M is for Mobile

The term “mobile” has become one of the buzz-words of the decade, and is right up there with cloud and social.

When a business first hears the word “mobile” (in an ERP sense), they usually think of operators wandering around a warehouse, sporting supermarket grade 1D barcode readers, picking stock for a sales order, or carrying out a stock take whilst being ‘mobile in the workspace’, where they are not restricted to working in a ‘fixed location’.

While that may have been true 10 years ago, nowadays, there is a requirement for people outside of this workgroup to still be able to perform certain activities outside of the normal workspace as part of their role, so the workspace automatically ends up extending to include the mobile enabling technologies of the outside world.

Examples of these types of activities could include a Finance Director checking a cash flow position away from the office, a Sales Executive adding sales orders from a customer site or a Customer Service representative updating CRM activity information from home.

So in an ERP sense – the term “mobile” requires greater clarification. When someone mentions implementing a “mobile” solution, they are in fact describing a category or strategy, which one of the following solutions could fall into:
ERP Query & Transaction Processing, Advanced Warehouse Management, external BYOD (Bring your own device) applications, KPI reporting tools, CRM systems, Bespoke Device Apps, Appstore Apps, MCommerce, Social network, Payment solutions…

The list goes on…

When seeking to add value to a business by investing in any “mobile” solution, it is important that the business itself understands the differences between the solutions, and ensures that it partners with a solutions provider that understands what is available, can provide the best implementation advice and explain the benefits and the overall effect the implantation of the solution would have on the infrastructure of the business.

K3 Syspro has years of experience implementing “Mobile” solutions. We recently helped packaging specialist Smurfit Kappa Czech to boost its productivity thanks to a mobile SYSPRO solution. When Smurfit Kappa opened its new Czech office, it chose to lift an established, successful SYSPRO batch mobile process that was in place within one of its UK divisions but we demonstrated that SYSPRO could offer greater levels of productivity when used to post real-time transactions directly from the shop floor. Our mobile scanning solution made light work of managing inventories, receiving purchase orders and picking orders, making the process of movements in stock much faster than previously, because the company was able to send data directly to SYSPRO from the shop floor.

That’s just one example of how we helped a large company by allowing mobile access to their ERP solution and there are many more on our website that demonstrate the efficiency of mobile ERP.

The SYSPRO Espresso mobile solution will be available in the next version of SYSPRO and was developed as a response to demand for instant, easy access to business critical data, from users all over the world. We are already experiencing a demand for mobile access from many of our clients and are working to tailor mobile solutions to suit them. The word ‘mobile’ has been used in many industry reports this year too and is already becoming the key term for supply chain efficiency. If 2013 was the year of the cloud then we fully expect 2014 to be the year of mobile, and we are ready to respond and join in the conversations.

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