Simply put, an integrator is a service provider that designs a connection of apps to help a business run more smoothly on the level of data flow, tracking, reporting, and processes (SOPs).
The ability to integrate apps we use in business to automate data movement is truly a miracle of our age. In practical application, though, integrating apps together because we can does not necessarily bring clarity or accuracy. This Guide for Amazon and Shopify Sellers is intended to provide some tips on how to avoid specific integration issues that can arise using apps that integrate with Amazon and Shopify in conjunction with Xero or QuickBooks and A2X.
We have gathered this information from integration experts, app websites, and our own experience working with A2X Users.
Disclaimer: The information here is subject to change due to the nature of ever-changing apps improving their approach, and will be updated periodically. Intended for information purposes only.
Your products are selling like hotcakes when your data tracking for your business suddenly fails to deliver! You have no idea what's going on, the tracking sheet hasn't been updated, nobody knows how much stock is available, and it's chaos. You need to get this runaway situation under control fast.
You'll probably also know that you've got to replace the system that you've been relying on to transfer your data seamlessly into your business. You automated this process as much as you could back, when exactly, was it really 3 years ago?
There's plenty of new stuff out there, but which app, or more likely which apps - plural?
SAAS startups abound; and they have brilliant young talent who create a tool and iron out the code, so that it runs smoothly. Then it's up to Sales & Marketing. Years later you're still using that solution, but the world has moved on and the internet has accelerated exponentially, and the server connections your ageing app pays for are bursting at their seams!
Where problems can really multiply is when owners implement a new piece of software into their puzzle: automate something else, reach for more transparency. Innocent enough, but the integration of the new piece(s) to that puzzle is flawed.
We spoke to two Integrators who clearly know their stuff inside out: Conrad Rohleder of Clearinity, and Jeri Wambeek of WhichAddon.
Conrad Rohleder, founder of Clearinity says,
"I live at the intersection of people, business, and technology; for me, it's all about bringing life back to entrepreneurship."
His expertise in Inventory helps with transitions from Excel or other systems to Inventory apps that can automate tracking and coordinate teams so that business owners can have more oversight anytime, anywhere online.
"I worked at an accounting firm as the tech guy for years and watched clients struggle in almost every situation. Some didn't know where to start, some didn't know what they were undertaking, still others lacked the technical experience to deal with SaaS companies, and the rest just didn't have the time to do it. Upon realizing this kept people up at night and cost them many thousands of dollars in pain, I knew I'd be able to help them."
Conrad's firm uses a proven 4-step process to tailor their services to your business's integration needs:
- discover the company that you run
- find the right path for your business
- restore a sense of control to your team
- produce a process map of your business
The end result is the closest you can get to the objective of a seamless custom-fit assemblage of work-flow, transparency and management, with the training and road map necessary for the future.
"We do cloud inventory, technology implementation, optimize ecommerce operations and then write your Standardizing Operating Procedures (SOP)".
Our second Integrator is Jeri Wambeek of WhichAddOn. - She's a walking encyclopedia of the addon market, and a great example of the kind of person who finds this work fascinating!
"Our focus areas are inventory management, e-commerce, retail, EDI and manufacturing. We help product-selling businesses. Business is constantly changing - so making the right choices and managing all the moving parts of a big project, like implementing new systems - is a stressful task for owners."
To understand what businesses need, WhichAddOn uses in-depth and thorough Discovery sessions.
"We know the different solutions intimately and can help you make an informed decision on which solution is right for you."
Of major concern is the ability to scale up, with all the complexities that brings, after all, success often arrives at the front door while chaos sneaks in the back door. So, WhichAddOn comes with a sizeable team of Solution Engineers (of qualified accountants), to tackle the issues and implement.
"Every day, we help businesses all over the world move to the cloud. We also help those that have tried to do it themselves, but need some guidance to create the great experience they were planning for."
There are many advantages to pulling in the experts, as many successful businesses will attest. The list of grateful companies these integrators have launched on new trajectories is inspiring. As Jeri says,
"At WhichAddOn, we bring the possible to life. It's our job to deeply understand what our product-selling clients need, so we can help them find the right solution for their business, and successfully get them up and running without the headaches. Any business can do this on their own, but it's sure easier when you have an expert team - that does this every day - guiding you every step of the way".