October 6, 2022

No Business Can Serve Two Masters, but Your Business Data Can

Data is the lifeblood of your business. You need insights from the numbers to make the critical management decisions a business needs to compete, grow and scale. You also need business data across operations from sales to accounting and more.

But what happens when you need data in multiple areas and departments? In that case, you must enter the same data into two or more software systems for business operations to run effectively. But without suitable systems and software, the result (unfortunately) can cause excessive data entry, errors, and discrepancies.

That’s because the business data doesn’t integrate across multiple software programs. This “not talking with each other” dynamic often leads to inaccuracies and errors. Fortunately, there is a better way. A more efficient way.

The Best Way Multiple Data Systems Can Serve One Master: Your Business

The easy answer: deploy software systems that talk to each other successfully via integration. Executing that is not easy, though. Here’s an example: you take data entered into one software program, export it, and then import it into different software.

Ever try that? Did it work? Did you get the results you expected? If you are like most business owners, the outcome can be mixed. That’s because sometimes this is the only option available, especially if one of the systems is proprietary and does not allow direct linking to data.

Wouldn’t it be an advantage to avoid excessive data entry, all while improving accuracy? That’s precisely the benefit you can expect from a custom software solution like the one Barnes Business Solutions can recommend and customize to your exact needs.

With such a solution, you have control of the data and not the other way around.

You can include or exclude data. Why re-enter data when you don’t have to? You can link data to other software systems. That way, data doesn’t need to exist in multiple places but is kept current via linking.

Use Case Example: Manufacturing Company

It’s often helpful for Barnes Business Solutions readers of this blog to see how technology solutions impact specific companies, industries and specifically which software products were involved overall.

In this case, a manufacturing company used MAS Software to manage their manufacturing process. The data in this software solution was in SQL Server, and the client had the right to read the data based on their licensing agreement.

Portrait of an upset businessman at desk in office. Businessman being depressed by working in office

The client wrote a custom Quality Assurance application in Microsoft Access because that system was familiar. They used export functions to retrieve data from MAS and then imported it into Access.

While this was working in general, sometimes, when upgrading the software, the export formats would change. This meant modifying the Access import to work with the updated configuration.

Barnes Business Solutions, Inc. analyzed the available data and structure, created direct links to the SQL data and avoided the export/import process by integrating the custom Microsoft Access solution with the packaged MAS Software.

From these examples and use cases, can you imagine what an eye-opener this is for improving your business data efficiency?

Does Your Business Focus Help or Hurt Your Data Systems?

Your business has one master: your customers. Your success comes from serving them better than the competition. That means delivering your products or services the best way you know how. And your data systems play a critical role in how that all shakes out.

That’s because business data serves multiple masters and systems. If you’re like most businesses, those systems can include the following:

      • Accounting
      • Sales
      • Transportation
      • Other Operations
      • Other/misc.

But here’s the challenge: how well does your business focus currently integrate with your data systems? Is everything in alignment and operating at peak efficiency, or are things slightly or even significantly out of whack?

Are Your Data Systems Underperforming?

A business’s worst-case scenario is when things are clicking, but your data systems are dropping the ball. Here’s an example of what that looks like. Say you have an end-to-end sales system. One component is a proposal system. Another component is an invoice system. You generate an invoice and save it in the current system.

But wait! The Accounting Department also needs that invoice. (Via Quickbooks or another popular accounting software.) So, what happens next?

A physical copy of the invoice requires hand data entry (greater likelihood of errors) into the accounting system. Sure, you could export from the current system and import into the new system. Unfortunately, you’ve already witnessed that multiple software systems (despite their claims) often don’t play nice with each other.

What’s missing is a seamless export/import operation solution. For example, utilize an API feature the software provides to transfer data to the accounting system more seamlessly than exports and imports. This helps integrate multiple systems without reinventing the wheel or the software itself.

The fact is your business is a living entity. Think of it as a human body of sorts. You need multiple systems: a heart, a brain, a circulation system, and more to function, let alone thrive.

Barnes Business Solutions understands that. We’re here to help guide you to better, more effective business technology solutions.

How it All Comes Together. Seamlessly.

You learned that a growing problem lies with your current business data systems and how they do or don’t communicate with each other effectively. And that means you don’t get the data you need to run all areas of your business. In short, no company can serve two masters, but your data can with the right custom software solution.

Curious about how you make that happen for your business? When you work with Barnes Business Solutions, we identify what systems need which data and where data systems fall down on the job. Then, we’ll explore how to “connect the dots” for optimal data sharing and reporting.

It all starts with the proper process and partner. A consultative, outcome-driven technology provider like Barnes Business Solutions.

Barnes Business Solutions is your source for proven technology solutions customized for your business’s operations. It’s time to improve and evolve your business data systems with a cost-effective solution that boosts ROI in the long run.

To get started, download the Barnes Business Solutions Action Guide Now. Or contact us at 630-715-4452.