13th December, 2023
In today’s digital age, building a business often involves piecing together software applications.
You need to track your finances, so you get an accounting system. As your customer base grows, a customer relationship management (CRM) system will let you manage and track sales leads.
And if you’re a product-based business, you’ll likely also need an inventory, order-processing and fulfilment system.
However, at some point, this tangle of disconnected systems will start to hinder rather than accelerate your growth.
That’s when system integration will help you optimise your business so you can focus squarely on the future.
System (or application) integration brings together all your business workflows and processes.
As a result, there is a more robust, comprehensive system that quickly and easily shares data and information between the various parts of your business.
Data integration connects different data sources to create actionable intelligence for better business decision-making.
On the other hand, system integration connects business workflows between applications to share data in real-time.
There are various ways a business can integrate disparate systems:
Vertical integration builds connections between subsystems in a specific workflow using APIs or platforms that allow applications to interact.
Example: integrating an eCommerce platform with a payment processor
Horizontal integration connects systems that perform similar functions or purposes. Also, it uses a single platform to connect and control all other software applications.
Example: integrating your inventory, logistics and marketing systems with your CRM
Point-to-point integration connects one system to another directly using custom code or APIs.
Example: sending customer information from your website to a sales management system
Star integration is a collection of point-to-point systems.
Example: integrating inventory management, order processing and fulfilment so they can talk to each other in real-time
The biggest benefit of system integration is streamlining and automating business processes.
Disconnected systems create a vast amount of manual administrative work that wastes valuable time.
Also, system integration reduces or eliminates time-consuming manual processes, freeing employees to do more productive work.
Read how automation helps accelerate Hegi Design House’s growth.
Here are some of the other benefits of system integration:
Integrated systems automatically update data in real-time, so your people don’t have to wait for data to sync across multiple systems to access it.
This reduces the risk of making decisions using obsolete data.
Firstly, by automating the information flow between systems, you eliminate repetitive tasks and manual data entry.
Your people can better allocate their time and resources, improving your overall business efficiency.
Read how system integration has transformed the way A&S Welding and Electrical manages inventory.
The financial resources required to manage individual software applications can increase maintenance costs over time.
Also, system integration can reduce data storage and system maintenance expenses.
Most integrated systems rely on cloud storage that can scale quickly. So, if your rapid business growth requires additional storage, you don’t need a huge investment to make it happen.
Understanding your customers and developing products and services that meet their needs is irrefutably linked to financial profitability.
Additionally, integrating a business management platform that centralises your CRM, supply chain, HR, projects, finances and accounting gives your people a single data source for all things customer-related, making it easier to provide a more consistent experience.
Faster access to real-time, accurate business data helps speed up critical decision-making, like launching a new product or service.
Read how MYOB has been critical in helping iseekplant navigate the choppy waters of high-speed change:
Here are three reasons why your small business needs integration:
Large companies have the luxury of hiring more people when demand spikes, but your small business options are more limited.
Also, by connecting all your systems and automating workflows, your team will adapt to the peaks and troughs without being overwhelmed.
Dealing with increasing operational costs might be familiar territory, but you can control some of these costs with integrations.
For example, automated processes save labour costs by minimising duplication. You can leverage your teams’ valuable skills and add more business functions – without hiring more people.
Signing on a big client is something to celebrate, but it also comes with big expectations.
You’re likely one of many suppliers, so if you can’t keep up, you risk losing to the competition.
Finally, that’s where integrations will help your team respond faster to customer enquiries, showcasing your reliability and trustworthiness.
Any business can reap the benefits of integrated technology.
But with the right system, you’re set to scale as your business grows, with the support of a team just as passionate about your goals as you are.
We’re proud to announce that MYOB has successfully taken out Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customer – Small Business Accounting Software 2023 award.
Our small business accounting software scored five stars for overall satisfaction and five stars in each category — value for money, reporting, ease of use, design, functionality, ease of integration and customer service.
Our customers are our world. A big thanks to all our customers for your continued loyalty and support. Read more about the award here.