Article
As a small business owner, I’ve come to count on a number of software packages to track my workload and manage my finances. I use different packages for overseeing my personal finances, keeping a calendar, tracking invoices and the once-a-year joy of preparing my annual income taxes. I spend a lot of time transferring data from one of these programs to another, mostly by hand.

Map Out Easier Operations with Data Integration

Chuck Ross
As a small business owner, I’ve come to count on a number of software packages to track my workload and manage my finances. I use different packages for overseeing my personal finances, keeping a calendar, tracking invoices and the once-a-year joy of preparing my annual income taxes. I spend a lot of time transferring data from one of these programs to another, mostly by hand. I’m just a one-person shop, so this usually isn’t much more than a periodic bother. For larger businesses, however, hunting down information from one software package to pull into another program can be a major hassle. That’s where the magic of data integration can help.

Many contracting firms have grown over the years. They might have started with just a single truck or two before evolving into a business with multiple offices, fabrication shops and vehicles. During that time, they might well have adopted separate software for accounting, fleet management and equipment maintenance, along with other business functions. It’s not only time consuming to manually transfer information from one of these packages to the other, it also raises the risk of potentially expensive errors. Today’s latest maintenance management software now comes with the ability to integrate information back and forth from its own database to those of other programs automatically.

In the past, putting this kind of data integration into practice could require hiring systems-integration consultants and take months or longer. Having such data-mapping tools either within a maintenance management program or available as an add-on can be a valuable plus, both today and as your business continues to grow. The last several decades have shown us our data dependence is only likely to increase in the future. So, having these capabilities available now will only make future integration efforts easier to adopt.
Photo courtesy of MPulse Software
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