Why manufacturers need to ‘perk up’ to mobile technology

As a manufacturer you would be hard pushed not to have noticed the way the industry operates has changed. And as the industry has naturally evolved, so too has the way in which manufacturers work. There has been a huge shift in recent years in the way industries adopt mobile technology, and manufacturers are no different.  From the findings of the latest annual PwC survey, it’s encouraging to see that 81% of industrial manufacturing CEOs see mobile technologies as being strategically important to their enterprise. And a further 86% of CEOs have stated that a clear vision of how digital technologies (including mobile) can create competitive advantage is key to the success of their investments.

These are just some of the statistics available to support the use of mobile technology within the manufacturing industry. Here at K3 Syspro, we also have our own. We recently launched our own mobile Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) framework application, SYSPRO Espresso. The mobile solution is available to all SYSPRO customers on a global scale and our own download numbers further support the statistics released by the PwC. Receiving over 2,000 downloads to date globally, it’s incredibly encouraging to see the manufacturing world is fast realising the potential of mobile technology, with the UK comprising almost a quarter of all these downloads. Our figures also reveal that the most popular device used to download SYSPRO Espresso is the Apple iPhone with almost half (45.9%) of downloads coming from the Apple app store.

However, the most interesting statistics come when looking at the age group of those who have downloaded Espresso. While technology is fast becoming a second language among younger generations, downloads of Espresso highlight that the most popular age group of people who have downloaded the mobile framework is the 35-44 year age bracket, with those aged 25-34 just slightly behind. It’s fantastic to see manufacturers of all ages embracing mobile technology, but while download figures are encouraging, it leads to the question…
What does growing mobile adoption mean for business?

As the way that manufacturing changes, moving towards the adoption of mobile technologies, manufacturers must also evolve to support this change. Within day-to-day life the way we work increasingly favours an ‘on-the-go’ attitude, no longer confound to the realms of nine to five, or office walls; manufacturers must now move to adopt technology which facilitates this shift.
What our own results here at K3 Syspro, and those found by PwC show, is that manufacturers are now prioritising the use of mobile technology within their business infrastructure. But greater than this are the benefits that UK manufacturers and SYSPRO customers are experiencing as a result of deploying mobile technology. Too often quality systems and processes are manually integrated or isolated from manufacturing systems. However, mobile technology is now enabling supplier traceability, quality, and in turn, positively contributing to the manufacturer’s bottom line.

Mobile technology is fast replacing manually-intensive inventory management systems with enterprise-wide mobile inventory tracking, traceability and reporting systems. And it’s giving senior management any place, any time access to their business critical data, empowering them to make more informed decisions about their enterprise. Furthermore, it is enabling manufacturers to easily monitor production workflow performance using a variety of dashboards. By integrating mobile-based systems to provide real-time updates and workflow data through a singular production centre, workflow practices can be streamlined, again increasing productivity levels which in turn boosts bottom line.

Mobile technology is affording manufacturers transparency of key business data from any place at any time, perfectly complementing the way in which they operate, and in turn, streamlining supply chains, thus improving efficiency. As our figures demonstrate, it is quickly becoming the norm to gain mobile intelligence of business critical data in real time. With adoption of mobile technology growing, there has never been a better time for manufacturers to embrace mobility.

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