Avoid the Flash Crash

It was 2:45 in the afternoon on May 6, 2010 when Wall Street essentially had a heart attack. In just minutes, the stock market plunged 1000 points. The “flash crash” wiped out $1.1 trillion of investor dollars for reasons traders, analysts, and business media could not explain.  Even though most of the loss was quickly regained, it left the market badly shaken.

What happened? The story goes that a single keystroke error was to blame. The letter “B” was inserted in a sell order instead of the letter “M”. Billion was input where Million should have been and it triggered a ripple effect through the automated financial markets.

More recently, Target stores suffered a major malfunction due to what they called a “systems issue”. Registers went down everywhere, leaving shoppers unable to make their purchases. Many abandoned their carts and went elsewhere to shop.

Are these extreme examples? Yes. But it does show how the trickle-down effect of one error can impact your business. Millions of dollars are wasted by manufacturers who make similar mistakes in their daily work.

Manually keying data from one business system to another will result in errors at some point. Poorly designed integrations will eventually break or miss data. Product upgrades may cause unforeseen problems. Errors made within individual systems such as ERP, payroll, MES, etc. are compounded when integrations are not monitored and bad data is passed along or a link in the integration chain breaks. Chasing down the point where the error occurred will take time. The amount of money the error will cost will depend on how quickly it is discovered and how widely it has impacted your operations.

If you are looking to integrate your existing business systems (and we hope you are!), you need to ask how the integration is supported and monitored so if errors occur, they are caught before they can cause problems.

Using one turnkey solution like The LINK® from Missing Link Technology to integrate all of your systems ensures critical transaction information is consistently and automatically delivered to the systems which need it in real-time. And most importantly, with The Link you have real-time error reports and real-time monitoring.

If you are updating or buying software for your manufacturing ecosystem, don’t just ask if it can integrate to your other systems, find out how it can integrate and how that integration will be monitored. Educate yourself in 90 seconds by watching this video: