Many manufacturers and distributors think their transformation is complete once they’ve implemented enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. There are two problems with this conclusion:
- Business transformation is never over. As technology and industry practices change, so should your enterprise and its software.
- Transformation is a term reserved only for sweeping changes. In other words, a business is only transformed when it redesigns its processes and technology from top to bottom.
That’s why transformation must go beyond ERP. To truly set your business up for end-to-end improvements, a software integration is what you need. Connecting ERP with front-office software—such as CRM, eCommerce or Marketing Automation software—creates a central hub for enterprise data that allows your business to make widespread changes and embrace new solutions and strategies. Keep reading to learn 10 ways that ERP integration can transform your business.
Gaining end-to-end visibility is a feat for any business, whether you have multiple plants or a single location. Too many companies store information across several applications and overflowing file cabinets. As a result, finding the data you need when you need it becomes a significant obstacle.
When you integrate ERP with other systems, you create a single source of truth for all your enterprise data. This gives users throughout every department and location the power to access information at a moment’s notice. With real-time data available from the top floor to the shop floor, your business can become more agile and responsive.
2. Data Integrity
Maintaining multiple, fragmented applications doesn’t just hinder enterprise visibility. It also sacrifices your data integrity. Employees must spend inordinate amounts of time keying in data into different systems, increasing your chances for human error.
An integration will automatically sync data back and forth between your systems. This means users will receive precise information in real time, rather than waste time entering and updating data. With accurate data on hand at all times, employees can make better use of their time to make data-driven decisions to enhance the value of their products and services.
Automated data synchronization naturally optimizes your company’s efficiency by reducing manual data entry and allowing data to flow seamlessly throughout your organization. Processes that once took days or even weeks can now get completed before the end of the day.
For example, businesses can execute the configure-price-quote (CPQ) process quickly with an integrated ERP and CRM solution eradicating manual tasks. A software integration will also automatically turn an accepted quote into a bill of materials (BOM). Integrations streamline operations to boost enterprise productivity.
4. Customer Service
Greater efficiency translates to better customer service, as customers receive orders, services and responses on time. Additionally, an integration can also fuel customer-centric strategies. Connecting your ERP and CRM systems will give sales teams access to pricing and product information, so they can capitalize on up-sell and cross-sell opportunities and offer appropriate discounts.
Marketers can also utilize order history to target email campaigns to the right segments when ERP is integrated with Marketing Automation software. Additionally, your ERP can automatically send updates on inventory and pricing to your eCommerce system, maintaining accuracy on your website. Software integration enables manufacturers and distributors to provide personalized and responsive customer experiences.
5. Industry 4.0
A systems integration provides the foundation for an Industry 4.0 enterprise. In other words, it helps manufacturers and distributors support the process automation, data exchange and IoT trends of the fourth industrial revolution. ERP integrations increase business speed and agility. An integration helps real-time data travel throughout enterprises to fuel smart factories and generate deep insights.
6. User Experience
Change management and user adoption are often the biggest obstacles in software projects. Learning a brand-new system isn’t always easy for users who’ve grown accustomed to their current instance and processes. An integration not only streamlines change management but also optimizes the user experience.
Rather than ripping out the current solution, an integration just connects existing systems into a single source of truth. This allows users to stick with their familiar software, while also providing greater efficiency and insights. Furthermore, employees never have to switch to other platforms to find what they need. All the data is housed in one solution to improve decision making. An integration empowers users to work faster and smarter.
Another way that integration improves the user experience is through facilitating end-to-end collaboration. With back- and front-office data housed in a single system, employees from separate departments or locations can access the same information and documents. This eradicates departmental silos, so users throughout the enterprise can work together to execute business goals.
8. Ease and Savings
With a software integration, your IT team no longer has to worry about installing and maintaining multiple systems. This is especially true for businesses that go with a pre-built integration solution. With a pre-built application, you don’t need to create several custom connectors. Instead, the application can be rapidly and easily installed to integrate your software in no time.
The simplicity of modern software integration projects results in incredible IT savings. Overall, the efficiency, accuracy and ease that come with an agile integration allows your business to reduce costs from top to bottom.
9. Business Growth
Expanding locations and sales channels is quite the challenge when your organization stores critical data across multiple applications. With a fully integrated solution, your business can grow without interruption. Visibility into global performance enables you to respond immediately to issues throughout your organization.
A scalable integration will also allow you to add new modules, features or users to your existing software without hassle. A dynamic software integration enables your business to stay in control no matter how it grows.
10. Higher ROI
Every single one of these improvements contributes to your return on investment (ROI). An integration compounds your software ROI, maximizing the value of each instance. Ultimately, your software platforms work better together than on their own. An integration enhances the value of your software by boosting the performance of all your systems, so you can get the most from your enterprise technology.
Nothing sets your business up for end-to-end transformation better than an ERP integration. Creating a single source of truth, software integrations fuel the productivity and visibility you need to become a more powerful enterprise.
At Datix, our certified consultants and developers are committed to helping manufacturers and distributors transform their business through software. An Epicor Gold Partner, we built Unity to serve as the premier ERP integration solution. Unity is a pre-built application designed to rapidly connect your Epicor instance with CRM, eCommerce or Marketing Automation software. Datix will not only rapidly install Unity but also stick with you throughout your software journey to handle errors and help your business continue to improve your enterprise technology.
Start optimizing your business performance today. Contact Datix to learn what makes Unity the leading ERP integration solution!