In the past, integrating your business systems was often regarded as a ‘wish list’ task. But as digital transformation and competition grows, integration isn’t just important in the short-term, but absolutely key to your long-term strategy. It’s the mechanism that will enable your business to remain competitive, continue to deliver on increasing customer expectations and leverage new technologies.
As your competitors achieve efficiencies through integration they’ll begin to make faster progress, deal with less admin, with fewer errors, make better, faster decisions and ultimately have happier customers.
Here are 5 key reasons why integrating your business is no longer optional:
1. See what your business is really doing
It can be time consuming to collect information from disparate databases. It can also be error prone, as data results change without reference to the other and information is doubled up or mis recorded. Good business decision making relies on having an accurate picture of the current situation across all departments.
That’s why integration is so important – it lets you access that crucial information instantly with a single point of truth, on any device, anywhere, anytime. Integration means no more mucking around with data extraction and reconciling conflicting sources, just clean, visible data, fewer errors and more up-to-date information for quick and accurate decision making.
2. Give your IT team more valuable work
When a company has a whole raft of disparate and even conflicting applications, their IT team spends precious time trying to manage incompatible systems. Finding and installing new versions and updates also means more maintenance, and instead of making the business more efficient and productive, it’s just costing a whole lot more.
With an integrated system, your IT team won’t need to maintain multiple systems, or drop everything to revive legacy systems that crash unexpectedly. Instead, they can focus on improving business operating efficiency and solving real business challenges with technical solutions.
3. Easier, faster growth
Integrating your business allows you to spend less time trying to integrate your multiple systems and process and more time to focus on faster growth. It is much simpler to achieve sustainable business growth when you are managing one platform. It is also more cost-effective. If you have an integrated business management system, you do not need to worry about all the updates and upgrades across dozens of applications and systems. You can turn your attention to driving outcomes and increasing revenue.
4. Happier, most loyal customers
In the face of fierce competition, what can your company do to grow your customer base and raise your revenue? It’s no secret that providing the very best customer experience is key to getting, and keeping, your customers. A customer who can’t get an issue resolved quickly, or repeatedly finds that the product they want from you is out of stock, will be knocking at the doors of your competitors in no time.
Customer experience is improved by connecting ordered volumes with stock levels, providing your sales team with instant access to up-to-date availability, delivery times and customer accounts. Even just having to repeat their issue to a second person on the phone can feel frustrating, so it’s crucial to be able to solve their problems quickly and efficiently. When customers can be assured that an item is available, and it’s delivered on time, that customer’s good experience translates to increased revenue.
5. What your current system could be costing you
Because implementing an integrated ERP can seem like a big outlay, it pays to really look at what your old system is costing you. Think about the expense of administration time, and the multiple human errors that your company suffers.
Look for gaps in your system – is your company struggling because things aren’t well connected? Do processes or data overlap, or do things fall through cracks? Examine each department and process to see where the disconnects are. Ask your teams to record time lost due to double handling of information. Dealing with it more anecdotally can help too – ask the relevant stakeholders to estimate the time spent searching for information through various systems, or any time spent correcting an error caused by incorrect or out of date information.
Integrating your company isn’t just an option anymore – it’s a business necessity that shouldn’t be put off. Businesses that do not keep up, are at risk of failing or not unlocking their full potential. An integrated business is an efficient one, that makes more money, stays ahead of the game, and is one step in front of competitors.
Learn more about our end-to-end business management solutions that can connect your entire business here.