In this modern era of automation, almost every process is getting digital, automated, and cloud-based to reduce human error and maximize efficiency. Business enterprises are no exception.
Most enterprise solutions are going to a transition where all the vital data of that enterprise is kept safe on the clouds. And the business operation process is being automated.
The most prominent of these practices is named ERP integration. Many Enterprises are trying to adopt ERP integration to make their workflow smoother and less tedious.
In this article, I will talk about the details you should know about ERP integrations. After finishing the article, you will have a pretty solid idea about what an ERP integration is.
You will also gain insight into different ERP integration methods, ERP integration benefits, and more. So without any further due, let’s jump right into the topic.
What Is ERP Integration?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is software designed to simplify and centralize various business processes like purchasing, inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), and many more. ERP is not a single program but a combination of applications working together. ERP Works to manage the critical parts of any business from a common user interface.
ERP integration is the process of connecting and synchronizing your ERP software with other business applications that you are using. The main purpose behind ERP integration is to make sure that information is shared constantly through all the applications you are using and thus automating the workflows.
ERP systems help you to transform, integrate, and scale your business, while ERP integration will incorporate all of your data in one database that will allow you to manage your business more efficiently.
Why Is ERP Integration Important?
Running a business operating smoothly is no easy task. There are a bunch of works that need to be done to complete your tasks successfully. There are paper works, calculations, inventory management, database management, customer relationship, and many other works needed to be done to keep your operation going.
All of these processes are time-consuming and laborious. Shouldn’t there be a better way to do all those works without using up so much time and resources?
This is exactly why ERP integration is critical. ERP integration works to create a single source of truth for your business, and the benefits are outstanding. An integrated ERP solution will give you access to real-time reporting, increase your productivity, reduce operational costs, and improve business insights.
The bigger your company grows, the more workload you will have to face, and the more complicated it will be.
An integrated ERP solution can help you to maximize efficiency without increasing the level of complexity.
ERP Integration Methods
Now that we all have a solid idea about what an ERP integration is and its benefits let’s look at different ERP integration methods that you can use to boost your business’s productivity. Though there are a lot of ERP integration types available, we have narrowed them down depending on the level of connection they have. So let’s jump right in.
In a point-to-point integration, the ERP software will be individually connected to each software or tool you will be using.
This is a quick and effective method when your business uses a limited number of software or tools. This method also has a reasonably low barrier to entry. That’s why some companies, especially startups, prefer point-to-point integrations to run their operation.
However, there are some limitations in a point-to-point integration. As each software is individually connected to another software, the process becomes complicated as you use more and more software or tools.
Naturally, the more work you need to do, the more software/tools you will be using, and the number of connections will start piling up. So the bigger your operation becomes, managing all those point-to-point integrations becomes harder and harder.
Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)
Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is relatively new in the integration sector. ESB is an on-premise software architecture that enables different software or tools to communicate and share data. In this method, applications are connected by a “communication bus.” This method can handle data transmission, error controls, sequencing, and many more. ESB method helps to maintain the proper quality of communication between software.
In this method, the communication bus controls all the communication that is happening among the applications. The data comes onto the bus in a specific format, and there are adaptors that will translate the data into the required format. However, this method is ideal for vertical scaling but can’t scale horizontally. If you plan to integrate third-party software or use a SaaS solution, ESB might not be the best option for you.
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is the method for building and deploying integrations in the cloud. Like EBS, iPaaS doesn’t require any on-premise hardware or middleware. But it has the flexibility to sync apps faster and easier. As the solution is cheaper, this has become the ideal solution for many modern businesses.
The main benefit of having an iPaaS platform is that the structure requires no hardware or additional help up making the solution cost-effective. Usually, this kind of platform is user-friendly as it requires little to no coding. It is easily scalable and perfectly adaptable if you want to integrate a SaaS into your business operation.
Which Integration Method Should Your Business Use?
If you have read this far, It’s natural to ask yourself questions like which integration method is right for your business or how do you know if you should adopt the ERP solution or not. Well, to figure out the answer to that question, you need to find the answer to some more questions first. Depending on the answers, you may decide on the method that will work best for your business needs. So before getting on with the project, try to find out the answer to these questions given below:
- What technical resources are you using on your team?
- How will you maintain the integration strategy in the long term?
- How many custom integrations do you need?
- Do you need the system to scale vertically or horizontally?
- What are the training requirements for the chosen method?
- Will your business data be safe? If so, how?
Benefits of ERP Integration 50
ERP integration works to create a single source of data for your business. As we have discussed earlier, having all your data centralized is beneficial to boost efficiency. With the help of an ERP integration solution, all the data will be available to each team, reducing work dependency and making the workflow much smoother. It will also help facilitate business processes, reduce the time needed, minimize the risk of overlapping data, and save a lot of wasted efforts. Having an ERP solution integrated into your system will also provide you with a clean database.
ERP integration solutions automate the process of work that is time-consuming and laborious. ERP integrations can streamline processes across various departments reducing the amount of manual input required, which increases efficiency.
Automation also reduces dependency, so you will not need specialized IT staff for every workflow or system. It can also cut the operation, maintenance, and training costs by a large margin.
The more automated your business operation is, the smoother it will go and the less error you will face. Your staff will not be needing separate training for separate systems. Managing your business operation will become almost effortless.
ERP integration solution will also help to visualize the workflow that is going on with every step. You can check out the project your team is working on if all the data is visually centralized and ready.
The integration system will also allow the employee to access information on-demand to check crucial information like inventory, financial records, customer history, pricing and payment history, and many other details whenever they need it.
So, implementing ERP integrations will help you monitor your workflow in real-time. This will make your whole team more efficient and help you to make effective business decisions.
Reduction in Human Error
Not all the works need human touch when you have automation. As ERP integration will automate a wide range of processes on your business operation, most of your employees will have freedom from the tedious tasks that are highly prone to mistakes.
After integrating an ERP solution into your business, you see a dramatic change in manual data entry, order process, inventory management, product management, user data, and many more where human error is most likely to occur.
You will also notice the reduction in typos and wrong emails. If you reduce human error in your company, it will increase your efficiency and give you a competitive edge over other companies that are not using ERP integration.
More Time for Labor-intensive Projects
As most of your workers will be free from tedious and repetitive tasks, they will now have the freedom to invest their time where it is needed the most. Once the data starts flowing, your touch points will be minimal.
But there will still be some works that will be more labor-intensive and required human input.
By automating the tedious and repetitive tasks, your workers will be free to put their hands on new tasks where it matters.
They will have real-time access to critical information, increasing their decision-making skills and increasing overall efficiency. This way, you can also get rid of unnecessary human labor.
ERP integration can be incredibly beneficial to the overall productivity of your company.
The era of ERP integration is inevitable as more and more companies are transitioning into different ERP integration methods. However, every business has its unique set of requirements.
So it would be best if you were careful while choosing the best ERP integration solution for your business.
Try to compare different methods of ERP integration before making the final decision.
No more today, folks. We hope that this article may be helpful to those who are in need.
If you have any opinion/suggestion regarding this article, please let us know in the comments section below. Need support on your integration project? I will be happy to answer them.
Don’t forget to inform us about what you think the best advantage of an ERP integration is. I wish you all the very best of luck.