According to the IT website No Jitter, mobile application development is no longer a perk, it's essential. No matter the business or industry, mobility is a key factor to success. Customer service departments are offering mobile apps to troubleshoot problems among consumers who favor an omnichannel approach. Marketing departments are realizing they must be able to reach potential clients who spend more time viewing smart devices than any other screen.
Within the supply chain, enterprises have realized technology now exists that allows for the collection of data from remote locations. Even within industries such as mining or agriculture, field work can now benefit from the same types of data collection as the warehouse or plant. Furthermore, with options such as "bring your own device," the implementation costs can remain low.
Choosing the Right Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP)
When it comes to remote locations, there are some considerations an organization must make. While a BYOD application might represent cutting edge technology, it could be unnecessary for the task and pose other problems. The battery life on a smart device is often less than that of a traditional barcode scanner and allowing an employee to use their own phone could potentially place sensitive company information at risk.
Organizations should seek out a MEAP that allows them to create applications for multiple different types of devices so that specific departments can use those that are the most appropriate. The idea is to collect as much data as often as possible in many locations. The information can then be tracked in real time or analyzed to discover new trends and improve forecasting. With a MEAP, an enterprise will have a whole new way of viewing what happens in its supply chain.
Other Instances of Mobility in the Supply Chain
Automated data collection with a BYOD device or barcode scanner adds another layer of mobility that is even more literal - the mobility of the worker. By simply pressing a button on a handheld device, employees in the warehouse or field can collect more data in under a second than they used to in minutes. This means they can work quicker and more efficiently because they are not struggling with paper-based data entry. Errors are also reduced when using automated data collection, so information is also more accurate and thus more useful.