Where is the manufacturing industry going in the 21st century? Technological breakthroughs continue to drive this industry forward. This has allowed new and exciting initiatives and innovations to keep making headway in the industry. According to the MHI survey from Deloitte, the top supply chain applications for wearable and mobile technology today (and over the next one to two years) show a clear focus on manufacturing and warehousing activities such as order picking and value-added processing. Of course, all of these breakthroughs must rest on one core principle – business success. In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, how can manufacturing organizations ensure they are maintaining a successful strategy? Through the adoption of mobile technology. As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, the capability gap between early adopters and their slower competitors is growing, giving leaders and innovators a sustainable competitive advantage that makes it difficult for companies with traditional supply chains to compete or catch-up.
The Rise of Mobile in Manufacturing
Mobile technology is changing the face of manufacturing. Apps, platforms, and web-based tools bring a variety of added solutions to the manufacturing industry.
On average, companies expect to spend more than seven million dollars on new supply chain technologies over the next two years, with the top 17% spending over $10 million. Additionally, [Tweet “49% of all #manufacturing organizations surveyed will spend at least $1 million on new supply chain technologies. http://buff.ly/1B9ro48 #mobile”] “Nothing can energize an organization and its people more than a highly visible, developed, and supported innovation program,” says Art Roman, director of design and construction at U.S. Foods. Manufacturing’s perennial top priority is around lowering costs throughout the supply chain. However, cutting costs can only go so far within an organization’s best interests. By only focusing on cost-cutting, a company can also expect lower returns over time. Accordingly, this can lead to a situation where profitability and competitiveness fall to the wayside within a business’s organizational structure. No company wants to reduce profitability and revenue to the point where it begins to hurt their potential. To help offset this problem, the best solution is for organizations to work toward saving through other innovative avenues like mobile technology. Mobile platforms can save a significant amount of money, whether it’s extending sales capabilities or capturing data analytics that help with business intelligence. Moreover, one of the most practical solutions comes in the form of mobile platforms designed for centralized company accessibility.Source: https://www.mhi.org/publications/report
When all the chips are in play, what’s the driving force behind all manufacturing? Customer impact and satisfaction. Both are critical to business success today. When organizations lack sufficient tools for improved customer impact, they’re are at a high risk of losing those customers. Also, as we all know, lost customers mean lost business. The good news is that mobile technology makes it even easier to improve overall customer impact. Mobile platforms make it easy for manufacturing professionals to all remain on the same page with projects. In the same breath, adding a customer-based section to this platform extends collaboration and accessibility all the way to the client-level. This ensures clients and organizations are on the same page throughout the process.
Real Life Example: Minn-Dak
Myriad Mobile worked with Minn-Dak to create a mobile platform for Minn-Dak’s grower-owners to better track yields from their annual sugar beet harvest. The mobile platform gave Minn-Dak an efficient way for their growers to eliminate paper forms, track historical data, and see current harvest results. The mobile platform gave Minn-Dak a direct avenue to communicate with their growers. The mobile solution updated an antiquated paper slip system that took unnecessary hours to complete, long after the harvest was over.
Collaboration remains the cornerstone of any successful business. This holds especially true within the manufacturing industry where there is often a disconnect between professionals. On-site versus field-deployed staff have frequently reported lack of communication as a significant organizational pain point. Fortunately, mobile technology is working toward eliminating this challenge altogether. The best business decisions come from an informed group of people who plan and respond rather than merely react. Mobile and portable technology is closing the communication gap that often causes problems within manufacturing. Access to a collaborative, cloud-based platform brings all professional work together into one accessible system. This ensures everyone is on the same page regardless of physical location.
Real Life Example: Bobcat
Myriad Mobile worked with Bobcat, a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of compact equipment, to develop new technologies around mobility in both the engineering and product development divisions. The goal was to reduce paperwork, errors in reporting, and time spent uploading files in the field during engineering test operations. According to John Pfaff, Senior Test Development Engineer at Bobcat, “Myriad really took the time to understand exactly what we were looking for and developed Bobcat’s first productivity improvement application within engineering. We are now able to replace laptops, cameras and paper with mobile devices and custom applications that integrate directly into the Bobcat network. The time-savings per engineer can be literally hours per day. Myriad has helped to advance our department and we look forward to working with them in the years to come.”
Three things manufacturers should keep in mind when exploring mobile technology.
- Maximize Productivity When it comes to building a mobile app environment, productivity is the number one priority. This holds particularly true within the manufacturing industry where mobile deployment can significantly improve overall workflow. This helps staff reduce wasted time, eliminate pain points, and significantly improve efficiency. Look for a mobile technology partner who spends a time getting to know the operations of the organization before they come up with a plan.
- The implementation challenge. Planning and executing are two very different actions. How will an organization adopt and install this platform? How can an organization train their staff to utilize a platform’s full potential? An experienced mobile technology partner will help organizations answer those questions through a discovery phase, ideation sessions, and hand-in-hand work sessions to help understand pain points. If your technology partner doesn’t offer those things, look out. Good planning can help organizations immediately benefit from the improved collaboration and sharing potential a mobile platform will bring them.
- Manufacturing in the modern age. Progressive thinkers in the manufacturing sector can see beyond the machinery itself and look at the business as a whole. According to survey results, the biggest consistent need in the manufacturing industry is a collective sharepoint for strategizing, communicating, and project management. A comprehensive mobile strategy connects professionals across the board in a manner never before seen in the manufacturing industry. Look for a technology partner who is steeped in knowledge about the latest software, hardware, and technological advances.
Ultimately, for manufacturing to implement a solid mobile strategy, organizations need to partner with subject area expertise. Myriad helps manufacturing enterprises create mobile platforms to redefine their competitive advantage, build paperless processes and empower their IT departments to be thought leaders.
If your organization is ready to streamline communication, create enthusiastic customers, and maximize collaboration, give our team a call today: 701.645.3880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org