It isn’t until recent years that businesses have had to give extensive thought about the way these systems work together, because, well, today, we’re seeing the first generation of software-driven businesses.
Software has proven to be such an effective and powerful way to solve problems today that organizations end up with hundreds of pieces of software, subscriptions, and applications to help them grow and manage their business.
Each is beneficial in its own way, but creating the next level of businesses will require a more strategic approach in integrating the data and processes from each of these solutions.
Rather than simply plugging in new software solutions as new business challenges arise, forward-thinking companies are taking a strategic approach that looks at how software solutions can become integrated and work together to create exponential benefits of scale.
When software applications can talk to each other and work together, they can become exponentially beneficial to the organization.
Solving Data Silos with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solutions
Information is power, and software is key for capturing data and helping you capitalize on it.
This data becomes a key asset for companies, especially large corporations where hundreds of applications are collecting data every single day.
That is, if the data isn’t locked away in silos.
Data silos are created when software applications don’t talk to one another
If your applications can’t talk to each other, you’ll spend time collecting the same information over and over rather than benefiting from the data you already have.
This is where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems step in.
ERP solutions establish a single source of information (a database) for your software applications, creating more complete, clean, and readily available data sets that are shared between systems.
Solve Process Silos with Business Process Automation
It’s not just your data that takes a hit when your applications are separated in silos—your processes suffer as well.
No one wants to repeat work, so it’s important that you also automate processes between your software solutions.
For example, if you’re in e-commerce, your marketing, point of sale, shipping, customer support, etc. should all work seamlessly without requiring repetitive tasks from your team. This applies across any industry but varies depending on your processes and solutions
If you’re lucky, your solutions already have features allowing for simple integrations. If not, a little custom development can go a long way toward improving your automation and making sure that processes flow seamlessly across different segments of your business.
No Business is Too Small for Software Integration
There’s a stigma that only massive corporations should consider heavily investing in an ERP solution or custom process automation.
Most agree that businesses will benefit from software integration via automation or ERP, but sometimes it’s difficult to determine how much to invest.
When determining how much to invest, it’s important to consider that employees in small businesses wear a lot of hats. The business asks a lot from them and relies on them to deliver every day.
Why not ask more from your software as well? This will free up time and resources for your employees and also help avoid bigger, growth-stunting problems in the future.
Where to Start Integrating Software with ERP and Automation
Regardless of your size, here’s an approach that we recommend taking if you’re just getting started:
- Take a look at your different software programs and ensure that you’re utilizing any built-in integrations. This is the low-hanging fruit.
- Identify any choke points where processes are consuming time and energy from your team. This is where we would start to build out custom automation—just get in touch with us and we can give you a free consultation. Investing in automation at heavy choke points offers a quick return on investment.
- Take a look at where your data is being shared across systems. Your CRM is a good place to start looking. From there, you can start eliminating data silos and moving towards an ERP or ERP-like solution.
As a company, we build and work with custom software and out of the box solutions alike. We have the capacity to build between your existing solutions or build a custom application that fits your business perfectly.
With this expertise we’ve been able to help companies of all sizes see a greater return from their set of software solutions, allowing them to focus their time and resources on growing their business rather than dealing with silos from disintegrated solutions.
We’d love to take a look at your software stack and see how we can help you integrate. Consultations are always free.