Mobile ERP Applications: The benefits for your team and business
10 August 2018 11: 31 AM By Fiona McGuinness In Mobile ERP applications, Enterprise Mobility 0
If you think about it, it kind of seems obvious that certain employees in your organisation should be able to readily access and submit key business information via their mobile. But enterprise mobility in the workforce still has quite low adoption rates. Businesses are largely unaware that accessing this technology is not that expensive. It’s also really easy to use and syncs back with your main ERP/business management system ensuring all your data is integrated.
Many aspects of your business can be handled from remote locations if your smart device or tablet is loaded with the correct software. And the associated benefits are vast; increased productivity, improved customer service, reduced admin costs and increased revenue potential. These benefits can seem a little abstract for business owners so in this blog we detail these benefits by role so you can really see who is set to gain the most from accessing these integrated ERP mobile apps.
It is important for your delivery team to have the ability to capture signatures easily via a mobile app and post back to your system in real-time. Some apps even allow you to take a photo of the delivery or the drop off so if there are any issues down the line, like damaged goods, you’re covered!
Delivery teams would also benefit from push delivery lists/notifications in advance with live delivery updates fed back into your system helping them to complete their work quickly and efficiently.
Dwayne Holt of Clondalkin Ltd says “Giving our drivers access to the information they require in real-time actually speeds up payment and cuts down on the associated admin time filing and manual input. This saves us between 1 -2 days per staff member per month”.
As this functionality is housed on a mobile app there is no need for expensive hardware and everyone is familiar using apps so your delivery team will require a minimal amount of training with these apps designed to be incredibly easy to use.
While some senior managers will require a fully licensed version of your business system on their laptops, they may also like quick access to key data on their mobile phone or tablet. For instance, access to sales and purchase orders, bank balance, key contacts, numbers or email address for all company contacts.
They might also find it beneficial to receive tasks and alerts so they can make on-the-spot decisions and react quicker to issues as they happen e.g. get an alert when a sales invoice is aged over 5 months.
Personalised KPI dashboards can give them 24/7 visibility of key metrics meaning they can be ‘always on’ and not miss a thing happening in your business. They can also manage expenses and timesheets remotely plus access latest customer and supplier information, outstanding invoices, current stocking status and stock quantity levels etc.
All-in-all, giving your senior management team anytime, anywhere access to key business information enables them to react quickly to situations as they arise and aids better and faster decision-making.
Giving your Sales Reps mobile access to real-time customer information such as contact details, google maps locator, order history, credit status, annual turnover etc. ensures they are working with the most up-to-date information when face-to-face with customers. With quick access to real time product information such as delivery status, stock levels, product lists & RRP they are also more informed when dealing directly with your customers….plus it helps stop all those calls back to the office or store.
They can also have the ability to post updates back to your CRM so data accuracy is maintained and your team are kept fully up to date instead of waiting until the end of the day or week to complete a CRM report. And if you want to further boost your sales rep’s productivity, facilitating the managing of expenses and timesheets remotely can make a tedious job much easier and timely. Mobile apps now enable you to to take a quick photo of a receipt, enter a few details and get it sent to the relevant department for approval for payment, simple. It is all these little things that can dramatically improve the efficiency of your sales team.
While there are a number of solutions available for your customer facing sales reps, the key is finding the right solution for your business. We would suggest focusing on the ‘must-haves’ over the ‘nice-to-haves’. Does it work online and offline or both? Will it give you access to contact details, stock levels, order history, credit status, annual turnover etc.? Can you post updates back to your CRM system instantly? Do you need access to your full product category with advanced search and filtering options? Do you want it to integrate with your system to manage expenses and timesheets? All of these things are possible today so speak to your ERP/business management software about the options available to you.
Ordering on the go is not only beneficial to your sales reps but also for your customers and business too.
Fully integrated with your ERP software, an order taking app will give you two-way communication of pricing, orders, inventory and customer information. This will enable your team to place orders faster than ever, shorten the sales cycle, eliminate tedious paperwork duties and minimise mistakes even when they’re offline.
You can showcase your catalogue with compelling images and descriptions that will make it easier to sell with virtually unlimited category levels, swipe and navigate through catalogue with ease showing product images, descriptions, and a customers’ previous purchases or favourites. It also provides quick access to customer's ERP profiles, account information and powerful tools to help your Reps manage their daily, weekly and monthly tasks.
Giving your order taking reps real-time access to this kind of up-to-the-minute information on their mobile and access to your full product catalogue is a great way to help them reach their sales targets.
If you’re looking to keep your field technicians focused and productive then give them the capabilities to record their timesheets and expenses on the go. Recording timesheets is not only an extremely time consuming and laborious job for your field technicians and engineers, it’s a chore for your admin staff that costs you money.
The best way to highlight the benefits associated with giving mobile access to your field technicians and engineers is to show you. Let’s take Evan Henry Electrical as an example. They have 15 electricians in the field who could work on 5 jobs a day, 5 days a week. This could equate to 30 - 50 timesheets entries from one individual taking a day to a day and a half every week to enter into their system. The cost to implement a mobile app for field workers to upload their expenses and timesheets far outweighs the cost of manually entering them the traditional paper-based way. With call-out hours set against a job, you can work out how much every job is costing you. And with the ability to capture travel expenses on the go, your field workers can greatly improve their productivity while significantly reducing your admin time.
Mobility in the warehouse can dramatically improve your productivity, resource use, and inventory management. Whilst handheld mobile technology will provide you with a fully integrated mobile warehouse solution this can be expensive for some or unnecessary if your warehouse size doesn’t warrant it. If this is the case, a mobile app for your warehouse team may be the solution. With this app, your warehouse team can view products current stocking status and quantity levels, outstanding purchase orders, sales orders and record damaged stock write offs and add photos.
In the technologically-driven business world of today, it’s crucial to understand the kind of mobile solutions you can implement to make your business operate more effectively. There’s no denying that the increase in mobile technologies has led to a significant shift in work habits. The mobile revolution is certainly changing the way organisations work, manage their operations as well as engage with their employees.
With your employees more mobile savvy than ever before it makes sense to embrace enterprise mobility in order to stay ahead of the game. In the era of personalisation, these apps are also configured to only show the relevant data to the user. What does this mean? Your delivery team see their delivery lists but not senior management KPIs and visa versa. These apps are truly personalised mobile work apps.
We believe, your sales & delivery teams have perhaps the most to benefit from mobile ERP, making them incredibly efficient and enhancing their ability to build and nurture relationships with your customers and prospects. But senior management are also keen to have on-the-go access to up-to-the-minute data on financials, stock and reports in order to have a real-time view of company performance.
Of course, as mentioned above, there are other areas, roles and departments in your business that can benefit from a little increased mobility so it’s your job to build a strategic and suitable enterprise mobility strategy that will transform your business to the mobile–centric business world of today.
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