Is Mobile a Game Changer for ERP?
There is a story of a senior executive at a large German conglomerate who was pitched the value of mobile by a large legacy ERP vendor where I used to work. In their pitch, the vendor talked about how the executive could now view the same reports he was used to getting on his desktop on his tablet device. He could approve work items on the go, he was told. This was going to herald a new era and be a game changer!
The executive’s response? “Meh.”
Now this executive was no Luddite resisting change. Instead, his point was he got the information and workflows he needed brought to his desktop, which is where he did all his work. When he was traveling, it usually was for meetings. Or if he was away from his desk and not at meetings it was because, as the executive put it, he was not working.
So does this story mean mobile ERP is not a game changing technology? Does it mean that everything works well enough today with the desktop so that mobile isn’t really needed?
What it does mean is the legacy ERP provider completely missed the point of what mobile ERP really means when they pitched to this executive. What they pitched was the idea that a mobile device was another way to view the same information you already got from your ERP system. And while there may be some incremental benefit to getting information this way, it is not sufficiently a game changer or that interesting in many cases, as the executive pointed out.
Here at Kenandy we know the true value of mobile ERP – where it does become a game changer – is to enable new possibilities. It means, for example, enabling employees who are normally out in the field, be it in Sales or Services or Delivery to now be able to readily get backend ERP information brought to their fingertips. This is information they couldn’t easily get access to before. Now that they can, it means they are better able to do their jobs.
Mobile ERP also means you can more easily interact with your customers by giving them information when they need it. Imagine a customer who has a tight delivery deadline. With mobile ERP, you can help them retrieve information on your products – its price, delivery date and quantity available — from your ERP system that could help you make the sale.
Mobile ERP also means new possibilities in terms of information flowing back to your ERP system. What if, for example, a sales person out on his route could send information back on stock outs or inventory levels at different customer locations (which you can automatically identify from their GPS coordinates)? Imagine how much more efficient that could make your production planning, inventory management and delivery planning. It is these examples that show some of the new possibilities that truly makes mobile a game changer in ERP.
At Kenandy, we have designed our modern ERP to be mobile from the ground up. What this means is you can configure work processes for your workers to give them the information, alerts, and workflows they need on their mobile devices packaged exactly in the way required for their jobs. This means, with Kenandy, all of your employees and – if you choose – value chain partners have the right information at brought to their fingertips at the right time to make the informed decisions that are best for your business.