How enterprise mobility will influence manufacturing in 2018

The manufacturing sector is one of today’s most competitive global marketplaces. In many cases, eliminating even a fraction of a second from certain processes can save money and position an entire operation for future success. So, when mobile devices help manufacturing employees recover up to 42 minutes every day, it’s easy to understand why businesses view this technology as a tremendous competitive advantage.

As manufacturers’ mobile technology needs and demands change, what will this industry do in 2018 to maintain optimal mobile device performance? How will enterprise mobility enable traditional manufacturer operations to be even more efficient? Let’s explore a few trends that the manufacturing industry can expect to see very soon.

Customers come first

While manufacturing has historically been one of enterprise mobility’s slowest adopters, today’s businesses value mobile technology more than ever because of technology’s ability to improve the customer experience. After all, 87% of manufacturers say their mobility program has never been more important than it is right now, and 81% of industry CEOs believe mobile technology plays a critical role in their company’s customer engagement tactics.

In 2018, expect companies to use mobile technology to integrate customer relationship management (CRM) systems into nontraditional tasks. If done successfully, organizations can increase their customer responsiveness by communicating exactly when and how customers prefer. Feedback gathering efforts will also improve, revealing business insights that can be used to refine existing products/services and create desirable new ones, too. No wonder today’s manufacturers consume 23% of all services provided by the enterprise mobility market…

All about apps

Like many of today’s industries, global manufacturers are utilizing mobile applications for dozens of different purposes. As 2018 approaches, these companies will grow even more dependent on apps in hope of improving employee visibility, data accuracy, and real-time update frequency. A workforce equipped with secure mobile apps and devices can even increase organizational efficiency by up to 38%.

Equipped with constant mobile connectivity and updated enterprise applications, employees in the field don’t just make quicker, more informed decisions; they also give their companies new ways to manage resources, streamline operations, and eliminate mistakes. For one company, this meant a 13% sales increase just six months after mobile apps were made available to workers.

Deploying different devices

As mobile technology grows more advanced and increasingly specialized, manufacturers are beginning to realize there’s no such thing as a universal device. While smartphones are wildly popular among consumers and the general public, not every employee needs one of these devices to accomplish tasks. In fact, these devices may actually be incapable of handling certain employees’ labor-intensive tasks.

Smartphones aren’t the most operationally efficient choice 100% of the time, but the flexibility and app support they provide make these devices useful for a wide variety of tasks and employee roles. Another advantage smartphones offer is the ability to be assigned to individuals, creating granular billing and reporting data that’s easy to understand and optimize. Procurement and deployment is also a relatively painless process due to a virtually endless number of global vendors and suppliers.

Rugged devices, on the other hand, are much more specialized—they’re also becoming more practical for most manufacturers, too. While they’re most often shared among multiple employees, these devices are much more effective in adverse conditions or when handling heavy-duty functions. Rugged devices also feature more robust support for other enterprise technologies like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and their long-term Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is about 50% cheaper thanks to a lifespan that’s more than twice as long as the average smartphone’s.

Single-platform solution search

Manufacturers are discovering that mobile technology is most valuable when its management is streamlined and simplified. In 2018, don’t be surprised to see organizations abandon their traditional software management tools for single-platform solutions capable of managing all enterprise endpoints from one place. In fact, 44% of all manufacturing companies are either currently transitioning or plan to transition to a single-platform solution by next March.

In addition to simplifying IT’s enterprise mobility management burden, a single-platform software approach can also help organizations more easily secure endpoints and take advantage of Application Programming Interface (API)-driven infrastructure that executes next-gen analytics tasks.

Is your company’s mobile technology ready for 2018? How will it help employees save time and money? Talk to one of our enterprise mobility experts or leave your thoughts in the comments section below. If you’d like to learn more about the manufacturing industry’s modern mobility trends, download MOBI’s industry report today.

The post How Enterprise Mobility Will Influence Manufacturing in 2018 appeared first on MOBI.

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