20 Jan The Importance Of ERP Integration
Arcus Universe has extensive experience in working with ERP integration, and has been providing seamless integration solutions for several customers. We discuss below important insights of ERP integration and constant business improvements that companies gain from it.
Acumatica Cloud ERP delivers adaptable cloud and mobile technology with a unique all-inclusive user licensing model, enabling a complete, real time view of the business anytime, anywhere. It is built on the world’s best cloud and mobile technology with standard web technologies and development languages for easy integration with other business platforms. Through the worldwide network of partners, Acumatica Cloud ERP provides a full suite of integrated business management applications, including Financials, Distribution, Manufacturing, Project Accounting, and CRM.
We already know that ERP software plays a vital role in today’s business landscape. The main aim of ERP is to share data across systems and improve productivity and insights to create a single source of truth. Integration is a very important concept related to any ERP system. ERP integration is the method by which a business connects its ERP system with other applications. It helps synergise the organisational resources in a much managed way such that it could make sense of the stored data from a unified system to introduce better performance, enhanced customer experience, and reach the goal of exponential business revenue increase. ERP integration improves the workflow of individual departments, increase visibility and accuracy.
Three methods of ERP integration
Point-to-Point integrations. This method connects specific pieces of software with another. It can be effective especially when there are only two pieces of software in use. Because every piece of software requires a connection to other elements using its data, the number of connections needed scales exponentially as the volume of software increases. Many enterprises use hundreds of different software solutions across the company.
Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). It is the latest and the best in the integration sector. It’s an on-premises software architecture that enables different applications to communicate with each other and share data. In this method, applications are connected by a “communication bus”. The bus serves as a centralised tool where the applications communicate. The perk of doing integration this way is that other apps don’t have to be tweaked when another component is added – the bus centralises all of the communications.
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). iPaaS platform offers a cloud-based approach to integration, enabling businesses to sync apps faster and easier than using an ESB. iPaaS platforms have many benefits. In particular, they typically require no coding, are designed to connect ERP systems to SaaS products, and are flexible and inexpensive. Without on-premises hardware, this method is ideal for many modern businesses.
Although there are various kinds of business software that can be integrated with ERP, however, ensuring ERP integration with the following major applications is pertinent. Based on what business purpose it fulfils, what pain point it solves and what platforms the ERP integrates with, we can classify such types of ERP integrations:
CRM. Two crucial features of a successful business are proper communication and excellent customer service provided to your customers. Excellent customer service can provide with a considerable advantage over the competition, so optimising customers’ communication with a “best of breed” customer relationship management tool is crucial.
Business Intelligence. BI software is one of the most useful tools available on the market today. By collecting and analysing internal data, BI software helps companies discover insights that lead to new and successful ventures or business practices. The findings from BI software data are often starting points for new software implementations. By integrating BI software with ERP solution, these valuable insights become easy to access at any time by any authorised employee.
Human Resources. The HR department deals with every employee in business regardless of title or leadership status. And incorporating the HR vendor’s capabilities with ERP helps to keep track of and automate time-consuming back-office tasks by connecting them to the workflows of ERP system.
Project Management. Project management integration is so useful because all business tasks, processes and workflows can be combined in one place. An employee can see which projects are done, which are in progress, who’s working on them and what projects are coming up at any time significantly saving time for other tasks.
eCommerce. Any business that manages orders can benefit from integrating eCommerce applications because of the data collection associated with implementation. The most important data that companies collect are related to orders, inventories, customer information and shipping.
ERP itself is an integrated set of different data points of an organisation, but it needs to integrate with several business systems in order to improve the overall accuracy of operations. Having a basic understanding of ERP integration now we can examine some of the key benefits.
Single source of truth. Integrating ERP system with other applications ensures that data from different applications will remain updated in ERP software. As a result, all departments have access to omnichannel business data. Besides, having all data in the ERP ensures that it remains the single source of truth for data and employees refer to data in ERP in case of any discrepancies.
Enhanced workflow. Integrating ERP with primary business tools, such as project management, enables the centralisation of work-related data. It means that everyone in the company will be able to see what others are working on, and the priority levels to employee tasks and schedule processes can be set. Also, knowing what teams are working on will not only help to understand whether the on-going activities are aligned with business objectives, but also make modifications in tasks wherever and whenever necessary.
Improved order and inventory management. By integrating an ERP system with an online ordering solution eliminate guesswork from data entry. Two systems fluidly communicate with each other, and once set-up, is relatively seamless. All of the data management is done in one system and propagates out to online solution and back, reducing the time spent in data entry and order management. It also gives full visibility across the enterprise.
Accelerated sales conversions. Accelerated conversions in sales signify that more website visitors are getting converted into leads and more leads are getting converted into customers in shorter time spans. Lead information from CRM and eCommerce immediately flows into eCommerce enabling all departments to collaboratively work towards specific customer demands and needs. More and more leads are processed effectively in less time providing a dual advantage of increased customer satisfaction and business revenue.
Final thoughts. The integration of ERP helps to reduce the potential that most of the time inefficient workflows and data management introduce. With integrated cloud ERP the entire company can function as a whole, not as separate departments with separate agendas. Acumatica, with its seamless cloud ERP integrations, offers a platform that not only makes it easy to connect with other solutions, but also presents a platform that serves customers well for their future needs.