Benefits of Integration
What you Should Know about Integrated Systems
Every multi-discipline business struggles with decisions as to the best business system to manage its on-going operations. Proper planning of an integrated business management software system takes a lot of commitment, information and knowledge; and often takes a back seat to short-term remedial plans or goals. As a consequence, various disparate applications are installed at different points in time in various functional areas, resulting in business process inefficiencies and software integration challenges. We look here at how these situations arise and what can be done to avoid them.
A Typical Siloed Business System
Businesses that evolve their systems over time by adding stand-alone software and/or infrastructure as needed (or "siloed" system) can find themselves with a poorly planned architecture that may appear to handle short-term tactical needs but is really holding the enterprise back from scaling efficiently over the long term to meet internal and guest-focused external growth and scale needs. Over time, siloed business software systems inhibit flexibility, productivity, and ultimately slow down the company's ability to grow and serve its customers adequately.
Business Challenges Caused by Disparate Software Systems
When companies evolve to encompass several siloed applications within their management processes, there are many business challenges that arise. These challenges can become so severe that they can negatively impact operations, business growth, create employee and customer frustration, and generally lead the business in a downward spiral. Some of the issues to consider:
Wasted Employee Productivity: If your employees are bogged down with inefficient and disjointed processes, it increases errors and takes time away from their more important core duties. Important processes usually take a lot longer to get completed, and may often be erroneous, employees must resort to sifting through mounds of data to fulfill processes. Impact on your customers is just as severe, and may be even more damaging - resulting in potential loss of revenue. Such labor-intensive and manual tasks reduce the agility that your company needs to grow.
Lack of Real-time Visibility: : When software systems are not integrated, you have multiple overlapping databases, and cannot easily get a view of business performance in a timely fashion. Consequently, businesses either end up making critical decisions, based on inaccurate information, or they make hasty and risky decisions off of gut instinct.
Integration Complexity and Cost: With so many disparate applications, an enormous amount of time and money is wasted on integrating, maintaining, and acquiring new versions of these applications.
Increased Customer Churn: Guest and customer acquisition and revenue growth are key pillars to your organization's continued success. With fierce competition, it is essential that your property provide an exceptional guest experience or risk having them take their business elsewhere. When your staff is unable to service your guest, or your customers are not able to service themselves - as they expect in today's world; they will be less satisfied and less likely to continue supporting your business. An integrated software system ensures that your guests, staff and management have the information they need when they need it.
Advantages of Integrated Software Applications
The advantages of designing your business software applications around a single, integrated database and business process yield tremendous cost savings and improved business productivity, including:
Process Efficiency Across Your Organization: Automating business processes enables you to keep staff count at optimum levels and redeploy staff to higher-value activities to help your business innovate and grow. ROI studies have consistently shown that by using an integrated software suite, companies, for example, accelerated their end-of-cycle financial close times by up to 50%, increase sales productivity by over 10%, and increase inventory turns by 50%, amongst other efficiencies.
Dramatically Improved Visibility: Real-time visibility is important in making timely informed decisions. When information can be accessed instantly from almost anywhere, without wasting resources on data extraction and tying data from different sources together, employees are better informed and can make more accurate, faster decisions.
Significant IT Time and Cost Savings: With IT no longer having to procure, install, and maintain multiple systems as well as the various integrations between them, a significant reduction in operational costs can be realized.
Accelerated growth: With an integrated software system, expansion to multiple locations and bringing on additional services or sites can be accomplished a lot faster and without disruption to the business., Organizations can also up-sell and cross-sell more efficiently to their existing customer base because of the improved visibility they obtain. .
User-Driven Innovation: Because process changes can be implemented quickly, everyday business users are able to apply their functional expertise to tailor processes and applications in a way that improves performance.
Today, hospitality and resort entities are increasingly using sophisticated business software to drive their businesses and provide on-premise and mobile conveniences to their guests, customers and staff. Integrated business software suites are transforming how companies run, and enabling them to transcend operating pains that previously were holding them back from taking their guest-centric businesses to the next level of service offering and profitability.