As an organization in sales, rental and service of machines / equipment, a powerful equipment management system is extremely important. But you can get even more out of your automation by realizing interfaces with other applications, both internally and externally. This increases your productivity, prevents errors and reduces costs.
Describe the interface in detail
You realize an interface between your equipment management system and another application to make processes run faster and easier. Consider, for example, ordering parts from a supplier where you place orders every day. An interface will save you time and money. Do not underestimate the importance of correctly describing the interface. You have to document down to the smallest detail what you are going to develop, why you are doing this and how much time (and thus money) it will take to develop this interface. With a decent description, you avoid running into problems later on, such as an interface that does not meet your expectations or has been much more expensive to realize than you anticipated.
Calculate the Return On Investment
Make a business case for yourself in which you compare the costs and benefits of the interface. The costs are mainly the initial investment in the development of the interface, but possibly also costs for maintenance of the interface. The benefits are a bit more complicated. As mentioned, these are reflected in time savings, error reduction and cost reduction. For example, try to quantify the value of a 15-minute daily time saving for the employee who orders parts from a supplier. When you have a positive return on investment over an acceptable period of time, that justifies the development of the interface.
"Translate the wishes from the business in the right way into a technologically strong solution."
Keep the future in mind
The interface should be interesting not only in the present, but also in the future. A few questions to ask yourself:
- Will I continue to work with my current equipment management system in the coming years?
- Will the technology still be ‘alive’ in a few years?
- Will I still be working with the other system / supplier / partner in a few years?
- When I upgrade my equipment management system, what does it take to include the interface in the project?
Bring technology and business together
The realization of an interface stems from the wishes of the business, but is a project in which technology plays a major role. The key to success is to bring these two worlds together. Translate the wishes from the business in the right way into a technologically strong solution. Business and technology are different worlds and different people. For example, it could be your parts manager who will work together with the developer of your software partner. By coordinating this well, you get the optimal result.