We live faster, we work remotely, we use mobile solutions.
Many companies are trying to follow the modern trend of freeing resources, improving time management and refining the organization of business processes, while maintaining a high level of flexibility.
Enterprise Mobility systems, efficient in introducing this trend, are becoming a standard in most business environments. They allow enterprises to overcome the greatest challenges faced by them every day. Szymon Włochowicz, Enterprise Mobility Solutions Architect in Hicron, explains how this works.
Mobility on quality guard
By entering data into mobile devices we do not need to enter the same information twice. Data are entered only once, directly into the device connected to the corporate application. This limits the risk of errors, the risk of omitting important information and therefore the risk of transferring incorrect data.
Mobile devices also ensure continuous data verification. If the device is online, the data entered can be verified immediately by the server in terms of inconsistency with expected data (e.g. by means of statistical methods). Consequently, employees can be notified about any discrepancies immediately upon data receipt so that additional actions can be taken to double check the parameters or gather extra information to clarify any inconsistencies.
Multifunctionality Comes First
Mobile devices can facilitate data collection by complementing data with readings from inbuilt sensors. GPS receivers can supplement data with information about the place of data collection. This allows data to be unambiguously assigned to an object and eliminates problems caused by incorrect data assignment or attempts to forge data. The high quality of inbuilt cameras allows employees to use only one device instead of two (computer and digital camera) throughout the data collection process. By downloading data directly from the camera, users avoid the arduous process of matching images to data which can be a source of potential mistakes.
Cameras can also be used for reading bar codes, including two-dimensional codes (QR codes). The latest developments in this area are the so-called NFC (Near Field Communication) tags which use radio frequency bands to identify objects. This means that objects can be identified under poor lighting conditions or when the bar code is not visible or has been damaged. Mobile data gathering has become very popular in Field Service applications (i.e. applications used whenever objects or devices are managed in the field).
No Coverage? No Problem
Today’s mobile apps can work both online and offline. Thanks to the use of advanced mobile middleware platforms, such as the SAP Unwired Platform, corporate data can be accessible on mobile devices even outside the network coverage area. These data are later automatically synchronized with ERP systems. On the one hand, this ensures access to the latest company data, and on the other hand, allows for immediate replication of data collected by field employees in the central systems. The information can be transferred to ERP systems automatically, as soon as the device connects to the network. This solution ensures better time management. The employee is sure that lost network coverage does not mean loss of data.
Employees using mobile devices are offered greater decision making flexibility – they can do their job regardless of where they are or what they are doing.
For example, transferring sales management processes to mobile devices may allow sales managers to accept terms and conditions of contracts with specific customers via their mobile devices. As a result, the sales force receives a quick decision of whether to proceed with or withdraw from a specific action. Similar examples of applying mobile solutions in business operations include the approval of HR or purchasing processes.
Mobile apps allow employees to submit requests or obtain information about the status of their request (e.g. holiday requests, purchase requests, training, etc.). Information flow is faster, which in some cases translates into considerable savings. For example, quicker approval of business trip requests may allow employees to purchase cheaper plane tickets.
A tablet has become an irreplaceable work tool for sales representatives, and not only because it offers access to all available data without the need to carry tons of brochures. The availability of real-time customer information loaded directly from the company’s central system is an unquestionable advantage of mobile devices. Additionally, there is also another feature that gives the tablet an advantage over traditional presentations and commercial brochures: its form. Mobile apps in tablets provide the user with access to unusual, interactive data presentation forms that engage clients and allow them to participate in price simulations, for example. Such solutions attract customers and raise their retention rate.