitals and large companies have administration issues. They can do no wrong, in fact everything government run institutions, and large conglomerates do is run perfectly lol. Well getting either to spend the right about of cash to run things properly doesn’t often happen.

  • youreallyhavenoclue

    Adblock for mobile safari?

  • http://www.orderhive.com/ Orderhive

    As a order management software provider, the given article is the best for us.