Why Mobile is Important for Supply Chain

Dustin Caudell
Mon, Jun 8, 2015
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Mobile technologies streamline inventory management and add to transparency.

One of the main tenets of technology is that it makes business life easier for everyone, no matter the industry they work in or what level of command they are in a company. Executives, managers and factory floor workers can all benefit from advances in tech. As the manufacturing and shipping industries continue to grow and implement new technologies to make operations run more smoothly and efficiently, the choice of IT has become an even more crucial question.

According to an RFgen white paper titled "Tomorrow's Warehouse Today: Three Technologies for Exceptional Efficiency," the average distribution center wastes close to 3,000 labor hours because of inefficient operations, making it of the utmost importance to choose the right technology for the needs of the company. CIOs should be fully aware of all their options before investing in software or hardware, and one of those options is mobile technology.

The Power of Mobile for Operations
Mobile tech is one of the most important technologies that help companies stay on top of inventories and manage daily operations. For instance, the food manufacturing industry uses mobile data collection to ensure companies maintain production levels; mobile data collection also helps companies make the decision to alter those production levels as demand rises and falls. Factory workers in all fields are being equipped with rugged tablets and hand-held computers that can streamline data collection, and it's important all that data is sent to the company's enterprise resource planning software in order to implement necessary solutions. Manual solutions are no longer acceptable - they're too slow. Automated functions that report in real time are becoming the norm.

Tracking and Transparency
Mobile applications allow companies to more efficiently track products through the supply chain. According to Logistics Management, companies are under ever more pressure to cut costs, and even minimal increases in fuel and labor costs can be detrimental. Data collection software can help offset these cost increases by streamlining operations and making tracking and transparency easier. For example, wireless proof-of-delivery solutions for trucks can add to transparency of a company and help prevent shipping error.

Making the Most Out of Mobile
When different technologies are being used on the factory floor, all that data has to go somewhere. When devices are integrated with a company's enterprise resource planning software, this makes it easier for data to be analyzed and, for example, facilitate simpler, more effective inventory management.

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