Yes, there’s a place for mobile in manufacturing. Seven, actually. Today’s mobile solutions can help your business run more profitably and predictably, by putting the right tools and information right where they’re needed.
1. Make field workers more productive
All that information you’ve got spilling out of product sheets and installation guides? It’s just what your people in the field need to sell, deliver, install and service your products. So set them up with tablets to quickly access the latest reference materials,view routing instructions, or report back to the factory from the road. You’ll see it pay off in faster time-to-order and shorter service calls.
2. Give people access to on-demand knowledge
Employees in manufacturing today are typically working on complex machines and systems. This means handling multiple responsibilities, and dealing with more compliance and safety requirements than ever. Load tablets with videos, manuals and instructions to deliver the training and education they need, where they need it most — on the floor.
3. Use mobile to capture, share & manipulate real-time data
If lean manufacturing is about eliminating waste, it’s hard to think of a better enabler than mobile. You could fill a book with examples of how mobile supports no-wasted-effort, real-time decision making. Here are several to get you thinking:
- Maintain real-time inventory information Mount a networked mobile solution on forklifts so drivers can enter changes as they happen.
- Enable just-in-time supply Equip workers to order parts or request needed supplies with a quick barcode scan.
- Provide tablet access to intelligence Deliver current production line statistics or facility performance data that managers can apply to decisions.
- Comply cost-effectively Use barcode or RFID scans to meet track-and-trace regulations.
4. Empower customers with self-service
Put a mobile ordering solution in a customer’s hands, and you’ll foster repeat business by offering:
- An easy, convenient way to order without having to consult with a sales rep.
- Links to manuals, technical sheets, videos to support their purchase.
- At-a-glance visibility for insight into shipment and delivery status.
5. Transform sales reps into top-selling consultants
Knowledge really is power when it comes to how well someone sells. Equip reps — your own, a partner’s or a distributor’s — with a mobile solution that combines deep product knowledge, solid presentation guidance and a simple order mechanism. You’ll get new talent up to speed fast, sharpen current reps’ skills, and see the whole team shift from keepers of SKUs to rusted advisers and problem-solvers.
6. Bring old technology back to life with a new interface
What do you get when you cross a smartphone with a machine? It’s no joke: adding mobile functionality to machines can breathe new life into old manufacturing technologies. A few examples:
- Add a smartphone interface to make it easier to interact with older equipment.
- Outfit machines with sensors to send critical monitoring information to managers’ phones.
- Equip an assembly line manager with a tablet to monitor the line vs. tying him to a distant workstation.
7. Get visibility into the supply chain from anywhere
The supply chain stretches from the point of manufacture to the point of sale, and you have to be able to manage logistics at every point on the way. Mobile inventory management tools track supplies in real time, so you can see exactly what’s in the warehouse and what’s en route to your customers at any moment.
One more thing
The key to success with mobile isn’t doing seven (or more) things. It’s starting with one. Making mobile a part of your operations can unfold as quickly or deliberately as you like. We can work with you to lay out a mobile strategy for all or any part of your process — from ordering to fulfillment — and help you see it through.
Take the next step.
1. MA Staff. (2009, July 17). 7 in 10 manufacturers view mobility as key to productivity. Manufacturing Automation. Retrieved from http://www.automationmag.com/news/7-in-10-manufacturers-view-mobility-as-key-to-productivity-study.html
3. Jusko, J. (2012, May 14). Training the Manufacturing Workforce: Don’t Go It Alone. Industry Week. Retrieved from http://www.industryweek.com/workforce/training-manufacturing-workforce-dont-go-it-alone?page=4
4. Amalfitano, A. (2011, July). The iPad And its Role In Lean Manufacturing Success. Manufacturing Business Technology. Retrieved from http://www.mbtmag.com/articles/ 2011/07/ipad-and-its-role-lean-manufacturing-success
5. CSO Insights (2012). Connecting the Dots of Sales Performance.
6. Louis, C. (2012, Sept. 16). Why CIOs Are Quickly Prioritizing Analytics, Cloud and Mobile. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2012/09/16/why-cios-are-quickly-prioritizing-analytics-cloud-and-mobile/
Mutual Mobile has delivered hundreds of mobile experiences across iOS, Android and mobile web. Our end-to-end solutions have delighted major clients including Google, Audi, Cisco and Xerox — and have led to major business transformations. We’ve quadrupled the productivity of one client’s mobile fleet and connected a quarter of a million engineers via a massive global support system for another. We’ve also received numerous awards and accolades, including recognition as a Forbes Most Promising Company, a 2012 Webby Nomination in the Retail/Tablet category and a 2011 ADDY Award from the AAF. Mutual Mobile is experienced at crafting mobile strategy that addresses enterprise-sized concerns and challenges to create efficiency, engagement and measurable value for users — whether those users are employees or consumers. Learn more at www.mutualmobile.com.