Modern organizations often rely on multiple specialized systems, each acting as the single source of truth for that aspect of the business. There may be a financial system of record, such as SAP. There could be an inventory system of record, like Oracle. And for the lucky ones (!) there might be a parcel shipping system of record, like Logistyx TME. However, while each of these solutions introduces myriad benefits into an organization, the truth is that they can also create silos of their own.
Enter: system integrations. When solution providers partner in a thoughtful way to integrate their systems, organizations can create an ecosystem – connecting and uniting technology and teams across the organization and optimizing performance, no matter the department or role.
Sync your Parcel Shipping Technology with your Enterprise Tools and Systems
Integrating a transportation management system for parcel shipping with other business systems of record can yield four key benefits:
1. Change Readiness
Responsiveness is a critical ingredient in the recipe for business success. As industries change, organizations must be able to rapidly pivot – whether it’s a new product on the market or changes in customer behavior. And let’s face it: when it comes to parcel shipping, changes in customer behavior are occurring daily. Suddenly, customers want their products next day. Or same day. Or delivered to a local retailer. Or delivered to a local parcel locker. When your parcel shipping technology is integrated to other systems of record, such as a Warehouse Management System (WMS) or Order Management System (OMS), you enhance the flow of products both within and without your facilities, turning operations toward omnichannel success and future proofing your organization against additional changes to come.
Integrating systems can also help an organization respond to internal changes. When all business functions take a holistic view of data, decision-makers can identify trends and areas for improvement. These can then be addressed proactively, rather than when problems occur.
2. Data Accuracy
Duplicating data in several systems or relying on manual data sharing will decrease data accuracy and consistency and increase the amount of time and effort your teams are spending on reconciling datasets. Ultimately, disconnected data negatively impacts strategic decisions and often causes cross-departmental confusion. For example, if your parcel shipping system isn’t integrated with your financial system, does your Finance team know whether a carrier invoice is accurate? And how long does it take them to track down payment approval from the parcel shipping team? Or do they simply pay the invoice, in which case: how much money are they losing in doing so?
By integrating systems, organizational processes become transparent. Cross-departmental teams suddenly have the flexibility to use the same data in whatever system, which in turn gives them the opportunity to better understand the information and make more thoughtful decisions.
Integrated systems also make it easy to keep information up to date. One input can propagate across all solutions, keeping your data current. In fact, your data can even be real-time if a cloud solution is part of the integration strategy.
3. Increased Sales
Integrated systems can have a huge impact on overall sales, especially for the retail industry. Data connectivity across multiple departments is a great way to boost results for:
- Customers – running an online store requires retailers to give customers constant access to most data. It enables them to see whether the product they want is available to purchase and from where, how soon they can receive it, and how much it will cost to ship.
- Employees – A regular data flow between carrier “subsystems” and a parcel shipping system, for example, enables customer service employees to immediately address all customer inquiries regarding shipment status without manually searching for data in every carrier “subsystem.” Not only does this increase the employees’ job satisfaction, but it also limits the need for new hires. Organizations can finally work on the quality of the customer service team and not on its size. They can also free their customer service teams to focus on more important and challenging tasks that help the organization grow and evolve.
4. IT Cost Reduction
Companies with siloed systems may incur duplicate costs, including capital costs for software and hardware, IT management and maintenance for multiple applications, and upgrade costs. Translation: IT spends the majority of their budget and their time maintaining existing legacy systems rather than increasing the business’s productivity. However, when companies leverage a parcel shipping system that is a certified partner with preferred carriers, for example, IT no longer has to implement and maintain multiple system integrations – significantly reducing operational costs and maintenance efforts. Suddenly, IT has the bandwidth and budget to improve business operations and help the company grow.
Continually Make Progress
Integrating systems is a great way for businesses to make progress and remain competitive.
- Organizations can swiftly react to a dynamic business climate, thereby improving customer satisfaction and gaining a competitive advantage.
- Organizations can capture accurate data in real time, analyze performance, and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Systems integration can meet customers’ needs and handle business processes better.
- By reducing IT costs, organizations can devote more of their scarce IT resources to delivering greater business value.
To learn more about why systems integration is a “must have” feature of your Transportation Management System for parcel shipping, download the e-book: Quick Guide: Critical Capabilities of a TMS for Parcel Shipping.