Strategic Integration: 10 Business-Building Tips
Ten ways that companies can use integration and integration-related strategies to build business.
We often talk about the costs of integration in a limited way. It's either something that needs to be controlled - as in, how can you get the costs of integration down? - or it's seen as something that enables something else - like BI or CRM reporting - in a way that can lead to either cost savings or revenue growth. But integration can also save organizations money in and of itself.
Manufacturing Business Technology recently ran a mini case study on how the world's largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment - Briggs & Stratton - saved money by integrating the systems that manage labor costs and all of its work force management.
The company used a work force management solution - sold by Kronos Inc. - to integrate all work force management tasks such as timekeeping, absenteeism and scheduling. These tasks were then integrated with payroll, finance and the company's ERP.
Small issues like this added up over the first year, generating a substantial savings in overtime that gave Briggs & Stratton a quick return on investment for integrating its systems. Of course, the rounding is just one example - integration of the work force systems also allowed the company to allocate temporary staff on a weekly basis, standardize reasons for absence, and even determine when vendor errors caused increased labor time so they could charge back that time to the responsible vendor.
It's a bit unnerving, really, to see how much insight into work and productivity the integration gave the company. But it also helped with ensuring they were in strict compliance with federal, state and local labor laws.
So, it's a nice integration success story that's well worth a quick read.