Masters of Mobility: Mobile ERP in Action

Jane is an engineer. She leads the development of products for her company. Today she is visiting a potential supplier of a key component in her company’s very important next product. She has tested the prototype and toured the manufacturing facilities. She has worked with engineers and scientists at the supplier for months. Today, she just approved the new component. What does she do now? She takes her iphone in hand, opens the app that leads to the part master files of her company’s ERP system. She enters all the necessary specifications for the component as well as drawings and a photo of the component while still on site at the supplier facility. Her supplier contacts can double check the data immediately. This is mobile ERP in action. Her work isn’t complete yet, she will need to add the new part number to bills of material, for example. But the first steps in the process were taken thanks to the mobility within her business’ ERP system.

The Power of Mobile ERP

Miguel is the director of finance. He is on the way to New York City, a five hour trip by plane with an hour layover in St. Louis. He will demonstrate the company performance today to his bankers and he has a deck of slides ready for the discussions. While waiting in St. Louis, he starts his android tablet and connects wirelessly to his slides for another review. He also reads an email from the office with some new information he might want to include in his presentation. Miguel simply runs the Mobile ERP app that links to his ERP business intelligence module, copies the revised data to his tablet, and looks at the graphic analyses from several sides. He reopens his deck of slides, updates a couple of slides, and is ready now to board the flight to New York. This is mobile ERP in action.

Can your current ERP do this? With the current ERP vendor focus on mobility within ERP systems, it probably can. But it will probably not work anywhere near as easily. As with any ERP implementation, implementing mobile ERP will require strong change management skills, security assessment, as well as additional training and support.

These examples show some of the power we can expect from our ERP systems. Mobile computing is here, everywhere. As consumers we are beginning to demand mobility in our ERP systems, and vendors are responding.

You should look at mobile ERP from several angles. In this series of articles, we will examine some advantages as well as some disadvantages of mobile ERP. There might be a few ideas you will embrace and since mobile ERP is very new, it is consumers like yourself that are shaping this market. So get up to speed, and demand mobility.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller