The value of integrating your systems

Before you know it, your business can get caught up in a complex IT infrastructure. At first, you start with a basic accounting system like QuickBooks. As your business grows, however, there is a higher demand for advanced inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), and productivity software.

While these applications are easy to acquire, companies often purchase standalone software that is incompatible with other programs. The result is a tangled mess of business software that hinders growth, productivity, and flexibility.

Conversely, installing integrated systems optimizes business performance in several ways.

Increased efficiency

By itself, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is capable of analyzing financial information once it’s recorded in a spreadsheet. But when integrated with best-of-breed applications -- like PaperSave -- processes are streamlined to allow staff to focus on their core responsibilities.

Rather than manually keying receipts and invoices into an accounting spreadsheet, you only have to scan in the receipt and the document management system will automatically capture keywords and barcode data, index them, and store them in your ERP system.

In a similar vein, if your CRM software isn’t integrated with your ERP system, data will have to be entered twice to keep both databases in sync. If sales figures, accounting information, and other data are all stored in a single location, you eliminate manual, error-prone data entry.

Optimized workflows

Apart from keeping data in sync, employees can automate workflows across enterprise applications. For instance, when an order request comes in via email, PaperSave captures the data and plugs them into SharePoint, ERP, and CRM databases. Managers can then set a “if this then that” condition such as: “If the order request exceeds $1,000 notify Barry for approval.”

If the conditions are met, the ERP system -- presumably integrated with the business email server -- will send an automated email, reminding Barry of the task. Once approved, the ERP software creates the order and connects with tracking features to make sure the order is delivered on time. Afterwards, CRM software can remind sales staff to send follow-up emails to customers for continued business.

When menial tasks are condensed to just a few clicks, you cut back on inefficient use of employee time and save money in the long run.

Improved business intelligence

Real-time visibility is the key to making informed business decisions, but multiple, disparate systems and databases make it more difficult to attain this level of visibility. With a fully-integrated system, employees don’t have to tie data from multiple sources since information is stored in one location. This means ERP databases contain sales data and inventory tracking information, helping you make accurate decisions quickly.

Create a competitive edge

A highly adaptable software system can add more features or functions on the fly. For example, you can extend Dynamics CRM capabilities by synchronizing it with Office 365, social media, accounting software, document management, SharePoint, and more.

And since most of these applications are hosted in the cloud, you can deploy integrated systems quickly, give your mobile workforce access to a unified database, and expand your business with ease. Overall, the benefits of integrated software puts your company comfortably ahead of the curve.

Business agility and flexibility can be achieved with an expandable platform, and to get that, you need an expert IT services provider. Here at WhiteOwl, we can integrate your systems to set your business up for success -- just contact us today.

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