5 Benefits of Software Integration

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Software integration is certainly nothing new – certain industries have utilised integrated systems for years. In the warehousing industry, for instance, many warehouses make use of systems which independently manage different aspects of the job but which also link together to increase flexibility and improve flow. Here are some of the most notable benefits that software integration can bring to your business.

1: Improved Workflow

In any busy environment, it often becomes necessary to use numerous software systems to manage and complete all the tasks required of you. The major drawback of this is that it can become a headache to keep track of what’s happening where, and having to constantly switch between programs can give you serious cramp in your alt+tab fingers!

Using integrated software systems offers a much more seamless working style, save a lot of time and hassle, reduce stress dramatically, and allow a much larger amount of work to get done in the average workday.

2: Real-Time Visibility

Keeping track of stock data and customer orders can be enough of a handful as it is, so imagine the blood-boiling frustration of having two different programs telling you two different things about the same batch. For example, your CRM might state that an order has been shipped while your WMS states that the stock is still on the shelf. This sort of mix-up only creates confusion and frayed tempers while offering no answers.

By integrating these processes, all data can be saved across all platforms simultaneously, meaning that you can be sure that the information you’re viewing is up-to-date, regardless of the system you may be using at that moment. This promotes harmony in the warehouse and greatly improves user confidence – and can even be used to keep customers informed on the status of their item.

3: A Unified Language

Another potential pitfall of using several individual systems is the variations that can occur in nomenclature. Different people can end using different words for the same thing – for example, “client” and “customer”, or “unit” and “item” – which can cause miscommunication, confusion, and ultimately wasted time.

Integrating your systems – or using a pre-existing integrated suite – combines numerous platforms into a single system, which can encourage users to maintain consistency. Utilising the same terminology in every instance reduces confusion and makes life easier for everyone.

4: Savings in IT Time and Cost

Aside from the obvious consistency in interface and functionality, using a software suite from a single provider also has its support benefits. Dealing with a single team from day one will ease essential processes such as the initial setup and simplify any maintenance that may be required, as well as offering immense cost savings.

WMS providers Ontech Solutions have long taken this approach with their flagship suite, Vision Software. “One of the main things our customers enjoy is the service they receive from our team,” says founder and MD, Alan Gilchrist. “We assign all of our clients a dedicated manager who deals with any queries or issues that may come forward, and we find that this gives our customers a better quality of service, along with the kind of peace of mind that you just wouldn’t get with a third party company.”

5: External Flexibility

Even the most powerful software suite may not perform all the tasks you need it to. This is where external integration comes in – the ability to plug outside programs into an already expansive system can provide almost infinite flexibility and allow your company to operate seamlessly.

Adding external applications to your existing system is the true essence of integration, says Alan Gilchrist: “Well, with any system, there will be things that you’d like it to do that it can’t. Vision, for example, is great for managing your warehouse, bonded stock, taxation, distribution, all kinds of things – but one thing it doesn’t handle is the accounting side of things. That’s why we gave it the capability to actually integrate with almost any accounting application, especially Sage, which we’ve found to be by far the most popular.”

With all the freedoms and abilities that our software systems give us, it seems only logical to combine their potential to create a more powerful system. Through integration, the possibilities afforded to any business are endless.

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