4 lessons I’ve Learned from Managing Integration Projects, by Tranzaura CEO, Shane Mann

By integrating your disparate software systems, an integration project can help transport companies to extract data from disconnected siloes, gain complete oversight of their operations, and make optimisations to drive efficiencies and cost savings. Unfortunately, not all integration projects go to plan and this can result in extended project timelines and costs, and a loss of data quality, richness and function.

In this article, our CEO, Shane Mann, talks through some of the core learnings he’s taken from managing countless integration projects.   

1. Technology isn’t why you do it, it’s how you do it.

Fleet systems of the past have been built with a focus on technology, and that’s great at generating data, and it’s great at supporting processes, but it’s failed to deliver on information to aid strategic business-making decisions. 

Do we need these technologies and tools? Yes. But they can’t be leading the conversation. I’ve seen so many companies making this mistake, and it creates mistrust with their business users, which leads me to my next learning…

2. Build trust with your business users

The most effective integration strategies lead with information, presented in the language of the business user, who is ultimately the decision maker. The business user needs to clearly understand the integration strategy, and the technology then supports that strategy.

From the tech perspective, there can often be a “get it done” attitude; as long as the information is moving, they can go “phew, it’s done” but they haven’t considered things like how to reconcile the systems, how to put the business users in a comfortable place so they feel they have the full picture of what’s going on and be confident that they will be able to make good decisions based on that information. 

Instead, you should be addressing the common questions that business users will commonly ask in an integration project, such as: 

  • Have I got the complete picture?   
  • Have I got all my information?  
  • Has it all loaded, and when did that happen  
  • Is it a manual task? 

3. Good foundations make for great integrations

The end game of your information-led strategy is to produce high-quality dashboards, reports and KPIs. To do this, you need to build a solid foundation. And for fleet systems, that means starting at the very lowest data units, which are your assets (commonly your vehicles) and people (your drivers and technicians). 

Avoid rolling your information up to the level of the cost centre, regions or company, as by doing so, you’ll only ever have the ability to report on your information at that high level. 

When you build the data at that granular level, you can then roll it up to report at a cost centre, region, or company level, but you can also drill right down into it if you find a problem in your reports. Your KPIs will be rich, your dashboards will be highly valuable, and your reports will be powerful and insightful. 

This allows you to view powerful cost and revenue information on a daily basis, before it gets out of control. You won’t have a heavy administration burden or long clerical tasks to get the information, giving time back to your workforce to focus on more impactful work. And you’ve done it in the knowledge that the information is all there, it’s all up to date. 

4. Create trustworthy data  

Earlier I wrote about the need to gain the trust of your business users in the system and technology. Now we need to ensure that we can trust the data within that system. Dirty data can erode that trust.  

This takes us back to the integration blind spot, where if you’re technology-led, you can lose sight of the information – for example vehicle registrations not matching across systems. In contrast, if you’re leading with information, you’ll be able to see those gaps and use the technology to clean the data up.  

You can’t just suck information in and lash it into a database and start reporting on it. You have to put rules around it, define what you mean by them – and ensure that anything outside those rules doesn’t get into the system. You can create a quarantine area and use tools to interrogate information, to understand why it wasn’t loaded. Maybe it was a duplicate, for example. You can take that information out, check with the source, clean it and get it re-sent. And because you set your integration up correctly, you’ve prevented duplicate data from getting into your system.   

Information leads the process with Tranzaura

With Tranzaura, information leads every one of our integration processes. Siloed data is extracted and powered up, turning it into trustworthy KPIs, dashboards and reports that put critical information in the hands of the business user, in real-time. You will be able to oversee all elements of your operations as they happen and drill into the data to really understand it, aiding strategic decision making. 
Want to power up your business information with a successful integration? Talk to us today.