Web users are steadily making the transition from traditional web browsing to reliance on mobile apps, and as their customers make this move, savvy manufactures are working hard to keep pace. Mobile apps and wireless networks are also making their way onto the manufacturing floor as companies look for ways to improve on-site machine maintenance, real time communications and warehousing database accessibility. But at this point, the most eagerly adopted mobile programs are those related to customer service and sales.
If the success of your manufacturing business depends on customer connection, lean operations, and real-time updates (which it probably does), make sure you’re keeping pace with the general migration from traditional to mobile enabled technology frameworks. Keep these considerations in mind.
1. Speed matters. In June of 2012, the mobile analytics firm Flurry reported that the use of mobile applications had finally begun to outpace traditional web browsing. This means your competitors are already finding ways to reach customers through mobile enabled marketing strategies, and their sales teams are approaching clients armed with iPad and mobile-ready presentations. What will the marketplace look like by the summer of 2013? No one can say, but no matter which direction trends take us, we probably won’t go backward.
2. Bring your shop floor out of the last century. Low-volume, high-mix operations need to stay lean in order to stay competitive. Since these kinds of businesses don’t receive many standard orders, the efficiency and flow of every task should be kept under close scrutiny, and operations managers need to investigate every potential opportunity to pare down. Mobile apps keep plant managers in control by expanding the reach of their eyes and ears.
3. The same rule applies to your warehouse. Inventory control can make or break a manufacturing operation regardless of mix, volume, process, product, or size. Know what you’re working with and take every opportunity to automate raw material order placement, product shipping, and stock rotation.
4. Communication is key. Keep every player in constant contact. Those involved in machine maintenance, operations, and materials processing need to stay in constant contact. If your facility relies on dispersed work centers, use mobile capability and wireless connectivity to keep these centers from becoming isolated.
Stay in touch with technology trends that can mean the difference between success and failure for your manufacturing operation. For specific guidance, arrange a consultation with the Little Rock staffing and business management experts at CSS.