Your web­site is not unique. You have invest­ed large piles of mon­ey, time, & resources to cre­ate a web site that is just like every oth­er one on the plan­et. You do not spend time on cre­ative, instead you look at what your lead­ing com­peti­tor site is doing and copy their design. You take the mon­ey set aside on dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing your com­pa­ny, soak it in gaso­line and light it on fire.

Sound like your busi­ness approach?

No?

Yet in almost every con­ver­sa­tion about dif­fer­ent TMS ven­dors the how-many-tem­plates-do-you-have met­ric is tossed around like a badge of hon­or; as if the sheer num­ber of pre-defined, non-cus­tom, rigid scripts is some­thing to be proud of.

Template Time

This knife has 432 dif­fer­ent things (not real­ly, I made that up) with sharp edges to cut things.  And yet every sin­gle one of these tools is a poor stand-in for its real equiv­a­lent. Lousy scis­sors are not scis­sors when you need scis­sors. A 116″ wide screw­driv­er tip is use­less when you’re build­ing a sky­scraper. Your busi­ness isn’t an erec­tor set; it’s the real deal. You need real, full-sized, enter­prise-grade tools. Minia­ture stand-ins won’t cut it, and truth be told, you’ll just throw them away when you get to real work.

Why does this matter?

My frus­tra­tion is gen­uine. When I was on the con­sult­ing side of the busi­ness, I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work with most all TMS ven­dors on projects that ranged from a few hun­dred to a few thou­sand hours.  One of the most frus­trat­ing things that would hap­pen on near­ly every project was false expec­ta­tions from the client about how easy uti­liz­ing the tem­plates would be.  In all of those projects, we actu­al­ly NEVER used a sin­gle tem­plate for a client site. In real-world use, they were sim­ply not flex­i­ble, pow­er­ful, or durable enough to meet our needs.

Every tem­plate or pre­de­fined frame­work we eval­u­at­ed was either over-engi­neered and tried to do too many things, or was not able to be eas­i­ly mod­i­fied by the end user. All of this is great to feed hun­gry con­sul­tants who sur­vive off of more ser­vice & sup­port hours, but if the goal is to give the client a flex­i­ble frame­work that is sup­posed to actu­al­ly deliv­er on the promise of stream­lin­ing their work­flow and process­es, then a tem­plate-dri­ven approach is not for you.

I hear what you are think­ing.  You think that I have been drink­ing too much of the Satel­lite Kool-Aid. While it is deli­cious, the truth is this comes from my expe­ri­ence in the real world, like the fol­low­ing use case of some­thing sim­ple like adding Google Adwords con­ver­sion code to your site.

Satellite Implementation Steps

Step 1.  Copy the entire code snip­pet of the Google Adwords con­ver­sion code.  That’s right, all of it.  With oth­er tools, you need to wor­ry about con­vert­ing this tag to the raw javascript, pars­ing out all of the account id’s, and mak­ing oth­er mod­i­fi­ca­tions to make a tem­plate work. With Satel­lite, just copy the entire code.