The Benefits of Comprehensive Data Integration in Retail Environments

Kristi Gappert
Aug 28, 2020 1:53:00 PM

Vendors serving retailers and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) alike offer no shortage of technology solutions that promise to improve efficiency and save both time and money. However, their well-intentioned efforts can often lead to increased headaches for their customers because these one-off systems rarely, if ever, talk to each other.

 

The truth is that no business operates in a vacuum and QSR operators in particular have to work closely with numerous suppliers and support organizations each with their own proprietary siloed systems. Of course, as the number of siloed systems increases, so does the administrative overhead associated with operating them.

 

When systems don't talk to each other, it wastes time, robs organizations of real-time visibility into performance and eventually leads to massive internal inefficiencies and headaches.

Fortunately, a cohesive systems integration strategy can eliminate these challenges and introduce many additional benefits. The decision to adopt a comprehensive integration plan can be a game-changer for your company and your strategic support partners.

 

Track SLA Metrics and Monitor Trends in Real-Time

One great example our organization recently encountered involved two separate ServiceNow instances that, when integrated, resulted in increased efficiency and overall transparency.

 

This integration dramatically reduced the email traffic between the two companies by enabling data to pass between the instances in real-time. With visibility into every support request, the retailer was better equipped to monitor contracted service level agreements (SLAs) and recognize trends early on. 

 

Save Time and Money by Eliminating Operational Friction

Comprehensive data integration between systems can have wide-reaching effects inside of an organization. For example, it is possible to import tracking information from hardware suppliers and location information from field service providers.

 

Once integrated, retailers can receive real-time alerts that notify them of the location and estimated arrival time of both hardware and technicians. When considered in isolation, the time saved by these efficiencies may seem inconsequential. However, when viewed holistically and over time, the savings add up quickly.

 

Improved Response Time via Self-Service Options and Increased Automation

Perhaps the most important benefit of data integration between support systems comes from the increase in automation and self-service options for organizations.

 

Automated monitoring and case creation reduce response times and enable trend analysis to identify chronic fail points in any process.

 

Additionally, many case management platforms offer self-service portals that provide omni-channel support options such as live chat, chatbots and other quick resources that facilitate rapid solutions. 

 

Comprehensive Data Integration Results in Numerous Benefits for Organizations and Their Strategic Support Partners

According to NetSuite, organizations that adopt integrated business systems that result in single, easy to navigate data repositories see clear increases in both employee and customer satisfaction.

 

This increased satisfaction is a direct result of teams having quick and easy access to vital customer data, enabling them to identify trends and solve issues rapidly. Because all of the data is collected and organized in a single source, teams can generate a more holistic understanding of the various interconnected aspects of the business.

 

The resulting data warehouse enables companies and their strategic support partners to isolate problems or opportunities and trace the thread through the various complexities of the organization to find the ultimate cause.

 

This comprehensive and holistic insight can help retailers explore new approaches, improve operations and adopt new technologies that win and retain more customers. 

Further, integrated systems require significantly less administrative work to maintain. The elimination of manual processes reduces errors and enables team members to focus on the essential human interactions that drive the business forward.

 

The investments made in system communication can dramatically reduce costs, improve effectiveness and uncover significant operational trends. The decision to integrate will help you get the most out of your technology investments and help your organization and essential strategic support partners achieve your long-term goals. 

Summary

  • When systems don't talk to each other, it wastes time, robs organizations of real-time visibility into performance and eventually leads to customer dissatisfaction. 
  • Integrating your retail support service partner systems can drive massive efficiencies, including the ability to track SLA metrics and monitor trends in real-time
  • Integration dramatically reduces the number of manual processes an organization has to undertake, leading to an overall reduction in organizational friction.

About The Author - Kristi Gappert

Picture of Kristi Gappert

As Senior Account Manager for Customer Experience and Support Services at Solugenix, Kristi Gappert has over 20 years of experience working in the retail technology service and support industry. With a primary focus on growing long-term partnerships with iconic brands  like Sonic Drive-In, she is always looking for ways to improve processes, create efficiencies and provide best-in-class service.

Connect with Kristi Gappert on: LinkedIn

Subscribe to Our Retail & QSR Tech Blog

Get the latest insights for leaders in retail tech & customer experience.

RPA