A “time out” has been called on further work on the U.S. Mint’s Order Management System (OMS) replacement effort.
“Over the past six months, we’ve become concerned that we may not be on precisely the right path to effectively and efficiently integrate the new OMS with the myriad ancillary IT systems that currently make up our IT infrastructure,” Acting Mint Director Dick Peterson said in an email to Mint employees July 12.
“So while we reassess our approach to the OMS effort, it is financially prudent to put our efforts, including our contractors, on hold.”
Pausing now to determine how best to proceed is the right thing to do, he wrote.
But not wanting to stand still, the Mint has contracted a third-party consultant to advise what actions it can take now to reduce the risk of the current system, Peterson said.
“Our recent experience with the San Francisco two-coin set – for which we established a lengthy order window – allowed us to launch a popular product with only very minor, and quite manageable, system disruptions. Customer feedback to the order window has been very positive,” he said.
For now, the Mint has suspended the work its primary contractor, Venda, was doing to interface with the current infrastructure.
“So we will step back now on our OMS project and then reengage very carefully when we are confident that we are on the right path and have very clear deliverables,” Peterson said. “After we complete our assessment, we may or may not decide to continue on the current path.”
When Peterson assumed his position in early 2011, he stated that fixing the Mint’s order management system was one of the top priorities.
“That has not changed; it remains one of our highest priorities,” Peterson said. “Our goal remains to offer our customers a world-class web shopping and information experience.”
The Mint is required by law to offer numismatic versions of its coins to the public. Customers purchase between 5 million and 7 million products each year generating between $450 million and $700 million in revenue.
“Those customers – and the new ones we want to pursue –deserve a state of the art system,” Peterson said. As anxious as we all are to deliver that state of the art system, we need to ensure we do it correctly.”