All businesses build their own base of knowledge, pass down their policies and document them in some form. Policies are documented in a network folder and then typically in a three-ring binder on a shelf in each office, and that’s where they stay, gathering dust. Employees are expected to remember what is written in those business policies and procedures and they’re supposed to do each one perfectly, from memory, every time.
With Mobile Enterprise Integration (MEI), the expectations required by business policies are built into the logical, natural flow of the system. This way policies are automatically enforced - for example, never paying a supplier until after the received material successfully passes incoming quality control. Now with MEI on mobile or browser you can automatically enforce your business policies and have simple coordination of your business procedures.
A business procedure, such as adding a new customer, involves multiple different departments and individuals in the process. There are some actions that have prerequisites, and there are some that can happen in parallel. Right now all those procedures are coordinated on an ad hoc basis through emails, a messaging system such as Slack, or in meetings. Staff spend so much time in meetings because the only way all these complex activities are coordinated is by everyone in the same room reviewing all the new cases about, for example, making a product change. Almost every company that includes a manufacturing process will have at least weekly engineering change meetings.
There’s no need for those meetings when you can automatically coordinate those complex business activities, including attachments of notes and documents that are needed for adequate communication. The last person in the sequence on an engineering change management process doesn’t need to be involved in all of the preceding meetings. They only need to be involved when it’s their turn to evaluate the documentation, ask any questions via their communication medium, and then make their decision to approve or raise an issue for resolution. In this way it becomes a much more efficient, effective, well-documented, and well-coordinated manner of managing each one individual instance of a complex business activity.
“Business event data” for visibility and control of critical business functions
Each entry of a new customer is its own unique instance of the workflow. By using Mobile Enterprise Integration (MEI) with this complex activity involving different departments and individuals, not only will it be managed better, be more efficient, and more timely, but in the process we also create an entirely new category of data that is informative about company operations: business event data.
Businesses already collect plenty of data about the dollars and cents of transactions and around the inventory units of transactions, but until now they have not had access to business process events. MEI generates a treasure trove of data about the way the business is actually operating. This enables analysis of business process history, e.g. rolling three months performance of the New Customer Workflow. If the target is for this to take no more than three days, but 20% of these New Customer Workflows took two weeks - what’s going on there? And now we get into root cause analysis and a continuous improvement process. With MEI this new dimension of event data informs management in new ways about what’s going on. What do we need to do to improve our business and to better serve our customers? The value of MEI is not simply in making complex activities more efficient and timely, but Mobile Enterprise Integration also gives the company a new resource of valuable data that hasn’t existed before. With this added analysis of essential processes, the business now has a new resource for continuous improvement.
Mobile Enterprise Integration is not just focused on policy enforcement and complex activity management for one single application. MEI uses Intelligent Connectors to integrate with other platforms and applications in real time. For example, there may be an engineer working in a specialized application on a platform that’s completely separate from the primary business application. The Intelligent Connectors can have direct integration with that discrete application, regardless of the platform it’s on. When that engineer changes the status of a particular part, we are aware of that event and any relevant information can be automatically passed into our MEI engine.
Putting the “Mobile” into Enterprise Integration
In addition to MEI’s automated coordination of essential activities and integration across platforms, MEI provides system access and interaction from any mobile device or browser. A Credit Manager who is a participant in a Credit Review Workflow can perform the requisite analysis and provide a timely decision from anywhere. A Sales Rep can have a true role-based user experience providing secure interaction with all the relevant applications from one common HTML5 UI, with single sign-on and all logic automatically applied. For example - if a new Quote is greater than $1,000 then create that new Opportunity in the CRM application – done automatically by MEI in serial with entering the new Quote in the core system after the Sales Rep presses submit on their tablet, PC or other device.
In the current forward-facing business environment, essential activities need to include customers, suppliers, executives, engineers and others who may not be users of a company's core system. Mobile Enterprise Integration enables all participants in business activities to get the subset of data they need, and transactional interactions as appropriate, with trusted connections into the secure network and with both license legitimacy and menu security enforced.
Digital Transformation specialists at leading analyst firms have stated following demos and discussions that ProStar Software’s Mobile Enterprise Integration is unique in the market in its ability to fully integrate multiple business applications and platforms, with business logic applied, workflow controls and appropriate security, into one common role-based HTML5 user experience. MEI is the future of business.
Whether it’s through increasing visibility and coordination of your business’s complex high-value activities or improving team productivity from wherever they are, MEI provides new capabilities through our integrated suite of applications that enable better ways for your business to function. Contact [email protected] today to find how you can take your business into new dimensions of capabilities and controls through continuous improvement, increasing system effectiveness and mobile/browser interaction by all participants that are all available through Mobile Enterprise Integration from ProStar Software.