Strategic Integration: 10 Business-Building Tips - Slide 9

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One way to make sure you're helping the business is to ask the right questions. Mark Denchy, director of product management at data-integration company EXTOL International, offered this list of questions in an August DM Review article to help you justify the cost of an integration project – but you could just as easily use these questions to pinpoint how you can better serve the business: Are orders being held up? When will my order be shipped? What demand can we expect from our product? Are there any unusual spikes or dips in sales volume? Where is my order? When will more product be available? What’s going on (financially)?

Given the recession, it's a safe bet that the focus will be on cost cutting for some time to come. But the smart money will also be on creating more business value with what remains.

To do that, you're going to need to think strategically, even when you are dealing with integration. That can be a bit tricky, since integration is often treated as a “have to do” on the road to accomplishing something else.

But integration can be very strategic. To prove it, Loraine Lawson has compiled 10 ways that companies can use integration and integration-related strategies to build business, squeeze more business value out of existing systems, and solve pressing business challenges.

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