How Low-Code Mobile App Development Can Empower Small IT Teams in the Supply Chain

  • ERP Systems
  • Mobile App Dev
Low-code mobile app development lets even junior programmers create apps in-house using drag-and-drop logic blocks.

The low-code mobile app development market is soaring, expanding from $6.78 billion globally at an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9% through 2030. Its expansion in the mobile supply chain is proving critical to digital transformation in the era of cloud-based ERP software.

And while most IT leaders believe that mobile development is key to future success, less than a third of IT departments have staff with sufficient mobile app development skills for autonomy. Traditionally, this gap has forced companies to outsource the development of mobile applications, which is both time- and cost-intensive.

But for companies that want the control and freedom to develop and modify apps in-house, deferring to an outside provider is less than desirable. These companies need a robust, easy-to-learn low code mobile app development platform (MADP). That way, even the smallest IT departments can gain the ability to quickly create or iterate mobile apps for the supply chain without specialized knowledge, saving significant time and money.

Definition of Low-Code Mobile App Development

“Low-code mobile app development” refers to a streamlined approach to building digital applications, which significantly reduces the need for extensive hand-coding. This method uses a visual development environment, characterized by drag-and-drop interfaces and model-driven logic or prebuilt logic blocks instead of coding everything from scratch.

Though some coding experience is helpful, a low-code paradigm makes application development accessible to those with minimal coding expertise. Even junior programmers can create, modify, and deploy mobile applications using a simple, easy-to-learn UI.

Key features include:

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface
  • Minimal hand-coding
  • Pre-built templates
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Built-in modern UI/UX

This approach allows for the rapid app creation and deployment across various device types and operating systems. “Low-code” marks a shift from traditional, more labor-intensive software development methods​​.

Low-Code Mobile App Development for the Supply Chain, Made Simple


Importance of Low-Code in Modern Supply Chain Management

Supply chain companies should use purpose-built low-code solutions to drive cost savings and increase productivity.

In modern supply chain management, low-code development has exploded in popularity for its proven ability to generate significant cost savings through added efficiency and agility.

Easy low-code development enables businesses to swiftly adapt to changing market demands and integrate new applications with legacy systems, thereby enhancing operational efficiency.

Low-code platforms facilitate data-driven decision-making by consolidating data from diverse sources, democratizing development by empowering in-house technical staff, and improving inventory management through real-time data integration.

This approach not only streamlines application development but also aligns closely with the dynamic and evolving needs of supply chain processes.

However, it’s important to know that most low-code development products are generalized solutions. For the supply chain, however, these tools tend to be too blunt for the task. A specialized tool like RFgen Mobile Development Studio is needed to handle complex supply chain processes and ERP automation.

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Case Study: Grupo Cementos Gains Self-Sufficiency with Low-Code


Advantages of Low-Code Development in Supply Chain Management

The best low code mobile app development platforms for the supply chain typically provide major benefits, such as:

1. Ease of Use and Faster Productivity

Simplified UI for Creating, Maintaining, and Deploying Apps: The ability to quickly create and update applications is invaluable. A low-code platform with a user-friendly interface allows for app development without deep or specialized coding knowledge, thereby speeding up the process of addressing supply chain-specific challenges.

Reduction in Time and Resources Required for App Development: By enabling faster development cycles, low-code platforms help businesses respond more quickly to market changes or operational issues, thereby reducing downtime and enhancing productivity. RFgen Mobile Development Studio excels in this area, driving 95% greater developer productivity.

2. Cost and Resource Efficiency

Reduced Operational and Maintenance Costs: Having low-code development capabilities in-house reduces the costs associated with custom software development and ongoing maintenance from an outside provider—a significant advantage for fast-moving warehouse operations operating on tight budgets. Personnel also spend significantly less time coding, leading to faster time-to-deployment and reduced IT burden.

Decreased Dependency on Software Providers for App Development: Not having to rely on your software vendor for mobile app development can be a major improvement in cost and efficiency. In-house staff can work on their own schedule to quickly align with operations and deliver finely-tuned workflows.

3. Enhanced Productivity Across Teams

Bridging the Gap Between IT Professionals and Business Users: Low-code platforms enable closer collaboration between IT and business teams in supply chains, ensuring that technological solutions are closely aligned with operational needs.

Faster Issue Resolution and Adaptability to Changes: This collaboration leads to quicker identification and resolution of supply chain issues, and more agile adaptation to market and operational changes.

4. Integration with Legacy and Other Systems

Seamless Integration with Existing Systems: Supply chains often rely on a mix of old and new technologies. A low-code platform like RFgen offers seamless integration for multiple ERP systems, allowing new apps to work efficiently with existing legacy systems. This can be crucial for maintaining continuity and data accuracy in supply chain operations when changing ERPs.

Pre-Built Connectors and APIs for Easier Connectivity: The availability of pre-built connectors and APIs simplifies the process of integrating various supply chain management systems, thus enhancing data flow and system interoperability.

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5. Democratization of Mobile Software Development

Accessibility for Non-Specialized Individuals: Low-code platforms empower non-specialized technical staff to contribute to application development, utilizing their domain expertise to build solutions that meet specific operational needs.

Rapid Response to Business Challenges and Market Conditions: Democratization allows for a more rapid and relevant response to evolving supply chain challenges and opportunities, enhancing overall supply chain nimbleness and effectiveness.

6. Mitigation of Shadow IT Risks

Addressing Security Vulnerabilities and Compliance Issues: Low-code platforms provide a controlled environment for application development, helping supply chain businesses adhere to security and compliance standards.

Reducing Unauthorized or Unapproved Software Use: By offering an authorized, user-friendly solution for app development, low-code platforms reduce the need for employees to seek out unapproved software, thus mitigating the risks associated with shadow IT in supply chain operations.

Low-Code: Labor-Saving Tech for Small IT Teams

Even in this age of ever-increasing technology, organizations are trending toward an overall reduction in IT staff. By 2025, it’s predicted that IT departments will shrink by as much as 75% compared to 2020.

Some businesses may also be supplementing high-paid, senior IT employees with more junior staff, who lack experience and advanced knowledge in areas of technical specialization.

So how does a smaller, less experienced IT department tackle an increased workload? By leveraging labor-saving tools like low-code mobile app development.

By using pre-built functions and rapid application scaling across platforms and devices, low-code tools like RFgen Mobile Development Studio save IT departments invaluable time and money. Users can spend less time on mobile apps while maintaining mobile devices remotely.

Equipping IT with this mobile app building foundation significantly reduces the overall IT burden, leading to downstream effects such as increased efficiency, better job satisfaction, and enhanced productivity.

For small IT teams supporting ERP systems in the supply chain, a low-code development tool is a must.

Low-Code Development’s Future in Supply Chain Mobility

The future outlook for low-code development in supply chain mobility is highly promising, offering a transformative impact on small IT teams. Low-code is set to drastically enhance supply chain efficiency and agility, enabling rapid development and deployment of tailored applications with minimal coding. This shift significantly lightens the workload for small IT teams, reducing maintenance demands and allowing for scalable growth in line with business needs.

By embracing low-code solutions now, you’ll be poised to increase self-sufficiency and leverage the significant benefits of enterprise mobility, paving the way for a more integrated and responsive supply chain—no matter your team size.