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The Integral Blog

The Integral Blog

5 Industry Trends for 2022

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I tend to avoid those year-in-review articles that show up throughout December. I prefer to wait and review the year once all the data is in rather than rush to pump out content for year-end. I took the month of January to do a measured review of trends that I’ve seen in our industry, and I’d like to share my observations with you.

These are 5 things I’ve noted with interest that I believe will stay strong in 2022 …

I know - this isn’t a new thing. We’ve all been dealing with Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart and others for years. But what I’m seeing now is an increasing number of retailer-created new marketplaces, with new ones seeming to pop up weekly. It’s too soon to speculate how it will all wind up, but it’s interesting to observe it happening.

From our side, Integral is ideally positioned for this influx as we already connect to all the usual marketplaces, but more to this point, we also always embrace the opportunity to connect to new ones as requested.

Shopping carts and the APIs that power them are commonplace in today’s eCommerce landscape: No surprises there. What may be new to some is that APIs are also an integral part of all cloud systems. Now systems like ERP, accounting, order management, and inventory management need API capabilities. Gone are the days of closed systems – now you need API-enabled communications with your customers and vendors.

Integral Group helps you connect and integrate so all your system-generated information can be shared with other APIs in real-time.

I’ve been involved with EDI for 30+ years and have worked with thousands of customers. These days I sometimes read that EDI is old technology. And, sure, it’s been around for a long time, but it’s evolved and grown and is still highly relevant to the supply chain.

I’m reminded of this with the millions of transactions we process every year for our customers. What surprises me is that part of our ongoing new business is still customers doing EDI for the first time. One such customer recently said to me that this (EDI and integration) is a big change for them, but they recognize the status quo is no longer workable: With no automation and no integration, the errors are becoming costly.

In the past, system integration was predominately adopted by large organizations. Now application integration is the norm for all companies, and increasingly, not integrating isn’t tolerated. Part of the message here is that you may need to integrate to do business with your customers and vendors. But integration is also an easy way to make your company more agile, increase accuracy and productivity, and be more scalable.

I’ve spoken with people who’ve told me that many of our competitors don’t offer integration in the same way that Integral Group does. We’ll integrate whatever applications our customers need us to. It is not overstating to say that Integral integrates with all applications … if the application is new to us, our dev team will figure it out. For our customers, it really is that simple.

In the last few years, I’ve seen an increasing number of EDI companies acquiring their competitors. While it’s good for big business, it’s often not-so-good for customers. In many cases, all of the things that made you choose your supplier are stripped away as it is folded into the standard operating procedure of the parent.

Integral Group is a multi-generational family business that will be here for the long haul. We invest in our technology and employees to provide our customers with the best and most reliable services. We believe in our business, value our staff, and enjoy working with our customers on our terms and at the standards we set: That isn’t going to change.

If you read something that struck a chord with you, or you’d like to discuss trends that you’ve encountered … Let’s Talk.
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Lee Mrkonjic
Director, Sales & Marketing
Direct: 289.301.2410