ERP Integration Plays Vital Part in Supply Chain Process Optimization

Michael Clark
Tue, Apr 4, 2017
ERP integration is a central component of process optimization.
ERP integration is a central component of process optimization.

Establishing cohesive workflows between departments has always been a challenge in the supply chain, but it has only gotten more complex as organizations become dependent on disparate technologies to get the job done. Having a single enterprise resource planning system isn't even a solution here, as the diversity within the ERP sector creates a situation in which getting data out to end users in line with day-to-day processes is, by no means, simple.

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ERP Complexity Drives Data Integration Challenges

Moving data housed in an ERP out to relevant parties using specialized apps and services, or simply those using mobile devices, is a common issue throughout the supply chain. This issue is even furthered as more companies turn to hybrid ERP architectures. A CIO magazine report pointed out that hybrid ERP systems that leverage a combination of cloud and on-premise assets are rising. As hybridized ERP systems emerge, businesses are facing mounting pressure to get more strategic and intentional about how they deploy services and establish data workflows.

ERP integration is vital as organizations become dependent on hybrid ERP setups, specialized warehouse apps, customer relationship management systems, dedicated human resources solutions and even accounting systems. While ERP systems may provide some cross-departmental data communication, integration is necessary to automatically move data between disparate systems and is critical as organizations deal with increasingly complex ERP environments.

Using Data Integration to Drive Supply Chain Efficiency

As so many stakeholders influence the supply chain, getting data out to different user groups becomes essential. A BizCommunity report explained that ERP integration is emerging as a critical differentiator for organizations working to drive efficiency gains through the supply chain. Delivering data across business silos enables supply chain stakeholders to take advantage of real-time reporting. They can quickly adjust supply chain strategies in light of specific operational demands and gain a greater degree of control over fiscal decisions. 

Automating data workflows between departments can fuel efficiency by giving users in different teams coordinated data. Extending this information out to mobile devices ensures they can get to that data when and where they need it. All of this automated data collection and distribution from diverse systems, including the ERP, flattens knowledge sharing within the business. Instead of having barcode scans isolated to warehouse users, for example, that information gets to the ERP, allowing managers back in the office to access the information they need. Automated data collection and distribution plays a central role in supply chain productivity, and ERP integration is central to this process.

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