Robinson Engineering, Inc.

What is Systems Integration?

Systems integration is the bringing together of separate elements into one single (and hopefully better) element. Integrating systems ideally brings more functionality and value to people and businesses.

Let’s look at an example of systems integration in baking:

I’ve gathered a variety of single systems that do just fine on their own, but I think that if I were to integrate them they would perform a better (and more appetizing) function. These systems are:

  • Butter
  • Chocolate chips
  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Brown sugar
  • Milk

I think you can tell that if I combine these separate systems correctly I’ll end up with chocolate chip cookies. The milk is there to enhance the value of the system of eating (which is a pretty complex integrated system already) by both quenching thirst and adding the fun of dunking. We should dunk more things in life.

Baking, therefore, is an opportunity to see the value of systems integration that takes place all the time. What about in your industry?

Let’s say that you package fish sticks and currently you package 1000 boxes of fish sticks every day and this is what your production line looks like:

  • A station where broken sticks are removed from the unbroken ones
  • A station where the sticks are counted and separated into the amount that goes into each box
  • A station where they are placed in bags
  • A station where the bags are sealed
  • A station where the sealed bags are placed into the boxes
  • A station where the boxes are sealed
  • A station where the boxes are separated out to where they’ll be delivered
  • A station to load them onto delivery trucks.

That’s a lot of steps in a process that could potentially be combined to fewer steps that take less time. If it takes less time, then you’re looking at being able to package more boxes per day and getting them out to the people demanding more fish sticks. How can a systems integrator help you combine those steps? There are quite a few solutions so I’ll just talk about one.

We’ll call our systems integrator Steve.  Steve will gather information about:

  • What you do
  • How you do it
  • What you’d like to be able to do

You tell him how many sticks per box, etc and that you want to double your sticks packaged per day; a lofty goal.

Steve then comes up with a solution that suits your company’s needs and is capable of growing and improving with your business.

What integrated systems can you think of? What do you think could be done better but you just don’t know how? We’d be glad to take a look and find a solution for you so just give us a call!

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