Will ERP Go Mobile in 2013?

Mobile Technology

In the coming year, how important will it be for the small to mid-sized manufacturer to access real-time business information quickly and securely via a smart phone or other device?

In a word: very.

The manufacturers we team with are finding it necessary to move beyond the confines of their desk, warehouse, shop floor, workstation or production line.

A company’s Director of Quality, Supply Chain Manager, production worker, shipping personnel and other staff are finding it increasingly more convenient and appealing to use their mobile devices to monitor what’s happening in real time throughout the entire enterprise.

BYOD

You’ve likely seen the acronym – BYOD – or Bring Your Own Device.

This refers to the phenomenon of the computerization of IT.  BYOD reflects the widely adopted practice of employees who bring their own Smartphone’s, tablets, laptops and other devices to connect to a corporate network.

In the case of ERP, data sensitivity and security must be considered.  That’s why we see manufacturers grappling with security issues, even as they seek convenient real-time mobile access to ERP system data.

Data integration, mobile access to business intelligence reporting,  mobility-enhanced interfaces all come into play here.  The question to consider for 2013 is: how can vendors effectively bring ERP onto mobile devices?

Mobile ERP Vendor News

Given these considerations, we were interested to see these selected vendor announcements this past year related to mobile ERP data access.

  • Microsoft Dynamics ERP Mobile Sales gives mobile access to manufacturing reps for customer, product, and order history information from an organization’s Microsoft Dynamics NAV system. It allows them to create orders, and print order confirmations and invoices.
  • ERP mobile application technology from IQMS delivers real-time manufacturing, MES and ERP information to smart phones, PDAs, tablets, forklift mounted monitors, etc., available whenever and wherever the user needs it.
  • Advanced Mobile for Infor ERP SX provides pre-built configurations and integrations for Mobile Order & Inventory Management. The application supports both batch and wireless synchronization back to Infor ERP SX.enterprise.
  • Cloud ERP vendor Plex Systems now offers the ability to access and manipulate data through smart phones including iOS and Android operating systems. Current applications supported are workflow, user support, corporate directory, expense tracking and contacts. Additional applications are expected to be rolled out in 2013 as user feedback is compiled and assessed.

We look forward to 2013, and upcoming vendor developments as ERP goes mobile.

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