Mobile technology slowly crawled its way into multiple industries from education to healthcare, from retail to logistics, replacing the traditional methodologies involved in the business and operations. The manufacturing industry embraced mobility slightly hesitant but better late than never. The manufacturing industry saw a huge revamp in recent times, paving the way for ‘Industry 4.0’, embracing technology and mobility to create smart factories, improved operations and enhanced efficiency which has now guaranteed that mobility in manufacturing is here to stay.
Mobility in Manufacturing: Introduction
The manufacturing industry was already aware of the business benefits driven by mobility for other industries. Tech Savvy employees, the availability of strong, reliable networks and powerful applications made manufacturing industry read to adopt mobility to transform its operations from the warehouse to the shop floor, from supply chain to management.
The manufacturing industry has realized the strategic importance of mobility to suffice its growing need of improved operations to keep up with the pace of complex projects, hyper-connected consumer world that demands real-time responses and importance of implementing ideas based on data, derived from a robust system instead of manual bookkeeping. The buzz of Industrial Internet of Things came into motion and the long-overdue of mobile transformation happened for manufacturing.
Mobility in manufacturing is typically used in:
- Asset Management
- Shop Floor or Warehouse Management
- Field Sales Management
- Field Service Provision
Benefits of Mobility in Manufacturing
- Improved monitoring & operations
From distributed order management to improved accuracy in fulfillment, from tracking GPS locations of frontline workers to exchange of up-to-date knowledge base with remote workers, the use of mobile technology has significantly improved the operations in manufacturing. With the use of multiple enterprise-level apps readily available on mobile devices, operational efficiency is improved. Integration of mobile-based systems can improve workflows, reducing the cost of operations. Production, supply chain, quality, maintenance and field service operations are accentuated with the use of mobile technology.
- Improved communication
Since the employees – working in a warehouse or remotely are empowered with business resources and latest applications to accomplish tasks, there is a significant improvement in the productivity of the employees. With mobile devices, communication & collaboration becomes easy. Employees can have faster access to information and employees working outside the work perimeters can stay connected with the rest of the team, can promptly generate service requests and have an improved response time with the clients and customers.
- Real-time response & analysis
According to a study, when a sales team delivers the first complete quote immediately following in-depth discussions with a prospect, it wins 70% of the time¹. Mobile devices facilitate in delivering prompt services, issuing quick fixes and analyzing performance in real-time.
- Data-driven systems & processes
Use of mobility provisions improved traceability and reporting system, effectively mitigating the dependency on manual systems that are subjective to errors. With mobile devices, inventory-wide status reporting is streamlined saving hours of paperwork.
The multiple benefits of embracing mobility in manufacturing cumulatively help to achieve productivity, efficiency and employee satisfaction with improved operations, communication and engagement.
Challenges of mobility in manufacturing:
Connected enterprise operations in the manufacturing industry come with a set of benefits, also bringing along a set of challenges. Driving mobility in manufacturing essentially means replacing the existing systems of operations and adopting new devices and policies, which can be overwhelming for the IT teams as well as the employees.
Following are the challenges of driving mobility in manufacturing:
- Availability of industry-grade mobile devices
- Equipping the mobile devices strictly to operate for business use
- Customizing solutions for securing and managing mobility
- Training the staff to use mobile devices and applications
- Security, scalability and support to BYO devices
- Troubleshooting device issues remotely
These challenges if mitigated well, with a comprehensive Mobile Device Management Solution can help in deriving the desired ROI from the mobility exercise.
Scalefusion for Managing Mobility in Manufacturing
Scalefusion simplifies mobile device management for the manufacturing industry.
With Scalefusion, you can:
- Configure & provision devices with business apps and resources
- Monitor device performance, activity & location remotely
- Automate alerts and compliance checks with timely reports
- Troubleshoot device issues and streamline ticketing
- Communicate with the team over VoIP calling
- Extend support to employee-owned (BYO) devices
Scalefusion Rugged Device Management
Since manufacturing requires versatile devices that can withstand harsh environmental conditions, deploying rugged, special-purpose devices is recommended. Scalefusion supports Android rugged devices which are designed for extreme weather conditions, dusty conditions and harsh environments, suitable for tough shop floors or remotely working frontline workforce.
Resources and links