Mobile technology integrated with your enterprise software promotes business agility. With mobile access, wholesale and distribution employees can react quickly to market or process changes. According to Aberdeen’s 2014 ERP Benchmark survey, best-in-class wholesalers and distributors are twice as likely to enable mobile access to their enterprise software. Not only have 56% of these organizations implemented triggers and alerts in order to help them make immediate decisions, but 76% have data entry at the point of activity. Improved business agility enables companies to drive down costs and increase revenue.
Mobile devices like radio frequency hand-held devices and barcode scanners have been used successfully in inventory management for some time to provide real-time information and product tracking. However, there is great opportunity in supply chain management to conduct business processes with mobile technology as well. Mobile devices and enterprise software like Sage X3 or Sage 300 can be used across the entire supply chain from the front to the back of the warehouse.
- Receiving: Capture inventory data from the point that it arrives in the dock. Using barcode technology, incoming shipments can be automatically verified against purchase orders and instructions sent to an employee’s mobile device
- Storage: Put-away is expedited by the system providing the best path to the right storage location or outbound location. Maintain visibility without the use of a paper trail
- Inventory Control: Replenishment is facilitated by hand-held mobile devices and barcode technology. Requests can be handled in seconds and workers directed to the right location by the quickest route
- Order Fulfillment: Picking operations are made more efficient with accurate order and storage information
- Packaging: Packaging operations can be automatic with error-free order validation
- Shipping: Shipments can be scanned, verified and staged for the proper truck
Using mobile technology with enterprise software, like Sage X3 or Sage 300, provides many benefits by automating and integrating processes to keep your entire company aligned and running smoothly.
- A mobile ERP will save costs and improve efficiency. Mobile data collection sends real-time data into your ERP system, eliminating manual entry and reporting errors. Better data mean better inventory management and efficiency which in turn leads to lower costs and higher profitability
- Using mobile technology will result in improved performance and greater customer satisfaction. When you update and change information as it happens, replacing manually-intensive inventory processes, you can create value-added services and a seamless consumer buying experience.
Of course, there are challenges in implementing mobile technology to increase efficiencies in warehousing and distribution.
- Devices may not be made for the abuse of a warehouse environment. In some cases, more rugged devices will be needed. Careful selection and research need to go into choosing the right technology for each process. Next-generation tablets and smartphones offer a number of advantages especially in cost, integration with other business systems, and the ability to visually communicate information
- Technology costs can be inhibitors for small to mid-sized companies. However, in many cases, personal mobile devices offer a cheaper solution to RFID devices or other rugged devices, especially in remote locations. Web-based software models can also offer cost-savings
- Mobile technology requires a cultural shift. With a mobile ERP, managers can move out of their offices and onto the warehouse floor. They can roam the aisles with their devices and have access to information for real-time decision-making. As employees become more comfortable with technology in their personal lives, they will be able to make the shift
As you can see, mobile technology will continue to impact warehousing and distribution as technology changes and becomes more inexpensive. To learn more about best practices in a warehouse or distribution center, download our whitepaper, “ERP in Wholesale and Distribution: A Logical Solution to Logistical Challenges”. For more information on how to implement mobile technology with enterprise software like Sage 300 or Sage X3, contact us.
Our small and dedicated team specializes in helping small-to-medium size Canadian businesses and non-profits select and adapt Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Resource Management (HRMS), and IT services. With IWI’s 15 years in business and 100 plus years of combined experience, IWI has helped hundreds of food manufacturing, distribution, and financial service companies gain efficiency, grow, and lower their operating costs.
With the unique combination of industry knowledge and diverse technology expertise, IWI provides cost-effective solutions to help clients gain a competitive edge. As a Sage business partner servicing the Greater Toronto Area, we support evaluation and implementation of operations and finance systems to optimize technology, ensuring high return on investment with a quick and painless transition to new software.