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Leveraging a Mobile Platform for Automated Data Collection and Beyond

A mobile platform that starts in manufacturing and the warehouse can provide a secure foundation to mobilize the entire supply chain. By Patrice Farrell

The established world of automated data collection (ADC) and the rapidly growing mobile movement both contribute to an efficient supply chain, though, to some, the relationship may not be immediately clear.

Enterprises that want to stay competitive in an evolving market are embracing mobile for data collection.

Automating data collection to replace paper-based processes has shown tremendous benefits in improving process time and increasing inventory accuracy - and it’s the first step in mobilizing the supply chain.

A mobile platform extends automation and instant access to information throughout the supply chain.

Businesses can harness mobility to connect workers in real time to the information they need to do their jobs efficiently.

With a mobile platform, companies can leverage a single solution for ADC needs, and achieve the agility to expand to future projects, including mobile applications outside the four walls and across the supply chain.

A mobile platform enables workers to access and manipulate information in real time by filling the work day with what Forrester terms mobile moments, those increasingly frequent instances when people turn to their mobile devices to get what they need instantly and in context. When that context is the enterprise, a mobile moment could be an inventory inquiry in the warehouse, or signature capture for a completed sales transaction in the field.

Old Dutch, a popular snack foods brand, started with ADC in manufacturing and in the warehouse with DSI’s mobile platform integrated into their systems of record and automation. The company began by automating processes inside the four walls (cycle counts, inventory transfers, work order issues and completions, etc.), resulting in improved inventory accuracy and more output with less labor.

While they initially invested in the platform for ADC, Old Dutch quickly recognized the potential to extend similar benefits across the supply chain by empowering workers in the field with mobility.

Using the same mobile platform that automated processes in the warehouse and on the shop floor, the company deployed a direct store delivery (DSD) mobile application to equip drivers in the field. The application simplifies traditional DSD processes with a streamlined user experience allowing them to be completed in mobile moments in which drivers can confirm sales orders and deliveries in seconds.

The mobile application created a quicker in-store experience resulting in higher sales volume for hundreds of drivers across the US and Canada.

A mobile platform that starts in manufacturing and the warehouse can provide a secure foundation to mobilize the entire supply chain. Leveraging a mobile platform for ADC means that, when you’re ready, mobilizing other aspects of the business can be done quickly, and cost-effectively.

As Old Dutch, and others, have experienced, employing a single solution for ADC and mobility results in a lower total cost of ownership and an improved work experience for people all across the supply chain.

The Questions You Need to Ask Before Building a Mobile App
Building an effective enterprise mobile application begins with designing the right app for your business, down to the work environment, user, device and the task at hand.

Have you considered what it will take to empower your team to complete tasks with the end-to-end supply chain visibility that’s enabled by mobile execution?

Learn what you should be asking to ensure the optimal user experience for your team, whether they work at outdoor job sites, manage inventory in the warehouse or travel between multiple environments.

This infographic will walk you through some of the UX considerations to evaluate before you build:
Download the Paper

Related: Is Your Supply Chain Ready to Do Digital Business?

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