Integration is a way of connecting your ERP software to your other systems; this ensures that, while consistent information is being shared, it is also automating your workflow. A successful integration is critical as it affects the relationship between ERP software and other vendor systems, allowing businesses to pick and choose specific tools they want in their operations. The flexibility is just one of many benefits that are experienced during a successful and efficient integration. Before you begin the process of integration, it is extremely important to recognize and prioritize your goals for integration.
What Do You Want to Accomplish?
The benefits of a successful ERP integration are plentiful and can be detrimental to a successful company. Every company, however, needs these different benefits in ways that are unique to their operations. Recognizing and prioritizing the benefits you want your company’s bottom line to feel is the first step to accomplishing a successful and beneficial integration. Let’s take a deeper look into what a successful ERP integration can bring to a company’s operations.
Automate Your Business
A common belief among many company structures is “the more automation the better”. ERP integration assists in increasing automation by streamlining business processes and workflow across departments. This benefit is often the most prioritized by companies searching to decrease their human intervention in order to reduce human error in their processes. Automation also contributes to higher productivity rates, increased quality, more efficient use of materials and resources, increased output, and a decrease in lead times.
Another common benefit companies seek in ERP integration is a centralization of data. ERP integrations have the ability to take your data and place it into one accessible location; this benefit is highly desired by companies who need to improve their internal workflow. Having your data in a centralized location aids in facilitating business processes and reduces the time it takes to communicate data among different departments.
Make Time for Labor-Intensive Projects
Decreasing human intervention and allowing more automation into your company eliminates tedious tasks for employees and allows them to focus on much more labor-intensive projects. This is incredibly helpful among the vast majority of employees but specifically when dealing with engineers in your company. A successful ERP integration allows for engineers to no longer worry about tedious and time-consuming tasks such as data entry. Instead, they are able to focus on tasks in their specialized position. This benefit is crucial to companies seeking to speed up production time and decrease their employee turnover rate.
Identifying Which Types of Integration You Need
After identifying what you want to accomplish in the final stages of integration, you must recognize which systems should be integrated with your ERP solution. By recognizing both your current systems as well as the benefits from integrating them, you will be prepared for a seamless integration that achieves all identified goals. Below are four types of third-party software that are essential to consider when starting any kind of ERP integration process.
Business intelligence (BI) is one of the most well-known and significant ERP integration use cases. An effective BI process analyzes internal data and has the ability to incorporate anything from operations management and reporting to predictive analyses. The insights discovered using BI software data helps companies make discoveries that often lead to successful and new business practices. By integrating your BI system with your ERP solution, you are able to not only identify and utilize these valuable insights, but you are able to recognize and prevent discrepancies in your processes, missed opportunities, and other areas of improvement.
Customer Relationship Management
Simply put, a customer relationship management (CRM) system allows businesses to manage their business relationships and the data along with it such as customer information, contact information, and purchases. With effective communication and outstanding customer service being two essential characteristics in a successful business, optimizing your CRM system is crucial to any business. Because of this, CRM and ERP integration is both incredibly common but also simple to achieve. With your CRM system handling excellent customer interaction on the front end and your ERP solution efficiently managing business processes on the back end, this connection allows you to streamline the marketing and sales process and improve customer relations in its entirety.
Project management integration allows for coordination of all components of a project. While systemizing tasks, costs, resources, and any other parts of the project, project management integration is also able to evaluate resources and manage conflicts among the elements of a project. The most important benefit to integrating your project management system with your ERP solution is it ensures no project is completed in isolation. Project management integration allows every element of a project, no matter how simple or complicated, to aggregate in the same place. By making elements of a complicated project available to all relevant employees, you are able to eliminate the bottleneck of communication that harms efficiency.
More than 20% of the total engineering time is taken up by manually transferring and entering data such as your Bills of Materials (BOMs) in and out of your CAD system. This process is not only time and resource consuming but is one of the biggest inhibitors of productivity. By integrating your engineering software with an ERP solution, you can easily get back this time. Having a fully integrated system allows your engineer(s) to seamlessly transfer data from your CAD system into your ERP solution while eliminating the bottleneck that is manual data entry. Not only will you remove the risk of human error that accompanies manual data entry and transcription, but you will save a considerable amount of time and resources that can now be better utilized elsewhere.
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