How Application Integration Improves Process Speed and Accuracy
If you run a large or mid-sized company, then you likely have multiple departments all working to execute your business goals. Some of the most common specializations a company may rely on in their day-to-day operations include departments such as marketing, accounting, customer service, engineering, human resources, and IT services. Each of these groups is responsible for an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to operating smoothly, and the fact that you run your business with such specialized groupings ultimately means that you have the best-suited employees in the positions they’re most likely to excel in.
However, just because a single department and its team members are doing well doesn’t mean that the overall health of your company is as good as it could be. In fact, you may find that it feels like as your company has grown, departments have become more like silos. This insular approach to working isn’t just bad for keeping team members on the same page; it also hurts your speed, efficiency, and accuracy. Here are a few different strategies to employ to address these kinds of issues, including instituting project managers and implementing application integrations.
Use application integration so no department is a silo.
One issue that frequently comes up from different departments having autonomy is the fact that they’ll choose the solutions that meet their needs best, rather than the system that appropriately addresses the majority of your company’s needs. For example, your customer service department or sales team may have a specific CRM system that they prefer to use because of the features it has. On the other end of the spectrum, your IT services or web developers may be using an e-commerce platform that doesn’t fully integrate with the CRM system. This is obviously an obstacle to more efficient workflows and can be further complicated if your marketing team’s email campaign manager doesn’t talk to either system.
Using different software packages doesn’t just contribute to more work for your employees as they have to export and import data multiple times in order to keep things up-to-date. It also introduces more opportunities for human error, as any single employee can forget to export a crucial column or even import the wrong list without realizing it. Application integration addresses these issues by leveraging APIs and event-driven architectures to get your different business processes to talk to each other. Every department is going to have its own preferences about what tools they use, so the next best thing to getting every department to use a single application is transforming your business processes and data integration using application integration.
Hire a project manager (or two) who can keep the macro goals in focus.
Just like it’s important that your software and data can talk to each other, it’s just as vital to ensure that your teams are working together and communicating effectively. This is where hiring a project manager can be incredibly beneficial, since it allows your teams to stay on track with their internal, and departmental goals, as well as address larger priorities your business, may have as well. Oftentimes, it’s whether these larger goals are met that can make or break a business, so it’s crucial to pay attention to them.
Project management is a serious specialization that requires specific training, so be sure to seek out a certified project manager as you’re looking to bolster your team’s speed and efficacy. Depending on the size of your business, you may need more than one project manager; however, as long as your project managers are communicating with each other to collectively update timelines and route deliverables on time, you’ll likely be able to function well.