Much has been written about eliminating silos between sales, service, and marketing. Many companies, however, still struggle to get one hand talking to the other, and that is particularly true between the front office and the back office. Providing full visibility across your organization might seem like an unreachable goal; yet, with AppExchange apps, it’s very much achievable.

You don’t have to take my word for it – on Connected Leaders, I spoke with three customers using business apps to bury silos in their organizations. My guests on the July Connected Leaders episode included:

Read on to learn how business apps help connect your front and back office.

1. Kenandy: Automation to free employees to do more meaningful work

One of the biggest benefits to back office apps stems from the elimination of manual data entry, manipulation, and computations through automation. Let’s face it: most of your employees don’t want to spend their days trying to reconcile spreadsheets. And your business can’t afford the risk associated with errors from manual data management. Through automation, your business can scale while eliminating the chances of human-created error, enabling your employees to do meaningful work that takes advantage of their skills.

Using Kenandy Cloud ERP, Baharav and Stratus Ventures moved six talented people from their mundane back office data entry roles into relevant customer facing and analysis positions, which allowed them to grow within the business. This set Stratus up to grow their companies by 3X. Baharav told us about one employee who actually reversed her resignation at Stratus Ventures after the mundane parts of her job were automated. “Her role of planning, which really frustrated her, was automated,” Baharav said. “She now only needs to dedicate 20% of her time to planning, and most of her time is now used to run our purchasing department as well as our planning and contract manufacturer’s production sites. She’s doing a lot more and she’s really happy.”

2. Apttus: Create full visibility across your organization

Your organization may have a ton of data housed within several departments, but if that data can’t find its way from one area of the business to another, its impact is quite limited. Using apps to provide full visibility across your organization is a huge benefit resulting from the elimination of silos. Without this visibility, you’ll lose time, money, and productivity hunting for siloed or missing data. But by eliminating that barrier between the front and back office using apps, anyone in the company can access the data needed to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

Before implementing Apttus Contract Management, Aramark had no way to find information about contracts other than pulling them out, assigning lawyers to look for terms, and then reporting on it. In one case, they even spent hundreds of thousands of dollars searching for specific terms in contracts. But without Apttus, this data quickly became stale and of little value. After implementing Apttus Contract Management, the story was different. “Now, in a meeting with our CEO, our General Counsel pulls out his phone, goes to the Salesforce1 app, goes into Apttus, pulls up the contract, and very quickly can see the contract terms, who the approvers were, and other contract data,” Prisco said. “We now do all of this in seconds. It’s a huge improvement for us.”

3. Accounting Seed: Grow your company without silos

For startups and small businesses who aim to grow, associated challenges come in many forms. As you hire more people and create new teams and departments, it’s natural for silos to form. When a company is small, most employees are doing multiple jobs and have easy access to all sorts of data. But as the company grows, it’s critical to continue sharing data so that people can focus on the things most important to growth, rather than trying to wade through the natural divisions borne out of an expanding business. Apps can help get everyone on the same page by creating a single source of truth, integrated within an instance like Salesforce.

For Christiansen and PAX Water, the need for a solution like Accounting Seed stemmed from limitations on Quickbooks and a desire for repeatability and scalability. Accounting Seed was an attractive solution because of its integration into Salesforce, the full visibility and control over data, and the documented recording of all client transactions. Using Accounting Seed helped Christiansen reduce the time he spent on accounting process due to the fully integrated ERP functionality, and to focus more on the COO role at a time when the company needed it. “We realized that if we were to grow, we needed to become a sales-driven company. That’s not an easy thing to accomplish and needs a lot of executive buy-in,” said Christiansen, who could only focus on this project as a result of the time saved in his CFO role from Accounting Seed. But because he can devote more resources as COO, “That’s where a lot of my time is now spent.”

Be sure to register to watch all on-demand Connected Leaders webinars today. The next several will focus on our current campaign, “Apps Admins Love.”