It seems that today we have information sent to us from multiple sources in various formats. We have emails, alerts for things we have to do, 24 hour newsfeeds, social media updates……..

The list is endless. All of these information feeds are directed at us for both work and business functions.

In a business environment, it is not only the information being sent to us in itself or the sources, it is also that this information can be located in different systems that don’t interact with each other. In that scenario it is often the case that data then needs to be re-keyed from one system to another. This manual step is open to error and duplication and also slows down some key processes.

Data integrity is crucial for any business process. Integrated business systems ensure your staff have access to the right information, where and when required to increase profitability.

I have long advocated in this blog that marketing, sales and finance functions should all be integrated in one system that is accessible by all of those job functions. Accessing these systems on cloud solutions makes full integration of these function possible. However, there are other areas that would benefit from this level of integration. Take for example, two key areas of many businesses. One of which is capturing data from an e-commerce website and the other is tracking warranties, servicing and repairs. Let’s have a look at each of these.

E-Commerce Integration:

For an e-commerce website to work efficiently, there are certain details that need to be updated instantly, such as inventory, pricing, customer details and fulfilment information. How do you get that to link to your CRM and finance system? This could be processed manually and the information taken from your site and keyed into your other business systems. This is time consuming and sometimes leads to errors in the data entry. However, there is a way to speed up this process by integrating your system and website with a data exchange tool. This way information on orders placed on your website are automatically transferred to your CRM / Finance system with no manual intervention. Reducing errors of manual data entry and saving valuable time.

Warranty, Service & Repair Tracking:

Another scenario I can think that would benefit from further integration of systems is that of tracking warranties, servicing and repair. Often this information is tracked in a system. Integrating this with your CRM would be a major benefit. You can then easily track what products are under warranty and with whom. You can also then track when a particular product has been returned for repair and when a service contract renewal is due. Again, tracking all of this data for your customers in one location.

For a business to be successful, it is important to get the basics right. Accurate data is a good starting point and integrated systems facilitate accurate data.