Every business is set up on pillars without which it cannot stand firm. These involve a number of processes and teams that are interdependent on each other to form a successful structure.
However, this interdependence often costs companies a great deal in case of even the slightest discrepancy in the smallest segment of the process. This is exactly why enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the need of the hour in every organization.
What is ERP Integration?
ERP systems are designed to help you automate and streamline the workflow of your business processes seamlessly. This spans across various segments within the organization such as the accounting department, the human resource department, manufacturing and distributing, etc.
The integration of best ERP softwares in the workflow is a way to connect the software to the various systems in the process so that the information being shared amongst the various departments is consistent while also automating the workflow. Further, by choosing to customize the software by adding the necessary tools specific to your industry or business, you can ensure an improvement in communication as well as productivity on every level.
The greater your business or company, the higher the need for an ERP system in place within your organization. By eliminating inefficiency in the workflow and ensuring the centralization of data, there is improved transparency in the process and a shoot up in productivity.
Read on to know everything you need to know about strategizing for successful ERP integration for your organization.
The Different Types of ERP Integrations
Take a look at the different types of ERP integration and how they help streamline processes.
Communication and customer service form two of the most essential. The integration of customer relationship management (CRM) and ERP is quite a common occurrence and also one of the easiest to integrate. ERP integration with CRM can help smoothen the supply-demand dynamic by streamlining the sales and marketing process.
★ Human Resources
In any company or business, one of the segments that deal with a majority of the paperwork and back-end tasks is the human resource department. No matter what the position of an employee, the HR department is designated to deal with all employee matters. This can be truly time-consuming and erratic, owing to the massive amount of back-end work. Integrating the HR segment with ERP is sure to make things more convenient for the HR team, allowing them to save time, keep track of every employee, and automate the workflow with ease.
★ Business Intelligence
The business intelligence software is one of the most useful tools for businesses and companies, helping collate and analyze data. These insights, further, help you discover newer and better business practices to take the organization a step higher. Integrating your ERP system to the business intelligence software can help in making these insights accessible to all involved, ensuring the right use of collated data.
For any eCommerce business, efficiency and ease are two crucial goals. An ERP integration with eCommerce would make functioning that much more convenient. For eCommerce, the major task is streamlining data such as inventories, orders, shipping information, customer data, etc. With ERP automating the process, the efficiency in managing data and implementation is increased, eliminating manual intervention and human error.
★ Project Management
Most ERP systems come with a project management solution. However, for those already using a stand-alone project management system, it will certainly be a great many notches higher than the ones included in the ERP system. A good project management system will help aggregate all of your workflow and process in one place, allowing you to keep a track of what projects have been completed, which ones are in process, and who is handling what aspect of the project. This software is sure to be significantly time-saving.
All of these above-mentioned software form an essential factor to consider when looking at ERP integration. Finding out the right third-party software can help with a seamless integration for your business.
The Methods of ERP Integration
There are a number of implementation methods of ERP integration that one can choose from. The most crucial factor to remember is keeping your business requirements, your budget, and the system you are currently using in mind. Here are the methods you can choose from:
★ Custom Applications
More often than not, companies lean toward customized applications over off-the-shelf technologies to integrate a better fit for their business processes. These can be upgraded to include more tasks over time. However, this can be challenging as the company grows further and implements more tools within its processes.
★ Point-to-point Integration
In this type of integration, the ERP software is connected individually to every tool or software. This often makes it rather difficult since one would need to integrate the software separately to every system being used. Further, the more tools added to the process, the trickier or more complex the process can become. Many companies still opt for this method owing to the lack of entry barrier it offers.
★ Enterprise Service Bus
The Enterprise Service Bus (USB) is the latest integration method and also the best. In this method of integration, the applications and tools are connected by a communication bus. This acts as the centralized tool for applications to communicate. The best part about using this method is that one needn’t make any amends or changes in the applications if any component is being added from the ESB.
This method is certainly more credible and beneficial than the other options.