ERP and the Future Mobile
In the near future, we can expect to have a huge increase in the investment of information technologies by the enterprises, which will be motivated by the new requirements of the market and will focus their attention especially on the mobile devices, which will experience a notorious explosion. Since this is becoming more common every day, the premise “to be present at any time in any place” reflects a latent tendency.
The mobility is expressed by the possibility of accessing a Tablet PC to check the stock of a certain product, and having the chance to make the order of shipment and get a contract without having to be physically at the office.
It is also shown in the case of the technicians receiving alerts on their mobile phones about a breakdown, and once it is solved, they could report, also through their mobile phones, the work done, having the possibility to automatically arrange the invoice.
Even though these examples seem to be utopian or far from the reality, it is not another case of “fiction-Business." It is just the possibility of having access to a software that allows a mobile device (portable computer, phone, Tablet PC, PDA) to be connected to the ERP system of an organization through a mobile net of communications and transmission of data GPRS/UMTS.
Real Solutions created for each area
There are several options of mobile applications oriented to the specific needs of particular functional areas of the companies (commercial, IT, transport, etc…) in which the collection, dealing and management of data in real time leads in an important competitive advantage that will be translated into an improvement in the productivity, better management of the Business, optimized customer service, that in all will mean an increase in the benefits.
As well as the management systems, the mobile tools have played the lead in an evolution that has passed from the personalized developments to the specialization by sectors.
By this way, all the companies could be benefited because of the advantages of this new technology, without taking into consideration the area of activity.
For the construction, engineering and consulting sectors, mobile ERP allows for the registration and assignation of time to the different activities of a project, imputation of the expenses of travel, control of the entry of materials, all without being at the office.
In the pharmaceutical, food production and services it is useful to accede the members of the sales force to the information of the general data related to the client, credit situation, incidences and stock consulting.
With the logistics and distribution areas, the system will be allowed to optimize, control and supervise the management of the delivery and collecting by transports.
For the industry and utilities sector, ERP allows to have a direct and permanent contact with the personnel and to integrate directly their reports in the system.
For the chemical and medical fields, it is relevant for the quick access to clinical history, supervision and control of certain quality processes and register of data at any time in any place.
Recommendations for the Enterprises
In order to take the opportunity to exploit all the advantages of the mobility, the interested organizations should demand services of mobile architecture to ensure the link between the wireless initiatives and their Business objectives.
Besides, the services of analysis of wireless and mobile systems to determine the degree of adaptation of their main applications and infrastructure to support mobile solutions.
Furthermore, it is important that a company demand services of design and implantation of mobility to create in each case the best application adjusted to the needs of the enterprise. By this way, it is possible to automatically synchronise a wide range of mobile devices.
Mobile ERP Benefits
Saving time and money are the main benefits for the companies. The mobile solutions are adjusted at every moment to the actual and potential needs of each company. The majority are compatible with the main Enterprise Resource Planning systems.
Therefore, having a mobile device connected to a transmission of data service will allow the enterprise to achieve a return for the maximum amount of time of the external personnel for a better use of their daily workflow, as well as the possibility to avoid unnecessary movements to the work centre.
Due to the automation of the administrative processes, it is probable to save money and time, and to reduce the risk of error at the time of introducing the data of those processes on the ERP database.
Another advantage that this innovation could provide the users with the opportunity to reduce the estimated time of finishing the service, as well as the terms of delivery, the dealing of invoices and the time of cashing.
One of the most valuable benefits that motivates the users to opt for this option is the possibility to access in real time to all the related data for a concrete operation or any other corporate applications of ERP.
Besides, it is useful to have a detailed control on the activities and development of personnel and to have direct communication (voice and data) with the “mobile” personnel of the enterprise, making easy the communications instantly and the initiation of a promotion of approval of discount.
The solution ensures a complete integration with the management system, leading into a considerable reduction of administrative costs. The efficiency of the sales representatives increases substantially, having the possibility to make more visits and use less time to fill up papers.
By the use of this system the users will have the possibility to have better sales and better services, and they will also be able to reduce the time of waiting, and to have better control made by the vendor for the central area. More agility in the administrative work by the vendor is useful, since the information related to the client, sales, etc, will be registered at the moment in the same shop. Optimization of the personnel: gives the possibility to redirect the hiring of certain positions.
The mobility application, by general rule, can be installed in “stand alone” models (without integration to the corporate systems) as well as integrating to the data structure of each company.
Obviously, all these processes are 100% secure, since the information transmitted is coded and the users should go through three different levels of authentication in order to have access to the same.
The best way to know the possibilities offered by the tools of this type is to follow the “mobility” experimented by an enterprise that has implemented a solution that allows the sales representatives of the company to have access to the ERP through mobile devices.
With the ability to complete orders, invoices, printings, and to obtain the acceptation and digital signature of the client, it will be necessary to generate inquiries online (i.e: know the available stock of a certain product). During the next few years, it is forecasted that a constant growing rate will take place near the 30% annual, with well defined strategies focused on the specialization, geographical expansion and diversity of solutions.