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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]

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