Systems integration involves understanding the current business challenge (the processes) and reviewing how the related business processes, tools or applications interact (the integrations).
Organisations are constantly looking to build new efficiencies not only due to an increase in competition, but often when looking to organically grow and not implode. Building an integrated digital ecosystem is one of the biggest challenges our developers address for our clients, big and small, on a daily basis.
The digital world is making many tasks easier, while at the same time it is also getting harder to stay ahead of the game if your systems are not working synchronously.
The truth is systems that are not integrated lead to an inevitable increase in total operational cost and resource consumption. So, when do you know it is time to integrate your business systems? What is operational efficiency and how can operational efficiency be improved? Here are some of the signs to look out for as a Director, Owner or Head of Department of your company...
1) Employee productivity going downhill.
Do your employees complain about inefficient and disjointed processes that take time away from their more important daily, core duties? Are they manually entering basic tasks that take up more time than the value associated? Are there things that simply could be automated in an ideal world?
It is important to note when your company is in growth mode, you have to make sure every employee is operating at optimal productivity to continue to help you maximise revenue.
Your employees may be spending hours manually re-entering order information into the accounting and invoicing system, while other employees pull that same information from your CRM system for their order fulfillment processes and to calculate sales commissions. If any orders are cancelled in the meantime, your employees have to sift through mounds of data to reconcile this information again. Such labour-intensive and manual tasks reduce the agility of your company.
2) Lack of real-time reporting capability.
Are you struggling to get a view of business performance in a timely fashion or having to access multiple platforms to access data? For example, your reports showing performance across your finance, sales, marketing, and fulfilment departments are crucial to giving you an integrated view of your company's operations. Do you have the system in place that provide you with real-time visibility of information when you need it? Sometimes this can be fixed with a simple integration with an API already available from your 3rd party tool.
Organisations simply give up on acquiring information from their systems on a regular basis because of the amount of time it takes to source, extract and analyse the data. For those that do, it is likely that countless hours are wasted trying to tie unrelated, error-prone, and out of date information together. This lack of system and process integration is likely costing your business dearly.
The risk is you are either making critical decisions slowly, based on inaccurate information, or off your gut instinct. When that long term staff member with that gut instincts suddenly leaves, you suddenly find your business scrambling to figure things out.
3) Increased customer frustration.
With fierce competition thanks to the hyper digital age we live it, it is important that your company provides exceptional customer experiences. Customer acquisition is costly, it directly impacts revenue, and your digital systems impact your percentage of profit from that revenue. For a sustainable company, customer satisfaction (or lack of frustration) is key. An integrated software system ensures that your employees have instantaneous access to all the customer information they need to service them effectively. Create great customer experiences and quickly resolve issues thanks to an integrated digital system.
Perhaps it’s time to seek advice on business system integration? Book a FREE consultation today.