Everywhere you turn the message for business is ‘go mobile’. But it can be confusing. For wholesalers ‘going mobile’ is about giving mobile workers or customers access to the data contained on the main IT system via devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones.
What are the benefits?
Access to real time information, on demand, from remote locations is a big benefit, but there are also speed, cost and accuracy benefits.
So how could I use it?
The simplest example is within your business where it means managers are no longer tied to a desktop PC to manage operations. Accessing systems like Accord® on mobile devices gives managers greater flexibility and immediacy in controlling operations. Field-based reps calling on customers need access to information from their tablet or laptop in advance and on screen during the meeting – as well as a means to input and transmit back any orders they take.
Retail customers could use it to re-order stock from you – using a smartphone, for example, to scan barcodes on low stock items, then transmit the order back to you.
What should I look out for?
Normally data transfer between the mobile device and the central system uses mobile phone networks with a good bandwidth and good coverage, but ensure that your provider builds ‘store and forward’ functionality into the system in case coverage is not available at all locations. Also, applications should be tailored for the device they will run on. There’s a big difference between the small viewing area and touchscreen entry of a smartphone and the larger screen and keyboard entry of a laptop – and a myriad of devices in between.