- More digital supply chain technologies are available than ever before, from artificial intelligence to edge computing, RFID and more.
- Creating a truly mobile supply chain is a low-risk investment with low TCO and quick ROI.
- Three of the most effective mobile supply chain technologies to consider include mobile barcoding, mobile apps for supply chain and a low code mobile development platform.
Today’s supply chains have more technologies and data available to them than ever before. Digital transformation initiatives are taking priority in every industry. The drive to digitize will continue growing in urgency as shortfalls in traditional supply chain strategies and manual processes are exposed by the impact of COVID-19.
Among these transformation efforts, creating a mobile supply chain is a priority for businesses that handle inventory or assets.
But with so many technologies on the market, how do you find the best mobile solutions to fit your operation?
Start by looking for technologies that:
- Automate inefficient manual inventory processes
- Provide low cost to entry, low risk and quick ROI
- Offer flexibility to meet current and future needs
Next, let’s explore three supply chain technologies that meet these criteria:
1. Mobile Barcoding
Slow manual processes. Repetitive data entry. Inventory inaccuracies. Stockouts. Chargebacks. Bottlenecks. Sound familiar?
If so, you’re not alone.
Many businesses still use manual data collection to track inventory. Manual inventory control is slow, inaccurate and obsolete for the digital enterprise leveraging ERP software.
Mobile barcoding technology automates and mobilizes these inventory processes. Built on an advanced form of automated identification and data capture, or AIDC, mobile barcoding equips workers to use barcode scanners and mobile devices. They can scan and move inventory wherever they work, updating your ERP in real time.
Mobilizing your workforce provides extensive benefits in terms of efficiency, productivity, accuracy, throughput and cost savings.
Manual data collection is inflexible. It can’t scale with your business and won’t support your future digital transformation initiatives or support a crucial mobile supply chain.
No more questioning if the stock levels in your ERP match what is actually on the floor.
In addition, mobile barcoding solutions have long-proven results. Mobility presents a small investment with short ROI when weighed against the cost savings and increased profit margin that result.
2. Mobile Apps for Supply Chain
Companies are discovering that enterprise mobile apps are a source of considerable gains. Mobile barcoding technology uses mobile apps to expand supply chain mobility beyond simple barcode scanning.
Mobile apps can be used to automate virtually any manual process, with or without barcodes. In this way, mobile apps extend operational continuity for your ERP and your business.
While you may want to build mobile apps from scratch using “low code” (more on that below), a more cost-effective solution is to buy an existing mobile solution.
Barcode software platforms like RFgen Mobile Foundations include suites of mobile apps that automate common supply chain activities. Each suite includes groups of pre-built, pre-tested and pre-validated mobile applications for your ERP. Deploy them out-of-the-box or tailor as needed.
In addition, RFgen mobile apps for supply chain integrate the latest cutting-edge technologies on the market, such as:
- Offline mobile data collection
- GPS and Google Maps integration
- Image and signature Capture
- Industrial devices, like Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
- IoT and IIoT devices, including RFID, helper co-bots and autonomous vehicles
- Scales, carousels, and other physical automation solutions
And many more.
3. Low Code Mobile Development Platform
Creating a mobile supply chain with ready-to-deploy tech doesn’t work for everyone. Many organizations have unique needs. More than that, most want control over the future of their solution.
A low-code mobile development platform, or MADP, is one way to shape your mobility solutions to your individual business requirements. “Low code” equips your IT staff with pre-made blocks of code logic that can be used to build mobile apps with simple drag-and-drop, instead of coding every line by hand.
RFgen Mobile Foundations includes a built-in low-code platform called Mobile Development Studio. With the Mobile Development Studio, you can quickly modify pre-built mobile apps or build new ones up to 95% faster than doing it by hand. Low code allows non-specialized developers to leverage built-in best practices for supply chain and mobile development. Coders still retain the ability to insert custom code as desired.
Armed with low code, your technical staff gain the best of pre-built functionality and customization. As your business grows and evolves, you retain the ability to develop your solutions at will without over-burdening IT.
The sheer number of supply chain technologies available can be overwhelming. Choosing the right investment is key. Creating a mobile supply chain is no exception.
Mobile barcoding, mobile apps and low code mobile development platforms are three flexible technologies to help you mobilize your supply chain and galvanize digital transformation. All three options leverage existing infrastructure, providing low total cost of ownership (TCO) and short return on investment (ROI).
If you choose a flexible mobile framework like RFgen Mobile Foundations, you get all three in one solution. You also gain the peace of mind that comes with reliability and control of the future of your investment.