Enterprise mobility has become an issue of major importance across the business landscape as more organizations pursue bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solutions. The goal of deploying a mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) is to integrate various legacy systems within a singular, handheld utility, while providing a foundation upon which new software programs can be developed. In addition to traditional business environments, this technology could be extremely beneficial to manufacturers as well, as supply chain operations are stretched out across multiple warehouses that might be using disparate management systems. Implementing an enterprise mobility solution allows business leaders, regardless of their industry, to gain better monitoring capabilities over their organization's operations and facilitate more effective communication and collaboration between various units within the company.
Despite the clear value that enterprise mobility offers to the manufacturing sector, many businesses have failed to properly incorporate the technology into their daily operations in the past. IFS AB director Antony Bourne stated on the company's blog that the spread of misinformation regarding the effectiveness of enterprise mobility continues to persist within the manufacturing industry. He attributed this phenomenon to two major factors: a dearth of successful case studies and manufacturing shop floors' inability to keep up with advancements in technology. Given its history of embracing new software innovations such as ERP and the need to put real-time information in the hands of employees spread across an entire supply chain, manufacturing is ripe for enterprise mobility implementation.
"It surprises me that the manufacturing industry, one known for constantly reinventing itself, has not been leading the charge," Bourne wrote. "Process improvement and supply chain optimization have been studied and refined by some of the finest minds of our generation, but it seems not to be moving as fast as the technology and communication trends. The key thing about mobility is that, when used correctly, it increases productivity, which in turn supports the business to be able to react more quickly to any unforeseen changes."
Mobile App Development on the Rise
The industry's initial sluggishness appears to be giving way to more widespread acceptance of mobile technology. IDC Manufacturing Insights recently released a report providing an outlook on the use of enterprise mobility within the manufacturing sector. Not only did the report predict that manufacturers will more actively pursue mobile solutions moving forward, but it also stated that these businesses will invest more heavily in on-site application development. According to the study, nearly 80 percent of participating manufacturing organizations stated that they were currently working on developing their own mobile applications. In addition, their mobile app development efforts were progressing at a faster rate than traditional software development projects.
The study cited several factors that manufacturers prioritized in their enterprise mobile applications, including availability, security requirements and governance capabilities. Every organization has different criteria by which a new software solution will be deemed a success. Manufacturers can gain greater control over the functionality and performance of their integrated programs by utilizing a mobile enterprise application platform like RFGen Software. With this technology, internal teams can create software that meets the exact needs of the manufacturer while ensuring that it interacts seamlessly with legacy systems.