Photo appears courtesy of Martin Fisch. This blog was written by Jim Gonzalez, an independent EDI consultant for the Aurora EDI Alliance. I am often asked what the benefit is for Data Integration. Usually, the person asking is someone on a decision making panel who has the least amount of technical experience. Let’s provide some answers that can put your boss at ease and help you look to Data Integration as a positive change for your business.
- First and foremost, having integrated systems will free up time for anyone that is manually entering information. More time means other tasks can be taken care of without adding employee hours and therefore cost. For example, one of my clients had five full-time Data Entry employees being paid to process Purchase Orders. The same amount of Purchase Orders, are now being processed through an automated system by ONE employee that monitors the Purchase Orders.
- Secondly, Data Integration eliminates user errors. You can set up systemic validation that can prevent users from keying in wrong information or from missing mandatory information. Wrong information and/or missing information is the stuff of chargeback nightmares.
- Next, increase revenue and close new business. A lot of your customers (and potential customers) will want to see that your organization can handle things in a timely manner. Some of these big companies (think Walmart) count on their suppliers to operate 24/7. Through Data Integration we can construct a solution that is hands free and runs after business hours and holidays. Computers don’t require a break or time off.
- Further, unify your various systems in your company. You might have a Warehouse Management System (WMS) that doesn’t talk to your Accounting System. A well constructed Data Integration solution can communicate and share data between disparate systems to keep things moving seamlessly.
- Lastly, the four previous points all lead to one thing - MONEY!!! Data Integration will save you money and help you make vast financial strides. More money means you have resources to invest back into your business whether it’s new employees, new equipment, or manufacturing.
If you ever find yourself looking to provide ROI (Return On Investment) for Data Integration, you need to look at all facets of your business. Start with areas that will have the most impact overall. Then move onto the pain points to get those alleviated. Invest in your data and you will be investing in your future as a business.