In a globally structured world with ever increasing competition, manufacturers are consistently looking for new and innovative tactics to help increase their staying power within this evolving industry. What’s most important is technology that improves accuracy levels, efficiency and knowledge regarding the ins and outs of the warehouse. This is just one of the few ways where mobile applications are assisting process-driven employees with doing their jobs. As a result, the manufacturing industry is on the brink of receiving a huge impact through the mobility movement.
Benefits of mobile apps in manufacturing
Those in the manufacturing industry know that there is the constant moving of materials and a keen focus on metrics such as throughput and uptime. These are things that are natural fits for mobile technology. Moreover, advantages include increased employee productivity, enhanced resource management and quicker decision-making.
A recent Motorola survey shows that manufacturers who integrate mobile applications with their processes saved a daily average of 42 minutes per employee. This is a level of productivity that would be hard for anyone to ignore.
What is surprising is that while manufacturing did pioneer the use of RFID and barcode technology implants in warehouses, it has been questionably slow when it comes to adopting mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. But, there are reasons for this such as:
- Processes can be complex.
- Sophisticated mobile apps are needed to deal with the human/machine interfaces.
- It can be technically difficult to link smartphone applications with the large ERP systems already in use.
Manufacturing uses resources such as machines, parts, product inventory and people to optimise efficiency. This is the exact reason why they should use role-based mobile applications. For example, mobile applications can be developed for each type of employee. These can include:
- Workers who need to access schedule and uptime data or to start and stop machinery with an application.
- Production schedulers who want to view data regarding the location and amount of parts on hand, as well as analyze material flow.
- Logistics workers needing to improve management of packages from any device.
- Floor managers might use a mobile application to view time and attendance information, helping them better manage their personnel.
- Safety workers can use a camera and GPS to report any issues regarding health, safety and/or the environment.
- Machines can also be connected wirelessly in order to share information.
So, instead of creating one complex and large mobile app to incorporate every facet of manufacturing, it makes more sense to create smaller and more focused, role-based applications.
Other ideas to consider
The manufacturing industry really is ripe for a mobile application boom. Other useful services can be apps that might calculate Grams per square meter of woven fabrics, which can be used within the textile industry.
Also, there can be tailored apps that convert yarn counts from systems like Denier, Tex, Metric, French and English Cotton Counts. Materials that might benefit include, silk, polyester, woolen, nylon and yarns. In addition, apps can be customised to calculate fabric conception and/or waste for garment factories. The sky truly is the limit.
What’s most important is to focus on apps that improve communication, collaboration, speed, information processing and even marketing and sales enablement. There is no question that the manufacturing industry stands to reap a multitude of advantages from escalating their mobile adoption rates within their respective businesses.