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Integral Vision 2020 Update: The First Year

You have to love it when a plan comes together!

With our 30th anniversary in December of 2016 came with some introspection, reflections and a desire to look into the future. It turns out that seeing into the future is yet another superpower we possess and thus our Integral 2020 vision was born. Most of you have read the comic book; it’s our lighthearted yet heartfelt vision of where Integral Group will be in the year 2020.

In December 2017, as we sit here in our offices in Markham, Ontario we already see a lot of changes.

Our office space has doubled in size. An extensive renovation and redecoration has resulted in an additional large open work space that fosters collaboration. Two enormous walls of windows provide an expansive view of tree tops with natural light pouring in.

Walking in, visitors and staff still feel the same positive energy as always. Everyone is busy but never too busy to stop and help a colleague. The work, and in fact what makes us intrinsically the Integral Group, is all about you, our customers. How to make your EDI experience better, more seamless, more effective.

And so, to that end, we have also added to our team with four talented new members. Those of you who know us, know that finding just the right person to add is something we don’t take lightly. Becoming an Integral superhero requires the perfect blend of skill and heart and soul. We found these qualities in David, Anthony, Jim and Debra: Welcome.

Whew! That is a lot of change. What has not changed, what will never change, is our unwavering commitment to our customers. You are the reason we work tirelessly to make your experiences consistently exceptional.

Stay tuned for our next Vision 2020 update.

The Choice Is Up to You

You have the right to choose your EDI outsourcing partner.

It is a common business ploy of some EDI companies. You are presented with something that appears, on the surface, to be a directive, a requirement, a condition of doing business with your customers. In the world of EDI, many trading partners offer outsourcing provider suggestions. Don’t simply accept it when an EDI outsourcing company says you are required to use their service. They are misrepresenting the facts.

The first rule of EDI engagement is that the supplier does have the final say in who to choose to work with. Take the time to research, ask questions and do your due diligence. Choose an EDI outsourcing partner that will enhance the experience as well as guide and support your business.

Think of the day-to-day impact EDI will have on your business: financially, technologically and logistically. It will be quickly apparent to you how key it is to be working with a company that is aligned to your goals and business practices.

Dependable, predictable EDI costs have enormous positive impact for small and medium businesses. Make sure the pricing model you agree to does not leave you open to unpleasant surprises with dramatically fluctuating monthly expenditures.

It is critical that you choose an EDI outsourcing company that will be able to merge seamlessly into the fabric of your infrastructure for the long term. The company you choose should have longevity as well technical expertise and experience.

Your operations department is going to be interacting with your EDI software many times every day. The quality of this interaction can impact efficiencies and the caliber, reliability and timeliness of your order processing. And that is the lifeline of your business.

In all of these areas, you also need to know your EDI provider has a support system that will provide answers in real time, by a real person who takes ownership of your issue as soon as they pick up the phone.

The consequences of choosing the right EDI outsourcing provider are profound. The choice is up to you.

Giving Back: Holiday Helpers

On December 9th, the Integral team spent the day volunteering with Holiday Helpers. We wrapped presents, loaded boxes and generally helped out with what is an awe-inspiring amount of work required to create a special Christmas for 530 families.

‘Holiday Helpers is a registered charity whose mission is to provide a one-time personalized Christmas packages to low income families with young children who are trying to improve their circumstances.’

We liked the fact that, through the help of donors and of volunteers like us, Holiday Helpers creates a complete Christmas experience: Christmas tree, gift certificates for food, gifts from the family’s personal ‘wish list’ (warm jackets, clothing, household items and toys).

It was a rewarding day. The volunteer organizers deserve an appreciative shout-out: It takes hard work and dedication to organize the individual wish lists of the families, all of the gifts for each family member, the scores of wrapping teams, the warehousing, the wrapping supplies … and the list goes on. The donors chose high quality, thoughtful presents matching the specific needs and wants of each family member. And, as wrapping elves, we all came to feel connected to ‘our family’ as we wrapped their presents. Some of our team volunteered to do really heaving lifting in the warehouse.

It was a such positive experience for us, too, to get together as a group and go out to Santa’s warehouse.

Happy Holidays to everyone from Integral Group!

(see more pictures)

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Integral Group - Your EDI Superheroes®

500 Hood Road, Suite 330
Markham, Ontario L3R 9Z3