Supply chain as an industry has thrived in the last few years and the fact is evident by its prominent growth across the globe. A large chunk of the credit surely goes to its timely and relevant investments in technological innovations and adoption of newer digital tools and modern techniques. However, with the development comes along higher competition, greater customer expectations, growing complexities and rising demand for data and goods security – and all these strategically call out for the assistance of the latest mobility solutions.
In simple terms, supply chain management defines the entire process of storage and movement of materials from the place of origin to the point of consumption for the end-users. Here, the entire operations happening at different units involving manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, labour, and distribution are interwoven and are highly interdependent. Hence, a flawless communication network must connect all these units to ensure foolproof execution of the supply chain management.
5 ways mobility is reshaping supply chain management
A supply chain company driven by a strategic enterprise mobility framework will leverage smartphones and other handheld devices that would beautifully connect all the dots between all the supply chain units. This aims to optimize workflows, improve inventory management, enhance communication and transportation network, drive flawless asset tracking system, maximise fleet visibility, heighten productivity, lead to error reductions, precise decision-making, and top-notch customer experience. Let’s find out the details.
1. Streamlined departmental communication: The usage of handheld mobile devices and applications has become a norm in supply chain logistics management. Employees, managers, and staffs from every unit including warehouses, transportation, distribution centers and shipping leverage mobile devices. These devices are integrated with relevant apps for inventory, storage, and transportation management, which provides real-time information to the employees as well as IT admins and allow them to collaborate, communicate and manage the supply chain from anywhere and anytime. The ever-connected staffs using managed mobile devices powered with enterprise apps are better empowered to communicate with the right people at the right time to drive a flawless supply chain management process.
2. Improved product tracking and visibility: An impeccable supply chain management depends heavily upon the on-time delivery of the right products at the destination, and at the same time the managers have to ensure that the quality and quantity of the items are kept intact and unharmed. Enterprise mobility solutions like managed mobile devices including system apps offer real-time visibility of the goods in transit along with the entire transportation process. It helps the company IT admins to track assets and vehicle locations and allows to connect the resources’ status with the central business system. Mobile devices embedded with inventory and transportation tracking apps along with GPS system can easily enable the shippers and IT admins to not only directly communicate with the drivers but also to monitor their routes and delivery schedules, which ultimately keeps everyone on the same page while improving the supply chain service standards.
3. Better labor and resource management: Labour and human resource management play a critical role in the supply chain process and any kinds of mismanagement, unavailability and communication gap can lead to a disrupted organizational structure. When staffs and employees are powered with the right kind of mobile devices with enterprise apps and AIDC (automatic identification and data capture) tools like mPOS, barcode scanners, RFID readers and other wireless devices, it increases their productivity, work accuracy and speed of work significantly. Mobile devices allow the floor employees, drivers, and other staffs to feed information on work apps to keep and update the digital record of their completed tasks and eliminates any chance of errors or expectation mismatch. This allows the managers to effectively utilize and reallocate resources for additional works at different locations.
4. Fills up performance and productivity gaps: Apart from effectively managing labor and resources, logistics and supply chain managers also need to have total visibility and awareness of all the processes and people involved in the supply chain, and the right mobile devices make that possible. With the ready availability of accurate information and traceability of products, decision-makers can seamlessly identify gaps, loopholes, and errors in production, operations, and transportation. With the help of mobility solutions, they can streamline communications, mitigate performance gaps, enhance process agility, address inventory issues, optimize transportation, improve load planning and management, and complete other mission-critical tasks. Mobile dashboards facilitating data analysis and further help them to quickly review performances, detect troubles, offer an immediate resolution, collaborate with the right people to get things done and communicate with the customers.
5. Adherence to government regulations: Transportation of goods and products is one of the most crucial aspects of supply chain management and last-mile delivery processes need to be managed with utmost efficiency. Lately, the inclusion of Electronic Logging Device (ELD) for Hour of Service (HOS) record maintenance has been made compulsory by the government, which is included to ensure that truck and fleet drivers are following the mandatory balance between on-duty driving hours and rest time, during the trip. In this scenario too, mobility in supply chain aims to drive a healthy and safe driving environment for drivers wherein they can use mobile/wearable devices with ELD app to fill in hours of duty and could meet the mandate of switching the paper logbooks used for driver RODS to the electronic logbook, seamlessly.
In simple terms, mobility solutions create an environment of community or a common platform where multiple people can collaborate and communicate with each other and access and view necessary information and processes in real-time. This transparency, availability, and visibility of data, content, and systems drive quick and effective decision making, process automation, speedy and effective delivery, improved service quality, enhanced overall customer experience, which collectively improves the business bottom line and drives supply chain profitability. But when it comes to managing these employee-used mobile devices, it becomes imperative to effectively manage, monitor and secure them to drive maximum business purpose. This is where Scalefusion MDM for Logistics can help you with all kinds of use cases.