As in any other industries, in logistics and transportation as well, smartphones and tablets are now widely used to handle various activities. The main goal of the entire supply chain management is to fulfill customer demands on time. And the core components of the supply chain are final customers, retailers, warehouse, transporters, manufacturer & supplier. What flows is the information, product, and money.
The advancing mobile technology helps this industry to get real-time visibility in all its functions. Today, smartphones’ functionalities and expanding mobile data networks are now well beyond the systems which were used a few years back. The most basic mobile phones also include GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and application functionality. And, at the same time, the cost of the mobile technology has also gone down, mobile data coverage has increased, and the broadband speeds are increasing with 3G, 4G, LTE (Long-term evolution). Previously, the communication between the base office and the driver was happening only when a task was completed or there were some real serious problems encountered. But, times have changed now, today, supply chain managers can communicate with the drivers or the employees who are working remotely communicate in real time. They not only communicate but also exchange data and information in real-time.
In logistics, the manager needs to have an updated information about where his cargo is at any given point in time. And, mobility is of immense help for that purpose. It helps them with real-time data & precise Information based on which managers can not only track his cargo in real-time but even promptly identify and mitigate performance gaps, increase the process speed and even address the issues faced with inventory management. In inventory management, having most accurate information about the inventory, for its efficient management, is always a challenge. And here too mobility plays a critical part. It plays an important role in transportation optimization, load planning, load management and other functions.
When we are talking about how mobile devices are useful, we should also mention how Bluetooth technology is benefiting the supply chain industry –
Secured Data transfer within a short radius – Depending on the requirements of the organization, Bluetooth enabled technologies can provide a secure environment to transfer data & critical information about products and shipments at any time.
Low battery consumption – Bluetooth does not require internet data to communicate information about shipments/cargo, Bluetooth consumes less battery than an internet connection, thus reducing the data costs.
Configuration with other management apps – The data received or transferred can be integrated with other business apps for the e.g. inventory management app.
Configuration with IoT devices – With the help of Bluetooth on a mobile device, it can be seamlessly integrated with the IoT system of the enterprise. And we all know, the industrial revolution i4 is all about IoT, AI and Big Data which is hugely going to transform the supply chain management processes.
Mobility in supply chain management (SCM) helps companies focus on improving processes, cutting costs, and increasing efficiencies. Supply chain employees use mobile devices to access critical data and information in the office or even when they are working at the remote location. They may need to access customer details, and other details related to channel partners, businesses associates, and vendors. Some of the employees are working on the go, making money transaction on mobile devices, while some of the employees are working within a particular geographical area, while others need to travel from one side of the globe to other.
There is a number of challenges and risks associated with the above scenarios. And, as a manager, you need to consistently manage your team as well as monitor and control the data and information exchanged. As a result of which, to successfully implement mobility in the organization’s SCM and leverage it for business benefit, companies need a Cloud-based Mobile Device Management (MDM) Solution. So, what does a Mobile Device Management for logistics & supply chain management solution provide?
Taking some of the scenarios where, as a manager, you may need to know that your employee is at the location where he is supposed to be, you may even need to ensure that devices are not misused for personal entertainment and business data & information are not at risk, whether the devices are safe and not lost or stolen, because, If so then, data need to remotely wiped off, you may also need to keep a tab on whether data usage is under control and so on… There are numerous use cases wherein IT head, as well as SCM manager, need to keep updated information about the various activities being done by the employees and at the same time ensuring that the work is not affected and company-owned mobile devices are safe. To solve such use-cases, a mobile device management for logistics and supply chain management will suffice.
To sum up, Scalefusion helps the organization to leverage mobile technology to increase productivity, improve processes and provide flexibility to employees to work at any location at any time.
To know more about Scalefusion helps Logistics companies – read Case Study: How Scalefusion helped Visa Global Logistics
Nema Buch is a Research & Marketing professional, also writes for Scalefusion on Enterprise Mobility trends, SaaS, and different Industry Verticals.