Mobile has become ubiquitous—and it’s no wonder, given that worldwide smartphone users were expected to total 1.75 billion in 2014 (a number that, by the way, will only continue to rise). When looking beyond mobile device usage, however, mobility-driven business imperatives like a comprehensive strategy aren’t catching on quite as fast. One of the stumbling blocks? Understanding the need to not just introduce mobile devices to your workforce, but also mobilize your key business processes so that you can tap into (no pun intended) accessibility, efficiency and robust functionality regardless of user role or location.
Mobile devices have become powerful work tools, giving us the ability to complete common tasks and maintain communication without having to be in the office. Yet the true power of mobility is unleashed when businesses implement the solution infrastructure to mobilize business processes like field sales, field service, inventory management and time management, just to name a few–essential steps when it comes to achieving a mobile supply chain with end-to-end visibility, agility and execution.
So many business processes—including the majority of those that take place in a warehouse or manufacturing and/or distribution facility—are still completed manually. Sure, it might seem a bit old-fashioned, given the fact that technology has earned an integral place in how we live and work. Yet that’s simply the reality; it’s how things have always been done.
Imagine, then, the possibilities that emerge when business functions are mobile-optimized, especially when that mobile framework includes seamless integration into your existing enterprise software. Significant efficiencies can be gained by counting, tracking and handling inventory with technologies like RFID, barcodes and mobile devices. As the Industrial Internet of Things ushers in an unprecedented era of machine-to-machine integration, connected scales, sensors and conveyors can also become part of the process, adding even more efficiency and real-time visibility to a variety of functions. Not only is it a less cumbersome and time-consuming way to manage inventory as opposed to paper and pencil, but it also minimizes errors and affords real-time visibility into each piece of inventory and what’s happening with it, giving companies more control over the materials and products that are the very lifeline of their business.
Step outside of the four walls and mobile capabilities become even more critical to smooth, efficient business operations. Say, for example, you’ve got field service workers on various job sites—some of which might be in a remote, disconnected area. With a robust, comprehensive mobility solution, you’ll give your employees the tools they need to work anywhere, anytime, regardless of their role. Our mobility solutions are especially effective in disconnected environments because they give you the ability to continue working uninterrupted. Once you’re in a connected area, the data you created will be processed in your company’s enterprise software. That not only helps you maintain visibility outside the office, but also helps your employees work smarter and faster—wins for any business.
Your challenge in 2015? Take a close look at your company and your business processes. Where are your employees? What are they doing? What tasks are critical to your company’s success? That sort of identification gives you an ideal starting point from which you can explore and implement a mobility solution. And that’s what to focus on when you’re considering a mobile strategy. Devices are certainly a key part of the equation, but enterprise mobility is so much more. It’s not about simply incorporating a value-add—it’s about implementing mobile-optimization into your business in an integral way, changing the way you work to not only keep pace with changing customer demands and competitors, but also setting your company up for sustainable, long-term success. Isn’t enabling that sort of result something that deserves to be at the top of your 2015 priority list?