Custom Software Integration Challenges in the Manufacturing Ecosystem

Custom Software Integration Challenges in the Manufacturing Ecosystem

Custom Software Integration Challenges in the Manufacturing Ecosystem

Upgrading your software is often a huge challenge when running any business within the manufacturing industry. Businesses within manufacturing are often so specific that moving from one software package to another is often challenging. This results in many problems along the way, from loss of data to poor integration, leading to inefficiency as staff adjust to the new system(s) that have been put in place.

If you bring in a custom software system designed just for your business, it has to be aligned with what you already use. The integration process has to be sound. Bringing together disparate systems, though, is not easy. Adapting more modern software to legacy systems already in-place, too, can be challenging to say the least.

Even in a ground-up integration that completely replaces what you use already, issues like data migration and data security come to the forefront. These common challenges must be acknowledged. Ignoring them will lead to problems along the way. For seamless integration, it would be wise to focus on avoiding the problems listed below.

Problems When Integrating Custom Software In Manufacturing

Many issues can arise as you try to implement any new software system into your business. These issues can be diverse and varied, but they are almost always resolvable. The main challenges that you are likely to come across during your integration strategies, though, include:

Data migration

Data Migration

The first and most common issue with integrating new software is moving data over. For example, you might invest in a new inventory management system that helps your business manage stock better. Well, how do you bring over all of your old data? This can become a serious challenge.

That data, though, is vital. Not only is it the backbone of your business, but it will likely include data about your customers, partners, and suppliers. Safely migrating data should be one of your primary business requirements when implementing new software.

Losing that data or failing to integrate it into new software can lead to missing out on valuable insights that could take your business to the next level. Careful planning, though, can avoid this problem – at least to some extent.

Data migration is a huge issue in this field and should be a priority. The more successful your data migration, the more likely you will be to use that data to your benefit when informing future decisions.

Data Security

The same issue exists when moving data from one software to another; how do you make sure the data stays safe? Data security should be a priority in all of your business processes moving forward.

The credentials used to protect and encrypt data on one software solution might not be the same on your next software solution. As such, it is very important to ensure that whoever manages your software migration takes this into account. You need to make sure that they appreciate the importance of data security and that your data is brought over from solution A to solution B without anything being lost.

Most cloud-based integration platforms, in particular, make it easy to transfer data, though, so there is a positive aspect to that. For optimal performance, though, it might be best to migrate data over from a single source to avoid potential security risks.

Incorrect Automation

Most software integrations used today are designed with the idea of automating easy processes that are still essential to your day-to-day work. That is a common issue that many businesses face, and it could become more than a touch problematic if it is not dealt with and addressed accordingly.

Automation going wrong is one of the key challenges you are likely to face during implementation.

Making sure that your new software integration can utilise automation properly, using data from the correct sources, is a priority. Making sure that all new automation features work exactly as planned is going to be critical to avoiding headaches or relying upon automation informed by incorrect data.

Staff TrainingStaff Training

Another common issue that can derail your next software integration is how well-trained your staff are in its usage. Making sure that staff feel confident in using all of the systems that you have in place is going to be a make-or-break to your system’s success. Staff training, then, is a priority you should not ignore.

Staff training should be comprehensive, with staff given all the time they need to adapt to the new system. The more confident each member of your staff is, the easier they can work with each new tool. This can make their lives easier, but only when staff feel completely confident in the tool(s) they are using.

Seamless communication is going to be vital for effective integration. Your staff should be able to turn to troubleshooting and support solutions to help them better understand the challenges that they are likely to face. Software applications being implemented should come with the correct level of training to help support your staffs transition.

Do not ignore the importance of thorough staff training for any integrated software brought in-house. The sooner staff feel in control, the sooner you can avoid the common mistakes that harm efficiency.

Testing And Validation

Lastly, you might find that the testing process can be a time-consuming and challenging experience. All systems have to be completely compatible. Otherwise, they will work against each other rather than operating alongside one another. A lack of testing can be one of the most damaging mistakes you make.

Not only does this mean that robust security measures could be missed, but it might mean that certain forms of app integration have not worked as intended. Extensive testing and validation might be a draining process, but it is essential to reduce the risk of failure. Testing, then, should be part of all internal processes: do not rush this vital element.

For example, your inventory management suite has to work in perfect harmony with your customer support platform. Ensuring that everything interconnects and works as one is crucial to avoiding common issues that can slow down software integration.

Ensure that all testing and validation are done before any ‘grand opening’ takes place. Eliminating all potential hiccups before you move forward is essential to making the transition a success.

Looking To Integrate Software Into Your Manufacturing Business?

If you are having a hard time making sure that your new software solutions integrate with what you have, contact BlueHub. We have years of experience dealing with such issues and improving your manufacturing business by ensuring any software solutions you need are integrated into what you already have in place.

This results in an easier transition period, allowing your business to avoid the common obstacles listed above. If you want to ensure your new software integration goes smoothly, reach out to us for advice today. The sooner we start, the sooner you can look forward to results that make a difference.