Although digital transformation is a key priority for many enterprises, often the strategy will miss the importance of enterprise Integration as it’s de-prioritised or overshadowed by the next shiny piece of tech. Integration is fundamental in ensuring businesses can use, collate and share data effectively across on-prem, cloud, multi-cloud and hybrid environments. An absence of integration, or a poorly implemented Integration strategy, can lead to profit loss, disgruntled customers, and inefficient order processing.
Last month we shared the top 10 business opportunities that open up when you adopt an integration-first strategy. This month we’ll cover some of the real-world business and supply chain problems that an “Integration-first” strategy solves.
Although Integration can seem invisible, it’s the foundation of efficient and scalable business. Like any home, if your pipes aren’t connected properly – you’ll spring a leak!
So, what are the real world problems that Integration solves?
#1 – Your supply chain is broken – disparate data and applications preventing a successful supply chain process
We work with many businesses with broken supply chains, meaning, their internal software and systems don’t talk to each other in a seamless, automated fashion. It’s not uncommon to hear stories about a lack of fulfillment on customer orders due to a chink in the chain. For example, changes in one system that aren’t anticipated in another can mean orders aren’t being shipped to the end customer. When this happens at scale, the business could lose profit, customers and reputation.
One of Australia’s largest food logistics companies came to IntegrationWorks to re-architect their point-to-point connections to modern protocols (i.e. RESTful APIs and Web Services) in order to provide delivery automation and effective operational management. The result was a completely streamlined, end -to-end process, from customer order to shipment.
#2 – Your customer experience is clunky – multiple interfaces, errors and fulfillment issues
It’s becoming more and more important to prioritise the complete customer view and user experience, to put yourself in the shoes of the customer in terms of how their ordering to fulfillment process works.
When it comes to logistics and supply chain, the customer experience typically looks like a mish mash of paper-based ordering forms or a collection of disparate systems. These days, Integration can completely unlock an online end-to-end user experience with best of breed technologies, even for the most archaic of customers.
Effective enterprise Integration will re-design the process from the beginning and digitise it, methodically structuring your tech with careful consideration for SLA requirements and best practices across a myriad of data points. Integration, when done right, can dramatically improve time to order processing and the overall customer experience. When dealing with large logistics companies, with thousands upon thousands of orders, a negative, slow or clunky customer experience could cost your business millions.
At IntegrationWorks, we love working with local businesses. When we can sit together and map out the real human experience and ideal internal and customer-facing processes, we’re able to re-architect systems that have been in place for decades and because we’re technology vendor agnostic, we’re able to identify and implement the best interface technologies that exist. The more we can help our clients in making their customers happy, the better the experience will be at every layer of the supply chain.
#3 – You’ve stopped competing with the market – IT modernisation & digital transformation has stalled
97% of businesses are undergoing, or planning to undergo, digital transformation, and yet 84% of IT leaders say integration challenges are holding them back. Traditional Integration isn’t enough to stay competitive anymore, many logistics and manufacturing companies are being forced to innovate in ways they’ve never considered and what was once a simple supply chain process can become tainted with complexity with the more backend systems and protocols you add in. In order to modernise your IT environment and transactional processes, evolved Integration strategies need to be factored in from the start. The more you intend to increase automation and implement systems, the more important Integration becomes.
It’s not that effective enterprise-grade Integration is easy, it’s highly complex, as the average business transaction now crosses 35 different back-end systems and is generating more data than ever before. However, when you employ Integration experts with a core focus and diverse skill set in Integration, what is rather complex can become simple and manageable. This empowers the IT team with the necessary foundation to enable digital transformation and modernisation.
We employ the best in integration Architecture experts and DevOps teams who believe connected technology is fundamental to high performing organisations. Paired with our range of world-class integration platform partners, including AWS, Azure, Kong, GCP, Mulesoft and WS02, our experts work closely with our clients to align emerging technologies with reliable and proven best integration practices.
With offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, our local teams can help you with:
- Integration Maturity Assessments, Microservices Strategy, API Strategy and Integration Planning;
- Integration and Cloud Technology Selection and Procurement,
- Integration Architecture and Engineering Services to connect Apps, Data, Legacy, IoT, Cloud, On-Premise and Multi-Cloud;
- Integrating for Speed, Scale and Velocity with Automation-First Integration Containerisation & DevOps; and
- Integration Support and Managed Services for future-proofed integration resiliency.
Are you based in NSW? We’re attending the Digital Supply Chain Summit in Sydney on June 14th,
Learn more about our services here.