Digital technologies are transforming the way UK manufacturing supply chains function and while some manufacturers may still be trying to determine how best to prepare for these developments, others are already one step ahead, reviewing their business processes and identifying where investment in business automation and integration could deliver the greatest benefits.
Regardless of the size of a manufacturing business, investment in automation and systems integration will deliver a myriad of benefits and help businesses leverage existing or create competitive edge – a ‘must have’ for manufacturers seeking to futureproof businesses for the long term. Improving the flow of data in a business leads to better services levels, reduced costs and heightened visibility of management information, but when manufacturers have multiple, disparate software systems, systems integration can be a costly and complex challenge. Many spend a great deal of time and money developing their own bespoke solutions from scratch only to find that, with time, these become difficult to manage or even obsolete as the business’ needs change.
A tried and tested solution
But there is an alternative solution available to manufacturers – a tried and tested systems integration solution that is suitable for every size of business, from SMEs to multi-million pound enterprises. The solution is DataSwitch, a purpose-built systems integration and data manipulation platform developed by K3 to help businesses integrate various disconnected siloed software systems and enable them to set up multiple integration streams from one single control platform.
K3 Syspro first launched DataSwitch in 2003 as an add-on product for SYSPRO ERP. Since then, the product has gone from strength to strength. Eighteen months ago, we began the process of radically re-engineering and enhancing DataSwitch and we’re very excited to be launching a stand-alone DataSwitch portfolio, which functions as a stand-alone ERP agnostic product.
The original DataSwitch product is now a fully autonomous integration solution aimed at SMEs and is now a modular solution which customers can scale as their business needs required. The core DataSwitch module is now known as ‘DataSwitch – SwitchFlow’ which provides all the functions of the previous product for implementing a-synchronous type integrations. Designed to make the delivery of integrations simpler and more valuable to customers, the enhancements include:
A visual process builder so customers can visualise the flow of data, which makes support and administration easier
Increased standard functionality to support more data types and end points
FTP functionality as standard
Aided mapping engine allowing data mapping to be done by a wider audience (due March 18)
As well as enhancing the original product, we’ve also added to the DataSwitch portfolio with a brand new synchronous module called ‘DataSwitch – SwitchSync’. Designed as an enterprise level orientated solution, enabling multi-million pound businesses to develop integrations that have large volume request/response (near-real time) requirements.
Systems integration delivered
So, how does DataSwitch work? Cost effective and flexible, DataSwitch can be tailored to any business’ requirement. The product has been designed specifically for use in a-synchronous (batch) integrations between systems including, among others, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), intercompany transactions, Third Party Logistics integration (3PL), E-Commerce integrations (Magento, WordPress etc.), Data import tasks and Web expense s
With the addition of the synchronous SwitchSync module to the product suite, DataSwitch now fully caters for all integration scenarios. By providing the request response functionality direct with the SwitchSync module, businesses can now offload the impact this has on back office systems to DataSwitch, which provides security and peace of mind.
DataSwitch can sit between any ERP system and any other systems with which a business wants to build integrations, but because it’s a standalone product, it can also operate independently from any ERP system. DataSwitch provides a consolidated view of critical data, enabling businesses to connect their systems and integrate the data across their entire information systems landscape.
Worldwide, more than 200 K3 customers are already reaping the benefits offered by the DataSwitch portfolio, including:
Increased accuracy: automating your processes and allowing your systems to integrate removes the risk of errors in business-critical transactions
Reduced costs: Transactions between your ERP system and those of your suppliers, customers and business partners can be automated to reduce administration and rework costs
Efficient processes: Removing human interactions means time to complete each process can be significantly reduced, enabling you to redeploy staff where they are most effective
Increased flexibility: Respond quicker to high frequency ordering and facilitate repeat orders more efficiently. Being adaptable to new customer ways of ordering ensures you are seen as an agile and responsive supplier
Faster time to market: By automating processes you can decrease the time to manufacture, supply and invoice. This allows you to shorten the supply chain process, strengthening your relationship with your customer whilst also improving cash flow
Accurate reporting: Accurate real time data enables you to make business decisions more quickly and with the knowledge that you have the most up to date information from all your systems.
An affordable, adaptable solution
DataSwitch offers K3 customers an affordable and flexible solution that can be adapted as business’ integration needs change. Modular licensing which is available under either perpetual or subscription models enable businesses to align the software requirements to the exact needs of the business and scale as required. Transparency is key, and customers can be assured that there are no hidden costs.
By investing in , businesses no longer need to develop their own in-house solutions, thus eliminating bespoke development costs. Another key benefit is the fact that the time to value is shortened because businesses can implement the integrations much quicker than if they had developed them themselves or hired in external parties. DataSwitch can be plugged in an up and running in a matter of days and weeks, compared to the months or even years it can take businesses to develop their own system integration solutions.
We will continue to add to and enhance our DataSwitch portfolio over the coming years and are already working on a new cloud-first integration solution using the best elements of DataSwitch. Watch this space for more information!