There are countless reasons why manufacturing businesses are increasingly relying on mobile apps to maintain 24/7 access to real-time data that helps them perform better. Yes, the quaint days of lugging around loads of paper and/or having to call the office to keep track of sales, review customer history and track inventory are gradually fading into the proverbial dustbin. Here’s why your business needs a mobile solution.
On the macro level, mobile apps, often integrated to ERP and CRM solutions, improve efficiencies and help reduce costs. When one factors in how many complex processes are simultaneously at work with manufacturing entities, it’s clear that access to up-to-the-minute information across the enterprise is an essential requirement in order to stay competitive.
For example, if you’re a manufacturing sales rep and you’re out visiting a customer, you want to have complete visibility into your customer’s history as well as inventory availability so that you can close the deal and provide superior service – a win win proposition. With a mobile app at your disposal, you can generate quotes, determine whether your customer qualifies for special pricing, check on order status and delivery dates and check on their creditworthiness, and so much more.
If you’re an executive, your mobile app will enable you to pull up management reports for analysis or to gather information for an upcoming presentation. If you want to know the latest status of a production line or whether additional raw materials need to be ordered to complete a process, your mobile app will be your best friend.
Let’s quickly break down a few compelling ways that mobile apps can deliver improved efficiency and lower costs – underscoring the reason your business needs a mobile solution:
1: Automation Cuts Paper
If you’re fed up with the clutter and chaos that are traditional by-products of paper, manual entry and resultant errors, having mobile technology in your hands to gain instant access to all the data you need will make you a believer in no time. And think of all the extra space you’ll have without all the piles of paper scattered about.
2: Remote Inventory Management Capabilities
With mobile technology nearly omnipresent, it’s expected that sales reps out in the field have instant access to real-time data that can facilitate inventory tracking, warehouse management and order fulfillment. The right mobile app will tie into your ERP system to ensure that you aren’t scrambling for information at the moment your customer needs an answer about whether an item is in stock or not. Whether you’re at the customer site, a trade show or visiting a supplier, make sure that you have a mobile app installed than can help you find whatever inventory-related information you want … at a moment’s notice. Your customers will thank you.
3: Real-Time Tracking of Shipments
Mobile integration with the right ERP system provides manufacturers with the tools they need to effectively track shipments and communicate status updates to their customers. Having instant access to the latest shipping information and the ability to send status updates are essential to keeping customers happy. As many have discovered, shipping mistakes and failure to keep customers in the loop with delivery status updates can be damaging to those relationships.
4: Quality Control at Your Fingertips
Integration between your ERP system and mobile app can prove highly beneficial when it comes to ensuring compliance with internal and/or external quality control and safety standards. Mobile apps should possess GPS and time and date stamps that can streamline inspections and quality checks throughout the plant.
5: Alerts & Approvals
– When it comes to expertly managing customers, having access to alerts and approvals that have been set up in your ERP system is a tremendous asset. Alerts can be set up for a wide variety of variables such as deviations from approved discounts, prices, credit limits and much more – all accessible from the mobile app. Plus, you should be able to sort these alerts by date, type or priority, as well as view and complete approval requests on the fly.
If you’ve already adopted mobile apps to run in concert with your ERP and perhaps your CRM systems, you already know how much more efficient you are in managing your customer relationships vs. the old manual paper and pencil method. If you haven’t taken the leap yet, we urge you to investigate an ERP system that is geared to the manufacturing segment and make sure that it offers a mobile app that will provide instant, real-time access to all your customer and inventory data when you’re on the go.