One of the many struggles every growing company must face is choosing the best system to manage their business operations. At the beginning, purchasing several independent tools may seem cheaper and more effective than acquiring an entire software solution. As a consequence, a company uses various different applications that do not cooperate with each other at all, which makes it impossible for employees to work effectively and for the company itself to prosper.
In order to remain competitive, a company can either buy off-the-shelf software, have a bespoke solution developed to meet their exact needs or have all of their already existing and used systems integrated into one, saving not only money but also time which they could spend on learning how to use a new platform. However, time is not the only advantage of system integration. If you want to discover how having your systems integrated can change your business, keep on reading.
What is system integration
There is no better way to explain what system integration is than describing it as putting various independent components together to work as a whole. If your company uses several different subsystems, connecting them into one without losing valuable information may result in helping you to beat your competitors. Not only is it wiser to use one system instead of a few, it also ensures more accurate results. However, system integration is a complicated process. In every phase of the system integration process, you can lose vast amounts of priceless data. Hiring a system integration company is the safest way to achieve your goals.
What problems using multiple applications causes
Choosing several components instead of having an entire system developed may be a good thing to start your business with. However, this solution is no longer profitable for evolving companies. When you discover you need more tools to handle more processes, acquiring new components is indeed cheaper, but it is also very harmful for your organisation. Using multiple applications instead of one results in:
- Inefficient data management – storing data in different places is not only dangerous, it also makes it impossible for your company to analyse it properly. Gathering and managing data manually from several systems give you incomplete results.
- Wasted employee productivity – while your employees could be tackling their next tasks, they are stuck with entering data into each of the applications your company uses. Wasting hours of work makes them too tired to remain productive and handle their next responsibilities properly.
- Losing customers – when facing problems with data flow, you are not able to meet the demands of your clients. It applies to the sales industry especially, when your online store is not integrated with the warehouse, but having an inefficient financial or accounting system influences all of the businesses.
Benefits of system integration
System integration is crucial for any company to succeed. It ensures seamless data connectivity and reduces proneness to errors, improving both the internal workflow of your organisation and the prospects of your company on the market. Having all of your systems integrated into one helps your company to achieve:
1) Improved real-time visibility – basing timely informed decisions on outdated information can have terrible consequences. When your reports on performance across sales, finances and service departments are not integrated, it takes hours to acquire this information manually, which still may not be accurate. With time, some companies stop collecting and analysing their data in order to focus on other, less time-consuming tasks, harming their business at the same time. Constant data connectivity ensures all of your employees are well-informed and base their decisions on proper data, which can be accessed from anywhere at any time. System integration minimises risks and enables you to make critical decisions based on accurate information and not on your gut instinct.
2) Process efficiency – when it comes to the productivity of your employees, you can benefit from integrating your systems in two ways. Automating various processes such as invoicing, financial consolidation, etc., enables you to:
- Boost the productivity of your employees - they can finally focus on their actual tasks instead of entering data manually to every subsystem your company uses. By removing some of their routine tasks and introducing challenges, you have a great influence on the job satisfaction of your team.
- Limit new hires – you can now work on the quality of your team and not on its size. Having your systems integrated and most of the processes automated helps you to reduce the necessity of hiring new employees and, along with your already existing team of skilled and experienced specialists, to focus on more important and challenging tasks that can help your company to grow and evolve.
3) Increased sales – integrated systems have a huge impact on your overall sales, especially for the sales industry. Data connectivity across all of your departments is a great way to boost your results because of two reasons. It is easier to use one system for:
- Your customers – running an online store requires you to give customers constant access to most of your data. It enables them to see if whatever they are looking for is available to purchase and how soon they can receive the product. Inaccurate data can introduce chaos while integrating your systems makes the buying process smooth and easy.
- Your employees – an excellent customer service is one of the crucial factors that help you to beat your competitors. Regular data flow enables your employees to address all of the enquires immediately and meet the needs of your customers as your team has constant access to all of the information.
4) Valuable data collection – there is a reason why data is so popular nowadays and it is because it allows you to analyse every decision that your business makes and to detect every mistake. Having data centralised at one location not only gives you more accurate results, it also allows you to save computer storage space. Every change is introduced to the system automatically, which eliminates the probability of incorrect analysis and saves you hours of work.
5) Cost savings – after having your systems integrated, cost reduction can be met at every phase of all of your business processes. However, the greatest increase in your profits is a result of making better, more accurate decisions. Thanks to automating some of your tasks, you and your team can focus on gaining new customers and developing new skills which will allow your business to gro
TO SUM UP
Integrating your systems is a great way for your business to remain competitive. It helps you to meet the needs of your customers and handle business processes better. Also, it allows you to analyse what you might be doing wrong and what is stopping your company from succeeding. Without automation, it is almost impossible to gain accurate data. Having your systems integrated, it is no longer a problem.