Connected Systems with a Single Point of Truth (SPOT) provide efficient accurate processing, and provide coherent and consistent data for business performance analysis and AI learning machines.

Let’s look at a scenario where a multi-national company failed to implement a SPOT solution, and what the implications were for that organisation.

I ordered a gluten free chicken burger and chips/fries from a franchise, they were using a well known 3rd party restaurant web application to provide web ordering functionaity. When the burger arrived there was a note in it, stating “whilst the bun is gluten free the chicken is not”. The burger was for my son who is coeliac this particular  takeout wasn’t going to work for him or me.

I checked the docket that came with the takeout and I ordered a gluten free bun and regular chicken breast. I was pretty sure I had ordered the correct items on the web. I checked the email and sure enough I had ordered the GF chicken. How had this happened? I rang the outlet and spoke to the guy who had put the note in. It turns out that they have to manually transcribe the orders from the web app into their restaurant system and at this point the order was input incorrectly. He offered to send out the entire order again on the house and I accepted. I’m thinking the guy could have rung, but hey thank God he put the note in, or we’d be having a night at the hospital instead of tucking into the takeaway.

Lost Revenue, increased administrative overheads, reduced productivity

The franchisee has lost revenue because of this mistake, but I’m left wondering not how many times this particular error occurs, but of the amount of time and effort manually inputting orders across all their outlets, the actual costs of all the mistakes, and the need for the person dealing with the complaint to check two systems to see if I the customer had made the mistake or whether it was an error at the outlet.

If the franchise owner had implemented a solution where the order was automatically fed from the web app into their business application then the rekeying process would not be required, eliminating time, effort and mistakes – multiply this across all the outlets and it’s a considerable overhead. The data in both systems would be identical so we have a single source of truth, consistency and coherence in the data, and confidence that when we analyse data across franchises it’s accurate.

What is a Single Point of Truth (SPOT, or Single Source of Truth)?

A single point of truth does not mean that you can’t share data with other systems, it merely means that one system is responsible for creation, update, and deletion.

Connected Systems

Connected systems share data with no human intervention. There’s a number of mechanisms for achieving accurate, secure, timely data sharing. Common techniques are XML, JSON, REST. Even CSV/Excel files and/or formatted Emails can be used.

If disparate systems are implemented across the organisation, then errors and overheads are compounded. Adopt the principle of a single point of truth in systems architecture and your organisation will reap the benefits.