When it comes to introducing enterprise mobility into your supply chain operation, there are five crucial questions to consider. Having firm answers to each of these questions will help ensure your new supply chain mobility solution will not only solve present-day problems but continue to provide future benefits and optimizations as well. Partner with key stakeholders from operations, IT and leadership teams to determine your unique business needs and how a mobility solution can fulfill them.
While there are many more questions you will have to answer before investing in new technology, start with these top five:
1. When is the right time to “mobilize” my existing ERP environment?
Adding enterprise mobility to your supply chain processes can significantly enhance your daily workflows. The ability to put critical business data into the hands of your workers when, where and how they need it cannot be understated. While mobilizing your ERP functionality is a definitive “when” rather than “if,” choosing the right to time to introduce mobility is critical.
RFgen’s senior ERP consultant, Anthony Liguori, suggests the optimal time to extend your ERP with mobility is after you’ve implemented and comfortably settled into your ERP. You will have to adjust your workflows to accommodate the ERP, so attempting to troubleshoot your ERP and a mobility solution simultaneously only makes a complex process more complicated.
In short, solidify your ERP’s new workflows and understand how they impact your daily operations before trying to adding mobility.
2. Will the mobility solution integrate with my ERP?
This is perhaps the most essential question to answer when weighing potential mobility solutions. Look for an ERP-recommended provider, such as a partner with validated integration to your ERP system. These providers can offer pre-built, pre-tested mobile apps that have already been proven through hundreds or thousands of real-world implementations.
3. Will I be able to modify or expand the solution in the future?
It’s not enough to invest precious time and money into new mobile technology. Focus on a solution that doesn’t lock you into having to use third-party developers to modify or expand your mobile environment. Having the ability to continue developing your mobile supply chain apps as your business needs and priorities evolve is ideal. Using a low-code mobile app development platform (MADP) based on modern design concepts will ensure that IT teams with limited resources can easily modify and create mobile apps in-house in little time.
For example, RFgen’s Mobile Development Studio is a MADP framework designed specifically for mobile apps used in the supply chain. This is key since many ERPs do not include native mobility functionality.
4. Will the solution offer downstream or future benefits, such as scalability?
One of the many benefits of a mobile platform designed for the supply chain is that it can be scaled to virtually any facility while also retaining the ability to be tailored to each location’s individual needs. Mobility also improves downstream operations as well, since increases in inventory accuracy, throughput and visibility cascade to other supply chain operations relying on these valuable KPIs.
In addition, having the ability to modify and create mobile supply chain apps saves additional time and money in the future as well, since third-party developers aren’t needed to further accelerate your operations.
At RFgen, we hear from many of our customers that the ability to continue developing their mobility solution in-house was a defining factor in their choosing the Mobile Unity Platform™.
5. What should I look for in a mobility provider?
Finding the right vendor to help you bring enterprise mobility into your supply chain business is important. This provider is going to be your guide as you start down the path toward implementation and mobile success.
With that in mind, look for a mobile supply chain vendor that offers:
- Real-world expertise in ERP technology and supply chain processes.
- Experience with the challenges faced by your industry.
- A fully-guided technology implementation experience.
- An all-in-one provider, so everything you need is in one place.
- The ability to empower you with education and knowledge.
- Proof of benefits through real-world use cases.
These are five big questions to ask before selecting a potential partner for your mobile supply chain journey. But the questions don’t have to end there. The Next Web offers suggestions on additional questions to consider in one of their tech expert roundups. Work with stakeholders in each relevant department to develop concrete answers to any additional questions you may have. Also, consider tapping into the expertise of potential vendors for further insights.