Five ways to use mobile technology in your supply chain
Mobile technology solutions have the biggest impact on supply chain networks as they enable overall instant access and collaboration among the warehouse and field workforce, vendors and managers.
The following mobile technologies and derived benefits have the most potential to transform your supply chain and provide immediate benefits that lead to better planning, budgeting, ROI and network performance.
1. Real-time reporting
By adding mobile technology to your current supply chain operations, warehouse workers can easily exchange information via messaging, pictures or recorded video with field teams and use mobile or portable devices for bar coding or labelling procedures.
Truck drivers can access their schedule in real-time for quick changes, successfully report information digitally and even capture signatures on product delivery, further reducing the need for paper documentation.
2. Asset tracking
Tracking assets in real-time through new collaborative and integrated mobile technology improves asset allocation, planning and forecasting while providing real-time access to streaming data, unlike the older RFID and bar code technologies.
Asset tracking 24/7 gives supply chain managers the immediate opportunity to handle all changes and issues without delay and improve productivity, maximising the allocation and use of resources, and saving substantial time otherwise spent on troubleshooting.
3. Business intelligence (BI)
Mobile business intelligence applications enable a real-time overview of the whole supply chain network and its operations, as well as key statistics that assist the business in making the important decisions moving forward.
Supply chain managers and executives can now receive accurate insights at all times, identify opportunities and areas of concern as they happen, prioritise specific tasks, perform adjustments where necessary, and immediately adjust the next course of action.
4. Bar code scanning
Supply chain apps can improve inventory management, turning regular mobile devices in advanced bar code scanners that process data without delay, and even from a distance in places hard to reach otherwise, sometimes without requiring perfect close-up scans.
Such supply chain apps assist management to speed up inventory management, especially when dealing with hectic schedules, by using mobile technology in everyone's reach.
5. Internet of things (IOT)
IOT takes mobile apps one step further by being able to react to the data they gather. This technology allows supply chains to increase productivity, improve processes, reduce costs, and track inventory, using only mobile devices.
Mobile technology improves supply chain visibility and insight. As technology evolves, supply chains will become even more streamlined and efficient thanks to the IOT. Ultimately, mobile technology in the supply chain improves customer service through better planning and real-time data delivery to customers.