Companies deal with countless sources of data across disparate silos, creating inconsistency, inaccuracy, and data loss. While Master Data Management (MDM) systems are designed to solve these problems, companies are not always able to make the most of them. Data integration helps bridge this gap by aligning company objectives with MDM system capabilities for optimum utilization of data, better decision making, and reduced costs.
Organizations have a large number of systems such as ERP, CRM, POS, service solutions, and many others that rely heavily on data to keep them running smoothly. This data may be stored in various formats and is held by individual databases and employees. Many of these systems often overlap and can lead to inconsistencies or inaccuracies that go under the radar. Again, most of these systems also require regular maintenance. While many companies use a point-to-point process to update these systems, the method is usually time-consuming and, even worse, prone to errors.
Integration to the Rescue
Data integration gives businesses the ability to create multi-way connections between various systems within and around an enterprise. But why and how does integration help?
Here’s an example: a business uses an ERP system to keep track of its product inventory. After an update in its business model, it has now started selling products online using a new and improved eCommerce platform. As a product is sold online, the inventory count for both the eCommerce application and ERP system, must be updated manually and individually.
This is where the value of integration comes to the fore. In this scenario, a well-executed eCommerce integration system eliminates the need for manual, repetitive updates by enabling real-time, automated updates across systems.
This example only scratches the surface of how integration can boost a business’s capabilities. These integrations can help companies bridge the gap between PIMs and ERPs and link up with major distributors/retailers, online marketplaces, and eCommerce platforms for better performance. Here are a few other benefits of data integration to keep in mind:
- Fast and easy connections when compared to point-to-point handling. Implementing changes in multiple systems manually is not just slow but also prone to errors. Integration helps mitigate this with smart automation.
- High data integrity. As manual interventions are eliminated, and data across systems is homogenized, the quality and consistency of data increases.
- Improved data availability. The quality and pace of data integration make data more readily available. It helps mitigate the disadvantages of batch-processing by enabling single-point data access.
- Better analytics and insights. As integration enables faster, more accurate data, the insights are drawn from this data also help businesses make better decisions and drive improvement.
- Improved collaboration. Automating the flow of information improves collaboration, both within an enterprise as well as with trading partners. Stakeholders have easy access to the data they need, and dependency is reduced across the board.
- Improved business performance. The collective impact of all the above-mentioned points ensures that businesses are infused with speed, accuracy, and efficiency to drive competitiveness and overall performance.
Data Integration is Great, But You Still Need Guidance.
While integration does solve a great deal of internal and external data problems for companies, it doesn’t always work like a magic wand. Many businesses fail to make the most of data integration due to improper planning, implementation, or both.
One of the most common obstacles in data integration is a lack of clarity on requirements. Businesses don’t always understand why they need integration and how they can benefit from it. To make matters worse, the chosen integration platform/partners may also fail to understand why a company needs integration and how to implement it best. This two-way conundrum often leads to clunky integration that doesn’t really serve its full potential.
Pivotree – An Integration Consultant that unlocks Infinite Possibilities!
With over 20 years of experience in MDM and digital commerce, Pivotree has been enabling retailers, distributors, and manufacturers to live up to their digital potential. As growth partners, we take the time to understand an organization’s requirements and pain points and go the extra mile to turn these into opportunities to excel. What’s more? Pivotree is also a leading MDM consultant and system integrator, and we partner with some of the leading names in the industry to give your business the edge.