Businesses today are more diverse than ever before in terms of their structure, practices, processes and reporting. No two businesses are alike, and while the one commonality is the pursuit of profitability, the means to actually get there are endless. One area that seems to continually increase is the number of data systems an organisation may be using at any one time.
This could be systems such as:
- ERP (enterprise resource planning)
- Business intelligence or data & analytics
- Human resource management system
- Environmental management system
- AP automation & document management system
- Mobility & approvals systems
- CRM (customer relationship management)
- Field services
- Financial & payroll systems and,
- Several other types of data repositories
With many businesses today having some kind of ERP system in place, the need for other systems to “talk” to your primary system becomes an important consideration for operational improvement and insight.
Shouldn’t my ERP meet all my requirements?
Many of your Tier 1 solutions will be able to provide a large proportion of your organisations requirements, but they are often expensive or cost prohibitive for SME’s (small to medium sized businesses).
For SME’s, long gone are the days of expecting your ERP to meet 100% of your functional requirements. It’s no longer a case of trying to make a square peg fit a round hole, but it’s now become the norm to invest in complimentary systems and software to support your ERP. This “best-of-breed” adoption approach to software brings many benefits, as are described later in this article.
Why integrate my ERP software?
By merging your ERP with one or more systems, you are effectively able to control the flow of information within your organisation. Depending upon what you require, you can control which way it flows e.g. mono directional (one way) or bi directional (two way). By having your data in one accessible location such as your ERP, you can make changes or updates that will pass on to the other systems that you’ve integrated with.
This flexibility allows you to take advantage of functionality that might not be within your core system, but is contained in another that you have invested in. In many cases, this can be done seamlessly, so that the experience appears to be one system to an end-user, but in fact may be made up of many different systems interacting behind the scenes.
How do I know if I need to integrate?
Ultimately, it comes down to your specific organisation’s needs. If you find that your key operational data is housed in multiple places that require you to make changes multiple times, you’re cutting into your productivity with double handling. You’re also opening up the possibility of errors due to the more manual nature of the process.
Furthermore, having disparate systems means that reporting will take longer to both produce and consolidate. This can be a significant pain point for organisations or operations that rely upon trustworthy information to make quick decisions (e.g. mining or construction etc).
What are the options for integrating an ERP?
ERP systems such as Pronto Xi, have developed a number of REST API’s (representational state transfer and application programming interfaces), that allow information to be called from other systems. With these API connectors in place, organisations can define exactly how they want the information to be shared.
Sometimes, there’s a specific need you have for sharing information between systems or reporting that can’t be achieved with a standard connection. Custom development can be a great way to overcome this issue. While you’re at it, you may also be able to tweak other aspects of the system to best suit your processes.
How do I get started with my ERP integration project?
Integration is a specialised task, that requires in almost all cases the assistance of an experienced software partner.
Scope Systems have decades of experience in facilitating successful ERP integration projects in a variety of industry verticals. We also have a close relationship with mining, understanding the complexities involved in managing single-site, multi-site and international operations. Furthermore, we’ve done the research to source a number of best-of-breed solutions to extend the functionality of your core ERP.
Talk to us about integration
If you’re interested in learning more about
how we can help with your ERP integration, contact us today.