Businesses that want to grow and achieve more will no doubt undertake some form of integration; whether it be systems, geographical locations or processes – usually all three elements will need to come together for a truly successful transformation.
But many companies fear the unknown and expect a troublesome period while they integrate their subsidiaries or new partner companies; sometimes the fear alone puts companies off from integrating at all. So, in this post, we look at the reasons behind business process integration, the benefits, and how easy it really is to achieve.
How can effective business process integration positively impact the various areas of your business?
Supply chain managementManage stock and supplies across all subsidiaries and optimise stock and available to promise levels
Customer relationship managementCentralised CRM and customer engagement processes to create a unified brand experience for your customers
Business intelligenceFind patterns from existing data within company-wide, as well as other types of applications to gain deeper insights into company performance as a whole
What happens if little, or no, subsidiary integration occurs?
This means that typically the subsidiaries are not communicating with each other and also each individual business unit has different ways of communicating with HQ – this could mean variances in reporting structure, data sources, forecasting, human resources and purchasing.
This often leads to islands of automation, where several different processes are being followed but are not streamlined, or information silos, resulting in duplication of data input and analysis. This lack of communication can lead to major inefficiencies, and less than optimal ways of doing business. In severe cases, this lack of streamlining and cross-communication might also prevent company growth, create cash flow issues and have a negative impact on turnover and business development.
What happens if a company continues to grow without integrating its systems?
As a company expands across the globe, the cost of maintaining non-integrated solutions rises and processes become increasingly difficult to manage. Whilst growing companies may not have the financial resources to integrate their subsidiaries in the early days, this lack of investment can become a major headache and often becomes even more costly to integrate at a later time.
How does SAP Business One help SMEs to integrate their systems and processes?
By using SAP Business One as part of a multi-tier software strategy, companies can integrate their subsidiaries within the main enterprise, from finances and admin to sales and customer support.
As the company grows, it becomes easy to add in more offices, subsidiaries and locations to the well-oiled integrated machine. SAP Business One provides the corporate standardisation and control, as well as industry best practice, to get these offices up and running quickly onto a cohesive, business-wide platform.
There are currently over 350 large enterprises running SAP Business One in 2,000+ subsidiaries in over 100 countries worldwide. Each of these large enterprises no doubt started out as a small company with big plans for growth, knowing that integration would be a key enabler to this.
What are the business benefits SMEs can expect from SAP Business One integration?
- Automated, flexible, and integrated business processes that span applications (including those outside of SAP)
- Higher levels of efficiency, and responsiveness
- Support for evolving business requirements with robust process modelling tools, standards, and best practices – bringing together the business and IT functions
- Faster access to company data information from any device or environment – with people-centric applications
- Improved process lifecycles, from design and deployment to analysis and governance
- Enhanced data modelling and metadata management techniques
- Accelerated solution deployment, streamlined operations, and continuous process improvement
- Standardisation and unification of business processes with the subsidiaries
- Centralised control of subsidiary interactions
- A single solution for all subsidiaries
- Subsidiary independence with the ability to leverage parent company processes
- Sophisticated and streamlined reporting structure to HQ
- Integration of global operations, results and forecasts from remote locations
- Access data directly from the subsidiary without administrative delays
- Manage intercompany transactions by automatically replicating corresponding transactions across the databases
- Reduce end user effort and manual rekeying of data to maintain intercompany trading financial statements
- Generate consolidated financial statements (balance sheet, profit and loss etc.)
- Access G/L allocation for expenses and incomes
- Gain control with Business Transaction Notifications (Alerts)
Want to learn more about how other companies are enjoying the benefits of business integration? Read these case studies:
Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.