Nowadays, digitalisation is an inevitable step for a business if they want to remain competitive. More and more companies are using online platforms and software solutions in order to boost their productivity and thus improve their service. Also, it is a great way to reach more customers. However, buying a tool is not enough – you need to know how to use it.
Some organisations do not find it necessary to acquire an entire system right away and they prefer to use independent tools instead. It may be a good idea to start your business journey with this. However, it is essential to remember that the more tools you use, the less effective they become. They may work well separately, but they will not function as an integrated whole without actually being integrated. As a consequence, you may be wasting both your money and time on tools that do not give you the expected results. Luckily, it is easy to recognise the moment your business should have its systems integrated.
It is impossible for independent tools, usually all coming from different vendors, to cooperate in order to simplify your work and provide you with accurate data. One way to deal with this problem is to buy a completely new complex system, which will unfortunately result in losing both valuable information and time spent on getting to know the new solution. Luckily, system integrators – that is companies or teams of specialists experienced in the area – are there to help you. They can put all of your components together into one, ensuring seamless data connectivity and task automation.
The process, which enables your company to grow and evolve, is highly beneficial. If you would like to know the greatest advantages of systems integration, I have described them here.
Many organisations do not recognise the damage that a lack of systems integration can cause and thus find it impossible to come up with the right solution. However, the effects of using various components instead of one system are usually the same for each company, no matter what industry they are in. You should consider having your systems integrated as soon as you notice these changes:
1. Drop in employee productivity – when your company is evolving, you expect your employees to be as productive as possible so that they can keep up with the growth. Without introducing systems integration, you are the one who slows your team down. Instead of handling their core duties, your employees are stuck introducing data manually to several systems which do not cooperate with each other. As the task is highly labour-intensive, there is a proneness towards errors and a drop in their productivity at the same time. Spending hours on one tedious task may stop them from facing upcoming challenges.
With systems integration data flows between all of your systems, ensuring high data consistency. Your employees can focus on more challenging and more important duties and follow the growth of the company. Re-entering information is now automated, which minimises the risk of errors.
2. Constant need of new hires – growing your team is an inevitable step for every business. New employees introduce new ideas and new challenges to your company. However, their number may sometimes go beyond your possibilities, especially if your systems are not integrated and your employees find it hard to handle all of their challenging activities when spending hours on re-entering data and analysing information from various systems manually. Hiring new employees to manage these processes may seem like the only solution.
With systems integration it is possible for you to automate many business processes so that your employees can complete their duties. Growing your team can be a great opportunity only if your company benefits from new hires. Having your systems integrated allows you to both save money and keep your employees motivated as they can focus on their actual job.
3. Losing customers – this applies to the sales industry especially, but can also affect your business. When running an online store that is not integrated with your warehouse and other departments, your customers may find it hard to access the data necessary to place an order. It also takes longer for your employees to address all of the enquiries as they have to be entered into all of the systems manually. With extended waiting time and bad customer service, you will soon notice you are losing customers.
With systems integration, you can operate your sales system more smoothly, which makes it easier for both your customers and your employees. Your clients can now access the necessary data (such as whether the product is available, when can they receive it, etc.) without the necessity of phoning or e-mailing you, while your employees can address all of their needs more efficiently, being able to reply to them immediately.
4. Sales failures – the quality of your sales depends on data flow between your departments. For the order to be completed successfully, it takes all of the departments, with sales and financial departments and the warehouse especially, to keep in touch constantly. If it takes hours for the sales department to inform the warehouse about an order placement the product may already be unavailable. It may take even longer for the information to reach the financial department, which means a delayed refund and a dissatisfied customer. Basing your business on outdated information and business processes performed manually makes it harder for you to remain reliable.
With systems integration, there is no need to worry. The information flows between the departments constantly and automatically, which means your employees can address every order right away. Also, it minimises the risk of order failure and improves the communication between your employees.
If you have noticed that your company is experiencing any of the signs above, system integration is the solution. Nowadays, regular data flow is crucial for your business to succeed. It enables your employees to focus on performing more challenging activities and developing new skills, it also reduces the risk of errors which happen often when entering data manually. Systems integration allows you to build a team of experienced and skilled professionals who can grow along with your company and help you to save money.
If you would like to talk about how HeadChannel can help you improve the workflow of your company, contact us. We have performed countless systems integrations and every one of them has made a huge difference for the company.