The Value of Continuous Availability for ERP Systems in Offline Data Collection

  • Data Collection
  • Offline Mobility
What value does Continuous Availability offer? Continuous Availability solutions are invaluable for offline ERP inventory management.

If your business uses an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for inventory operations, then you know system uptime is crucial. As the backbone of your supply chain processes, material movements must be recorded in the ERP for financial and efficiency reasons.

Continuity of these inventory operations relies on connectivity to various enterprise software systems, including the ERP.

When ERP connectivity is interrupted, mission-critical activities grind to a halt. Unexpected downtime means loss of productivity and revenue.

Any activities that do take place during periods of downtime aren’t recorded in the system, necessitating rework or manual data entry.

Organizations that operate at high capacity or around the clock can’t afford to wait for enterprise software systems to come back online.

So, to combat downtime due to system connectivity loss, organizations are turning to offline data collection solutions like RFgen Continuous Availability. A Continuous Availability solution enables seamless continuity of operations 24/7, 365 days a year, while the ERP system is offline for any reason.

Understanding Continuous Availability

Continuous Availability refers to a technology solution that provides uninterrupted service for supply chain data collection, regardless of ERP connectivity state.

The Continuous Availability solution enables sustained operational activity and rapid recovery from interruptions when connectivity to the ERP system is unavailable due to technical issues, system maintenance, or lack of internet connection to cloud systems.

This way, the workforce can proceed with important activities without live communication with the ERP software.

Unlike other, simpler offline solutions, Continuous Availability for RFgen Mobile Edge™ is an advanced robust business continuity technology that proactively increases operational performance, driving competitive advantage.

How RFgen Continuous Availability works:

animation that illustrates how RFgen Continuous Availability allows continuous inventory operations while the facility is disconnected from the ERP system

ERP Integrations for Continuous Availability Solutions

RFgen Software is the only provider of the Continuous Availability solution, which is available for the following ERP systems:

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Benefits of Continuous Availability

Continuous Availability provides highly reliable mobile data collection activities 24/7/365, preventing costly interruptions, delays, and stoppages to the business.

Additional benefits include:

  • Seamless business continuity for supply chain operations
  • Reduced downtime and productivity loss
  • Increased operational performance and throughput
  • Enhanced cost control
  • Protection of brand and reputation integrity

The Challenge of Remote or Unreliable Connectivity

As an enterprise operation, you are already aware of the connectivity challenges facing your business. Implementing Continuous Availability offers a way to solve these common connectivity scenarios:

  • Remote warehouses with unreliable connectivity to the central ERP system
  • Locations with periodic or unreliable internet access
  • Scheduled or unscheduled connectivity interruptions with cloud-based ERP systems
  • ERP downtime for maintenance or technical issues
  • JIT manufacturing operations with aggressive schedules

Challenges with ERP connection are exacerbated when multiple sites are collecting data. A data gap in one facility could lead to roadblocks in other parts of the supply chain, particularly downstream.

Additionally, industries operating in extreme conditions, such as offshore oil platforms or in far-flung harvesting operations, may find digital data collection especially challenging.

Solving these challenges with an RFgen Continuous Availability solution can alleviate bottlenecks and increase visibility.

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How RFgen Enhances ERP Integrations

As the backbone of your supply chain operations, your ERP system is the heart of your company’s digital ecosystem. Integrating a Continuous Availability solution can extend the life of your ERP investment.

Normally, when a facility loses communication with the ERP system, any remaining work must be completed outside the system. Later, someone manually updates all the transactions in the system, leading to extra effort and the possibility of human error.

With Continuous Availability for RFgen Mobile Edge™, automated data collection continues using data replicated from the ERP. When the ERP connection is restored, RFgen intelligently synchronizes the data in the background. It’s as if the connection was never lost at all.

This not only enhances the resilience and reliability of ERP operations but also ensures that data integrity and system functionality are maintained, even during unplanned outages or scheduled maintenance windows.

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Key Features of RFgen Continuous Availability

As part of RFgen Continuous Availability’s robust offline support, the solution comes with the following features:

  • Offline ERP transactions
  • Native ERP data replication
  • High reliability via resource redundancy (99.9% uptime)
  • Intelligent queuing and data submissions
  • Backup or synchronize multiple RFgen systems

These features allow data to be collected offline accurately and efficiently, minimizing the risk of data loss or corruption. The RFgen architecture supports diverse operational environments, providing a scalable and flexible solution to meet the unique challenges of each disconnected or off-network scenario.

Real-World Applications and Case Studies

While innovative, Continuous Availability is not an experimental technology. Instead, it is a proven and mature solution already in use by companies around the globe to drive operational excellence. Let’s explore some of these case studies.

(Note: RFgen Continuous Availability was previously called RFgen High Availability.)

National Food Products Company (NFPC)

NFPC, a premier food and beverage company in UAE achieved 99.9% inventory visibility with RFgen Mobile Edge™ and Continuous Availability.

Faced with ongoing expansion of its widespread operations, NFPC digitized inventory processes at its facilities and implemented RFgen High Availability (now called Continuous Availability). As a result, the company enhanced continuity of operations with 99.9% system availability and data access.

Read the full story here.

Trident Seafoods

Trident Seafoods, a national leader in U.S. seafood production, gained efficiency and visibility with Continuous Availability at remote plants.

As a vertically integrated harvester, processor, and marketer, controlling inventory and quality across its operations are vital—but difficult at widely distributed processing plants. Implementing RFgen Continuous Availability helped close the gap and triple overall transaction volume in the company’s JD Edwards ERP system.

Read the case study.

Closing the Offline Gap with RFgen Continuous Availability

Today’s supply chain operations move quickly. With the pressing need for quality, speed, and accuracy, pausing work for ERP or connectivity downtime hinders business continuity. To ensure predictability and resilience, companies struggling with connectivity issues must look to specialized solutions like RFgen Continuous Availability to close the gap. Failing to correct for this inefficiency negatively impacts cost and reputation.

If your enterprise uses a major ERP system and wants to connect remote or disconnected operations within your digital environment, reach out to the experts at RFgen Software today.

FAQs

Addressing Common Questions about Continuous Availability

What is “High Availability”?


RFgen High Availability, now called RFgen Continuous Availability, is an innovative offline data collection solution that enables operational continuity during periods with the ERP system is offline or unavailable.


What data does RFgen download from the ERP?


It downloads the latest ERP validation data, ensuring accuracy in offline operations.


Is it suitable for remote countries?

Absolutely. RFgen supports operations in remote locations lacking reliable infrastructure, ensuring inventory control and data synchronization with the ERP system.


How does Continuous Availability differ from Offline Mobility (“Batch” Mode)?


Continuous Availability provides server-side support for continuous operations, unlike Offline Mobility’s “batch mode,” which is a short-term, device-level solution.