To illustrate why, let’s think through a scenario.
You’re a growing business. You’ve got out of the crazy initial startup phase and are beginning to feel established. But it still seems like you’re winging it most days. You haven’t really thought much about processes and how to make sure everything runs smoothly. It usually does, but you know there have been some close calls.
You signed up for Salesforce a year ago and you’ve found it really useful. And you recently invested in Microsoft Dynamics ERP too. Between them, you know you have most of the information you need in your business.
But, you’re still winging it little when it comes to handling data. So, sometimes, you need to copy some information that’s in Salesforce into your ERP. While you’ve only got a few staff, the people that use the ERP day-to-day aren’t the same as the people who use Salesforce. You know how to use both systems, but you can’t say everyone in your team does.
Everyone wings it when they start out, but as you begin to handle more and more data, it makes sense to invest in systems that help you manage that data effectively and securely.
Fortunately, there a few good data integration tools such as Rapidi Online that will help you do that and more:
1. Save you time and money
Businesses like the one in our scenario often feel that getting systems set up is a time sucker. It can take some time initially, but you’ll soon earn that time back. If you’re spending time manually copying data between systems, or asking other people to find something out for you, that’s time you could be spending following up leads or meeting clients.
And what if you make a mistake? It’s pretty much inevitable that you will. Manual data copying will always lead to mistakes because people make mistakes. How much time might it cost you to sort them out?
Imagine that, say, you get two customers mixed up as a result of a mistake made in copying data. That’s going to take a fair bit of time to deal with (not to mention, embarrassment and very likely lost revenue). Data integration means you can’t make these kinds of mistakes.
You’ll also save time on training. Businesses that don’t use data integration often end up training at least some people on two different systems. Data integration means that everyone can access what they need from a single system, eliminating that training time and cost.
2. Help you make better predictions for the future
Businesses rely on data to understand where they are now and where they’re going. Data integration means your business has reliable, accurate data available within a few clicks, any time you need it. That makes preparing monthly and annual reports much easier, and it makes it simpler to spot trends and develop solutions if you think things aren’t going as you’d like them to.
Isn’t data integration just for big corporates?
Not at all. Big companies can and do spend lots of money on large-scale, complex integrations, but you don’t have to. Particularly for CRM-ERP integrations, there are a range of useful tools out there (see infographic below).
Any growing business with more than a couple of people on board should be thinking about data integration.