We recently wrote a recommendation for a software system for one of our longstanding clients. Although there was no mention of integration with our system we found ourselves looking at the system’s ability to integrate. This is a major purchase for the client, and they know we’ve done and seen a lot of software. Eventually, they will want to use the software to share and gather data from other systems like ours. It just makes sense.
Let’s look at this scenario…a technician purchases materials to complete a work order. The technician completes the work order and enters the purchase information into the CMMS.
…data accuracy. It makes sense to enter the data in your system of record and just share it. If you review the work order and then have to also enter that data into the accounting system you just doubled the chances of a data entry error.
…efficiency. Entering the data a second time into the accounting system doubles the labor involved in reporting the purchase.
…timeliness. An integration can update at regular intervals. A mass data dump is much faster than a manual entry process and ensures the data is entered in all systems in a timely fashion and contains exactly the same information. Integrations don’t take vacations, call in sick or get behind schedule. They just happen.
…communication. Each department has “their system”. Maintenance has a CMMS. Accounting has a financial management system. Let the two software systems talk to each other and your techs can automagically get their pay raises reflected as labor rates in the CMMS as soon as accounting updates it.
You’ve heard the old saying time is money. It’s true. If you’re spending time entering data that has already been entered somewhere else then you’re not doing other tasks that should be done. In an environment where getting more done with fewer resources is an important part of doing business, integration makes even more sense.
This is just one example. We can go on all day about the benefits of integrating with a building automation system, single sign on systems, and any other type of system you can imagine. If you have data that is important to someone else or if they have data that is important to you, consider integration. It allows each of you to get the data from a familiar system and in a familiar format, while minimizing the risk of entry errors and lowering the resource cost of entering the data. This help you save time, gather better information, make better decisions and save money!