Bring up the subject of integration with most IT professionals and you’re likely to get an eye roll, maybe even a full-throated groan. Integration projects, according to conventional wisdom, are costly, overly complicated, and all-consuming from a resource standpoint. Trying to integrate two systems is frequently compared to falling into a black hole; say many who’ve tried, burdening IT with a lot of extra work and risk without delivering enough of an upside to the business.
While the knocks against enterprise integration projects may be true, the same can’t be said for attempts to establish smaller point connections between systems in the hopes of scoring targeted wins. Connecting an Adept document management system with the email system of record, for example, can do wonders for establishing a centralized record of all interaction with a particular client. Similarly, syncing up Adept with a project management and scheduling tool or a contact management platform can streamline critical workflows and ensure everyone is working off the same information and meeting shared goals.
All of this begs the question; why not consider smaller pockets of integration as part of your Adept deployment as opposed to blindly writing off the possibility or holding out for a big bang enterprise integration project. How do you know if your organization would even benefit from integration? Here are three signs your firm might be ready to get their feet wet with integration and enjoy some tangible benefits before taking a full-out plunge:
Repetitive data entry. Are numerous people, across several departments, entering the same information day in and day out, often multiple times a day? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to consider integrating Adept with other key systems in order to cut back on manual data entry. By syncing up Adept, with say, your ERP system or a homegrown departmental platform, users only have to enter data on materials or the characteristics of a part one time and have it flow between systems. By doing so, you save employees the annoyance of doing double, maybe even triple, keystrokes for completing common tasks.
Data inconsistencies. An outcome of repetitive data entry is inconsistent data—after all, what’s the guarantee that multiple people are going to enter the same information in the same way twice. Any time you have people enter data multiple times, you increase the risk for error, and if your sharing that data manually across systems, there could be severe consequences to the business. Perhaps a downstream user makes a mistake entering information about a bolt, which leads to the incorrect part being specified in a product or worse, a quality snafu that leads to scrap. Entering data once and having it automatically populate across systems through the use of business rules is the best way to increase the chances of having reliable data for more effective collaboration.
Too much time spent on non-value processes. Your C-level suite is all over the need to increase efficiencies and shorten time-to-market, but employees are up to their eyeballs slogging through day-to-day tasks. If that sums up the working environment in your company, integrating Adept with other systems could be just the antidote for increased productivity. By creating seamless workflows between software platforms and automatically populating data across relevant system, employees spend less time on busy work like manual data entry and chasing paperwork. As a result, they have more bandwidth to devote to value-add tasks related to innovation, productivity, or cost reduction.
Integration doesn’t have to be a dirty word and it certainly shouldn’t send IT running for the hills. By focusing on targeted and manageable Adept integrations, companies can benefit from productivity boosts without incurring undue risks.