As the world changes, legacy systems have come under fire. They are inefficient, beset with security and compliance vulnerabilities, and incompatible with new SaaS solutions. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, manufacturers must focus on supply chain resiliency and agility. Today, more than ever, transparency must prevail. Yet, over 75% of decision-makers say that critical data is being held hostage by legacy systems. As industry challenges increase, enterprise application integration may be a game-changer.
But, what is enterprise application integration (EAI)? In a nutshell, EAI enables organizations to connect applications and streamline the sharing of information. In essence, EAI ensures that changes made in one application are reflected across all applications. This results in synchronized databases and increased agility in business operations.
In many legacy environments, data sharing is burdensome and tedious. Yet, our collective thirst for data continues. Research shows that app adoption is on the rise. The use of software apps increased by 68% over the past four years. Today, each company uses an average of 129 apps, while 10% of companies leverage more than 200 apps for daily operations. Due to siloed applications, companies rely on manual cut-and-pass processes to move data from one app to another.
As a result, critical data is corrupted, and errors can be replicated throughout the entire system. With EAI, data is automatically shared among all applications, reducing opportunities for human error.
Consider this scenario: What if employees didn’t have to spend hours “fixing” manually collected data? Instead of focusing on the time-consuming task of reconciling data from disparate systems, employees can spend time analyzing the data instead. With simplified workflows, employees can focus on gaining insights from data to make informed operational decisions.
All things considered, simplified workflows enable users to see real-time changes in the supply chain. Subsequently, suppliers and manufacturers can make data-driven decisions to ensure supply chain efficiency. Basically, the simplified workflows make it easier to identify possible disruptions before they become logistical nightmares.
If nothing else, 2020 has demonstrated how quickly things can change. Whether working remotely or on a factory floor, teams must adjust quickly and make informed decisions. To meet fluctuating consumer demand, agile practices are needed.
To put it simply, adjusting to delays in the supply chain is critical. When employees can’t compensate for delays in supply delivery, production comes to a standstill. At an estimated loss of over $250,000 per hour of downtime, even the slightest delay can exert a downward trend on revenues. That’s where enterprise application integration comes in. Agile manufacturing execution systems (MES) that integrate operational applications allow companies to realize continuous improvement, meet quality standards, and stay abreast of market demands.
Enterprise Application Integration Presents New Possibilities
As the economic landscape continues to evolve, manufacturers must be positioned to capitalize on new opportunities. According to McKinsey, digital transformation is critical to agile manufacturing during an economic downturn. And, in light of COVID-19, agility is synonymous with integration.
In essence, enterprise application integration offers new possibilities in an increasingly competitive global market. And, in light of Industry 4.0, the integration of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and manufacturing execution systems (MES) will facilitate greater responsiveness to changing consumer demands.
To learn more about modernizing your existing applications or developing new ones, contact Entrance Consulting, where we tailor our services to meet your needs. Above all, if you’d like to shorten product life cycles, secure your supply chain, and respond faster to market changes, you may find our expertise in enterprise application integration useful.