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System Integration provides the largest return for the investment

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Even the best companies are challenged by systems and processes that don’t work together.  eChain Technology has focused on connecting businesses, systems and processes for over 15 years.  

Who hasn’t been to the doctor and find you are required to fill out 7 forms – and 90% of the information is the same on each form?  You have to enter the same information again and again.  Come back a year later and fill out the same forms again!  Insanity, right?

Frustration

Now imagine this is the frustration that you sales person has when entering lead information from lead system into the CRM system.  Or your accountant’s frustration at having to enter that information again into the accounting system once the sale is closed.  Then the manufacturing manager enters the sale information into the manufacturing execution system from a printed form (or email).  Then the shipping manager enters the shipping information into the FedEx terminal from another printed form.  You hope the shipment is delivered on time and without problem, because you don’t check again until the customer calls to complain.

Collaborative Planning (CPFR)

Would you like to know the stock levels available from your suppliers in real time?  What about their capacity to deliver critical products you suddenly need for that huge order?  How about amount of stock available in each distribution center in your sales channel – even though some of those DC’s are not owned by you and run on completely different systems. How about mobile alerts to your key team members when something goes wrong (or right?).  Would you like to know what items in your warehouse are expired (or expiring) in enough time to sell them at a discount?

These are just some of the problems that System Integration solves for many companies.

System Integration is the highest impact business investment

This is worth saying again.  System Integration provides the largest return for the investment.  In 20 years of consulting, I have had the pleasure of working with many companies on even many more challenges.  In most cases, companies already own the applications and solutions they need to solve their problems – no need to invest millions in new systems.  They just need to make the systems they already own work better.  In some cases, this simply requires enabling currently unused features.  However, in many cases, connecting existing systems to better support workflow solves the problems.

The amazing thing is, I have seen small companies hire 2-3 extra resources to perform the manual data entry and manual reporting/oversight that could have been fixed with less than $5,000 in integration work.  Large companies engage the entire accounting department for a month to accumulate financials across all locations and divisions when these numbers should be available the next day.  Companies lose 5-10% sales because they sell items they aren’t sure they actually have in stock.

These business challenges can be solved easily, quickly and with minimal risk with low cost. System Integration initiatives save companies millions, reduce employee frustration and redundancy, and better service their customers. Whether large or small, companies can achieve huge benefits from integration.

System Integration Examples

At eChain, we are experienced integrating many kinds of systems using many technologies.  Maybe these examples can help you understand what is possible.

  • Sales Leads to mobile contact lists.
  • Sales CRM integration to Google Tasks using Google API – Tasks and Lead Follow-ups become tasks on mobile devices
  • Sales Email Marketing to CRM – provides real-time sync of live leads (or blacklist contacts)
  • Sales Quote to Parcel or Freight Cost (Shipping API’s) to provide total order cost
  • Shipping rated against multiple carriers for every order to achieve lowest possible freight charges
  • Shipping status updates to a central order management system (from EDI or API)
  • RFID messages updated to inventory management system for real-time inventory updates
  • RFID messages translated to EDI
  • RFID messages into email or text alerts
  • Inventory sync across multiple DC’s
  • Asset inventory update using mobile device
  • Reporting Operational Metrics
  • Reporting Financial Metrics
  • Reporting Predictive Analytics