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5 Things to Know Before Starting an Integration Project

By Chain.io on April, 2 2021
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Chain.io

The Chain.io corporate account.

Embarking on an integration implementation can be daunting, especially when you have deadlines to meet and real problems to solve. Between data management and overseeing the project itself, you have a lot to manage and more to fix if you don’t start out with the best foundation. Here are the 5 things you need to know before starting an integration project:

 

Identify the "mission": What's the goal?

Whether you’re looking ahead and are proactively updating your business processes or have a specific problem you need solved, the first step to any integration project is identifying the business goal. 

Before starting any systems conversations, make sure you can articulate who you are helping by doing the integration and what benefit it is going to bring.

That being said, software integrations are customizable by design. The most common integrations are:

  • Connecting existing software programs in your internal systems
  • Connecting your internal systems to other SaaS platforms
  • Connecting to your customer’s legacy systems 

Once you’ve identified your goals, put a plan in place to achieve them. Partner with an integration specialist like Chain.io that works with your internal teams to ensure a seamless and efficient implementation. 

 

Freight digitization isn't "one size fits all"

Your goals are unique to your business and so should the solutions you implement. Out-of-the-box solutions don’t fully address the complexities of your business and in turn, leave gaps in your system. 

Once you've established your business goals, you should then look at industry best-practices and tweaking them to fit your company.  For example, you might receive orders from your customers, but handle them very differently if you're focusing on end-to-end PO management or if you're using them to initiate freight bookings.

Create a fully customized solution using Chain.io’s microservice architecture for a fully connected supply chain network. 

 

Reduce costs where you can

There’s no doubt that integration projects can be costly, and most of that cost comes from customization. Partner with an integration specialist like Chain.io that understands and advocates for the most cost-effective solutions to maximize your budget without sacrificing quality of service. 

Leveraging out of the box connections lets you build on top of the knowledge and hard work of the entire industry instead of building everything from the ground up.

 

Eliminate internal pushback by aligning your goals with your team

A huge obstacle that most business leaders fail to prioritize is the end-user experience. Your internal team is the most informative resource you have when planning your project. 

Connect with your internal team to understand their goals and what their experiences are  on a day-to-day basis. Reduce pushback by aligning their goals and feedback to the plan you relay to an integration team. Chain.io works with your IT, sales, and management teams to ensure an easy and adaptable solution that all users are happy with.

Most importantly, engage operations. Business leaders and IT teams are great at building fancy solutions, but they'll fall apart if your desk level users decide to work "around" the process once it's implemented.

 

Have your data in order to avoid lag time

“Dirty” - unorganized, cluttered, unstructured - data is dangerous when operating a business, but also to the success of an integration project. Ensuring your data is in order before you begin an integration implementation is integral. 

Digitization, if done strategically, can propel your business forward and “future-proof” your operations. Ensure a successful integration implementation with a partner like Chain.io that meets you where you are, manages every step of the process, and works closely with your internal teams. Contact us today to get started.

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