How systems integration can boost value creation
Integration platform, Boomi, helped a supplier realise its potential to set up its e-commerce system.
Native Union, a tech accessory supplier, runs 10 applications in their operations that are not connected, resulting in duplication of work across its different teams. Employees had to manually transfer data from the app where they receive orders to a spreadsheet and then send it to their warehouse.
These manual processes were eliminated when Boomi came into the picture and integrated all the 10 applications Native Union was using.
“[Native Union] spent 90% of their time in manual processes. If you’re trying to sell your products through Apple stores or electronic retailers, spending that amount of time on manual work just doesn’t make sense,” Boomi’s Director of Solution Consulting, David Irecki, told Manufacturing Asia at the sidelines of the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (ITAP) 2022.
By integrating their systems and automating their processes, Irecki said Native Union also realised its potential to set up an e-commerce system.
“Now, rather than having to survive from just other retailers selling their products, they can set up their website, and have people purchase there,” Irecki said.
Overall, integration helps organisations understand their data and use them in a way that provides value for their businesses, according to Irecki.
“Businesses can act upon data, analyse it, and do whatever they need to make informed decisions going forward,” he added.
In an integrated system, the marketing department can have access to data available from sales such as how many products are being purchased in a particular platform.
“They can decide whether to do a marketing campaign [based] on that [data],” he said.
In a case of a fast food retailer, they can easily decide whether to put products on sale by identifying their expiry dates.
Sharing data externally
Once data is integrated within organisations, it is also important for them to share these externally to help develop a more resilient supply chain.
“You’ve got to share information about your product…Having a workflow engine that enables you to provide steps where if there is a fault on the manufacturing line, others will know who to get in touch with or who they need to go through for approvals,” he said.
Boomi also uses data gathered from previous clients to help new ones integrate their systems based on their needs.
“If you’re coming in as customer number 20,000, somebody has done exactly what you want to do before. Why start from scratch? Why reinvent the wheel? Why not leverage what other Boomi users have done before,” Irecki said.
“We facilitate a number of different functions in our product that allows organisations to leverage what others have done,” he added.
Cutting costs with cloud
Apart from helping mitigate supply chain issues, organisations that have moved to integrate their systems through the cloud are also able to save costs, especially in the face of labour shortage.
“With a lot of traditional technologies on-premise, you will need a special skill set or specialist developers which you can’t get today due to changes in the labour forces,” Irecki said.
“To have a tool that a subject matter expert on a specific product or application can use rather than having to use the developer, that’s a big thing,” he added.
Irecki said Ampol, an Australian fuel and convenience retailer, is amongst its clients who were able cut their costs following integration. The retailer was able to reduce 30% of its maintenance cost.
“Cloud technologies are becoming more and more the norm around the world and there's good reason for it. You don’t have to worry about installing software on-premise, or having a large development team,” he added.
Irecki said it is no longer a question of whether businesses need to adopt smart technologies like the cloud these days because there’s a need for it.
“The question is, how do we do it? What is the best way? Where do we start?” he said.