Future-proof your business with system integration
14 April 2023
With the introduction of machine-learning and AI technology to businesses, companies need to be agile, efficient, and effective to stay competitive. System integration is essential for future-proofing modern businesses.
What is system integration?
System integration is the process of uniting software components into a collaborative system, which enables seamless data sharing and streamline business processes. For example, a tradie needs to have systems to track time, do payroll, understand job profitability, prepare and track quotes. A retail store needs systems for stock management, point of sale and customer trends. System integration involves combining these separate systems into the one, easy to use platform.
The benefits of system integration
As a business owner, you know improving security and efficiency are of utmost importance for legal and reputational reasons. This, as well as using data and collaboration for decision making processes are some of the benefits. Let’s go into each:
Integration allows for streamlined processes and eliminates redundancies, leading to increased efficiency. It reduces the need for double or triple entry and minimises the risk of human errors. By synchronising data between various systems, staff can reduce time on data entries and focus on value added tasks.
Enhanced data management
Integrating systems and data sources can improve data management, making it easier to access and analyse data. One example is having your e-copy invoices attached with your transactions in the accounting system makes data accessible from anywhere and anytime. If going paperless in your business is a direction you’re going towards (we recommend it), integrating your systems will make this a lot more manageable. Improved collaboration
Integrating systems can improve collaboration between different departments and teams, leading to better outcomes. Having information stored in the cloud makes it easy to share data without having to take time in the day to extract and send this around the team, to then collate the data and re-analyse it.
Real-time data sharing enables you and/or your business leaders to react to business needs faster, and with more information. It helps to understand the position of cashflow, credit control and supply chain management based on the latest information.
By having a more complete view of information from multiple sources, integration enables more informed decision-making, respond to market changes quicker, and gain a competitive edge.
Improved data security
Keeping key information on Excel or a folder isn’t secure. Even if they are password-protected or kept in a locked cupboard, you are still facing a high risk of data breach.
Integrated systems remove the need to use Excel or hardcopy to access your data. Instead, a cloud-based software will take over the responsibility of keeping your data safe. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is widely used to protect your data and protect the organisation from cyber-attacks.
What is an example of system integration?
Joe is the business owner of a carpet cleaning company. The severe weather brought destructive flooding to the region which makes Joe’s business extremely busy and reach full capacity.
Joe receives more than 70 phone calls a day asking for help and manages these jobs by writing down the queries and passing the information to his team to allocate staff to take the job. With high demand, he is struggling on how to save time for scheduling tasks, how to track dehumidifier equipment onsite, how to track outstanding quotes, and how to track the job status and invoice payment status.
This is how an integrated system can make Joe’s business tasks easier to manage:
Fergus job costing system helps with job scheduling, job status tracking and pushes invoices and customer information to Xero. It tracks material and labour costs for profit margin measurement.
Xero accounting system send invoices to customers for payments and provide financial snapshot how the business is doing.
Hubdoc enables easier invoice processing and data storage.
iPayroll helps managing staff salaries, PAYE and push journals to Xero for reconciliation.
Spotlight Reporting for quick and easy to understand data to work on with his business advisor
By linking these platforms to Joe’s business, Joe can quickly check job status, work capacity, employee hours, customer invoices, and much more. Importantly, Joe has more time and capacity to manage the growth of his business and be a more present and confident leader to his staff.
Our business advisors have excellent industry knowledge of the systems available and can help you identify the pros and cons of each system and guide you through the selection and implementation process in a streamlined manner.
If you would like to get any advice on how to build up an integrated system and be a future-proofing business, please get in touch with the Findex Business Advisory team.