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What makes or breaks a manufacturer’s ability to grow, survive, and change in modern civilization? Do executive level decisions influence the small processes in a factory, or is the world simply ready for a new type of manufacturing industry? In this new kind of industry, mobility will be king, and you need to know a few things about it.

The Rise of the Manufacturing Mobility Movement

On January 9, 2007, Apple radicalized how the modern world functions with the announcement of the iPhone. The iPhone changed how consumers and manufacturers do business, and subsequent versions of the technology gave birth to a new type of technology: smartphones for many different carriers and company. Since 2007, the face of mobility has changed, although a term used to describe the movement of a person, object, or body part, manufacturing mobility refers to how a manufacturer can connect and improve technology. Essentially, manufacturing mobility is not just an improvement; it is a movement.

Here are the top uses of mobility in manufacturing according to a report fromVDC|Research when it comes to shipping and logistics by manufacturing shippers:

manufacturing mobility

Employees are using mobility applications to improve small workflows and find new ways to connect with consumers, such as the applications of a sales force. Mobility is also changing the typical office in profound ways by allowing more employees to work from home, the consumer’s location, and within the same traces of the Internet. Yes, some manufacturers are reluctant to embrace mobility. However, the manufacturing mobility movement is not going away, and executives need to why they must pay attention to it.

Pillar #1: Manufacturing Mobility Drives Customization

A quick stroll through the online marketplace in any industry reveals a consumer-driven demand for customization, personalization at, and engagement. Etsy, a site dedicated to personalization, engagement, and consumer input in manufacturing on a local basis, experience record sales of more than $1.37 billion, reports the Deloitte University Press.

The typical e-commerce experience emphasizes this concept. Consumers can make modifications to products, designed the colors, shape, or other dimensions of a product, and request special orders. Now, this might not seem like much of a change for manufacturers, but how does a manufacturer expect to meet the expectations of every customer by creating a build to stock warehouse? the answer is simple; you build to order.

Pillar #2: Mobility Is Omniscient, Omnipotent

If your organization has been holding out on embracing the benefits and use of tablets, smartphones, and connectivity and mobility, you have missed something major. A recent study found that 80 percent of respondents, discovered in a survey by Packaging World magazine, own a tablet, asserts Apriso’s Transformation Manufacturing Blog. Additionally, more than half of that group has the latest version of the iPad. So, this doesn’t seem like much of an impact. However, service as a product is rapidly growing free apps and the consumer demand for better, Newark, smaller, and faster devices. In the US, the overwhelming majority (66 percent) of citizens have some smartphone, reports the PewResearchCenter.

Pillar #3: Mobility Is Cheaper Than Paper Solutions

As an executive, it’s easy to get boggled over the current state of a budget. However, take a moment to think about the operating cost of a non-mobile enterprise. You incur the cost of paper, Ink, copiers, work orders, order picking, order sorting, Order processing, billing, shipping, reporting, and customer service. If a typical ream of paper cost $5, the cost of using ten reams of paper per day sits at $500. No, imagine this example applied to 10 different warehouses or ordering centers. The cost rises to $5,000.  

Expand the example by saying each employee uses an average of 30 pages per day in work, not counting the larger order sheets for hundreds of unique specifications on customized products. This example would imply only 15 employees can use one ream of paper per day. Now, think about how much paper is used in reverse logistics (not with the Cerasis Reverse Logistics module to our TMS), where consumers must sign off on paperwork, Where the paper trail grows even more. If you look at the cost of paper alone, you will see the cost of operating through mobile connectivity results in savings across your enterprise.

Pillar #4: Mobility Allows an Enterprise to Reach More Customers, Better Sales

Instead of focusing on the physical cost of your organization, take a moment to think about the costs of your workforce in-house. If your staff operates solely out of a physical office, you are limiting yourself to a geographic boundary within a short radius of your site. Unfortunately, manufacturing is no longer a local process, and consumers can access products from around the globe. As a result, the sales process is changing, and although some parts of manufacturing may be conducted completely online, some larger clients such as retailers will still want to meet in person.

This implies the business loses money on the cost of travel for your salesperson, the cost of operating out of the office, in other words, an empty seat. Further, the cost of trying to find out what’s going on from the office. Manufacturing mobility removes these costs by giving your staff the ability to conduct normal business operations from virtually any location. Mostly, you are cutting the chain from the desk and allowing a sales associate, customer service representative, or any other employee to take his or her job “on the road” and “across the internet,” which is exactly what the modern consumer expects.

Pillar #5: The Next Phase of Automation: Mobility Will Be Your Demise or Saving Grace

As the world becomes more involved in platform-based services and customized products, the need for a mobile solution in manufacturing will only grow. This is the manufacturing mobility movement, and your organization will not survive if you are unwilling to use and embrace the benefits of mobile platforms, operation, sales force, manufacturing process, and customer service. As an executive, your fundamental duty rests on the survival of the company, and you need to pay attention to the mobility and manufacturing movement.  Nothing else is more critical than this in modern manufacturing.