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The Top 5 ERP System Integrations

Integrations are essential components of enterprise resource planning solutions (ERP).

ERP systems are broad. They are designed for running a business-end-to-end and encompassing all areas of operations including sales, production, financial management, human resources, and other parts of a business. The way that ERP addresses such a broad range of needs, including not only basic business functions but also industry-specific functionality, is through ERP system integrations.

ERP system integrations are foundational or industry-specific functionality that extends the core ERP software, enabling it to meet the specific needs of a business without the unnecessary bloat and complexity that would come from trying to include all possible functionality into a single software solution. A business starts with an ERP that has a clean core, and with the help of a knowledgeable consultant such as an SAP Gold Partner, this basic ERP system is extended to meet the highly specific needs and processes of the business.

Where ERP system integrations differ from a collection of best-of-breed software solutions is the level of integration. ERP system integrations are specifically designed to extend the core solution and tie directly into the system, enabling integrations with process automation and data sharing that act as if they were directly coded into the core system.


The Most Important ERP System Integrations

Since needs differ, there are hundreds of ERP system integrations that a business can choose from for creating a solution with the right industry-specific functionality.

However, some ERP system integrations are more foundational than others. As an SAP Gold partner who has been helping businesses with ERP for more than 30 years, here are what we consider five of the most important ERP system integrations worth considering.


1. Inventory Management Integration

Many businesses have some form of inventory, and one of the prime use cases for ERP is accurately tracking and managing this inventory. General inventory management or more specifically warehouse management functionality (WMS) brings accuracy and sophistication to this management.

With inventory management ERP system integrations, a business can see real-time stock levels, create accurate demand planning, track inventory throughout the business and its supply chain, and automate both reorder and pick and pack operations, among other benefits.


2. Manufacturing Operations Integration

SAP originally invented what is now known as ERP so manufacturers could streamline and automate manufacturing operations. ERP still serves as the backbone for production, and a manufacturing execution system (MES) integration connects shop floor personnel with equipment, apps, and sensors in real time for precision manufacturing.

By using manufacturing ERP system integrations, businesses improve manufacturing performance through deeper automation, better visibility and analytics, and the build-out of sustainable, risk-resilient manufacturing operations with a resource-efficient Industry 4.0 approach.


3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration

ERP solutions connect all the data within a company and make it both integrated and actionable. Customer data is a key piece of this mix, so directly integrating CRM through an ERP system integration increases the utility of both CRM and ERP.

ERP system integrations for CRM tie customer information directly to operational data for more complete customer service and support, automated invoicing and logistics, heightened marketing personalization, and better sales visibility. Integration between CRM and ERP helps businesses actually take advantage of the promises of CRM.


4. Human Resources Integration

The visibility that comes from linking human resource management with sales, financial, and operational data opens up new opportunities for evaluation, compensation, and employee management. Linking HR with ERP also helps automate many of the routine tasks that typically consume HR staff time, enabling greater focus on the core people management that is at the heart of HR.

With human resource ERP system integrations, businesses can automatically tie operational performance to specific employees, more precisely predict staffing needs and manage workforce planning, and automate evaluations, salary payouts and benefits. HR integration also helps with analyzing and streamlining human processes, and it increases the visibility, security, and traceability of HR data for better compliance.


5. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Integration

Not all systems will live within an ERP solution, even with ERP system integrations. There are e-commerce and marketing platform connections, supplier systems, payment systems point-of-sale (POS) solutions, and other software systems that necessarily will live outside a company’s ERP. But this data also should flow into and interact with a company’s ERP. For this, there is electronic data interchange (EDI) integration.

Robust ERP solutions such as SAP’s Business ByDesign and S/4 HANA Cloud Public Edition support EDI and make it easy for a business to tightly integrate third-party systems and best-of-breed software solutions with the company’s core ERP system. Where there is complexity or headaches from poorly designed third-party software, an SAP Gold Partner can help.

Through ERP system integrations with EDI, businesses can ensure that no system or piece of business data lives in a silo. By connecting all computer systems with ERP, a business gains a complete, real-time picture of operations and enables system-wide process automation.


Why ERP System Integrations Work Better with an SAP Gold Partner

While the concept of a clean core augmented with ERP system integrations reduces bloat, enables industry-specific functionality, and leads to an easier ERP rollout, it also introduces some challenges. Businesses must understand their needs for the system, select the right integrations, and know how to connect them. Businesses also must avoid the pull of feature creep, since an ERP can dazzle planners with the range of ways it potentially can help a business.

This is where an SAP Gold Partner comes in.

An SAP Gold Partner is an experienced ERP support partner who is certified to fully understand SAP’s ERP solutions and has a proven track record of success helping businesses with their ERP journey.

A good ERP support partner, epitomized by the SAP Gold Partner program, can help businesses understand the integrations needed for specific company goals and assist with rolling out these ERP system integrations in a timely, cost-effective manner. ERP is necessarily complex because it encompasses the full range of a company’s needs, but a competent ERP support partner can cut through this complexity and deliver solutions on time and under budget.

Learn more about ERP system integrations, or contact one of our experienced ERP consultants for help at (801) 642-0123 or by writing us at info@nbs-us.com.

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