Several factors are converging to enable manufacturers to gain competitive advantage through mobility. Manufacturing companies, of all sizes, are looking to newer markets to boost future growth. Zero-defect manufacturing has become essential to be competitive and cost-eﬀective in the current business economy. Resources are geographically getting dispersed and hence require anytime, anywhere collaborative mechanism. Employees used to the convenience of mobility in personal lives are bringing their own devices and want to use them at work. Mobile devices are fast emerging as the premiere channel for customer engagement. And, organizations are looking for virtualized operating models that enable real-time collaboration round the clock and on the move.
Unique Challenges for the Manufacturing Industries
- Pricing volatility and competitive pressure − The industry delivers completely fungible commodity products where the market, prices and even profitability are at the mercy of complex geopolitical forces.
- Limited resources − Cost consolidation demands are resulting in strategies spanning from significant headcount reductions to reduced spending on goods and services.
- Increased focus on sustainability − Climate change is accelerating social pressure, with governments and investors demanding optimized carbon footprints and new sources of renewable energy.
Aging assets – With steady resource demand, while prices remaining relatively low, operators continue to utilize older assets in an effort to cut costs and maximize efficiency. This may increase risk of malfunction or accident, which could have significant adverse consequences for all. Investment in advanced data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) not only drive greater equipment uptime, lower costs, and optimize efficiency but increase safety and monitoring capabilities
Harness the Power of Mobile Solutions to Transform your Business
Mobile technology has the potential to play a role in almost every step in the manufacturing cycle, right from raw material procurement to supply chain to delivery. From mobile ERP and mobile Business Intelligence to QC reports to PO/ requisition approval, we can see multiple points across processes wherein mobility can be a lean enabler. In other words, mobility doesn’t limit itself to simply shifting work from PCs to mobile but promises more through role-based applications, device integration and process synchronization
Creating a Use Case for Mobility in Manufacturing
- Mobility ﬁnds its application across the manufacturing value chain of plan-source-make-sell. Some of the beneﬁ ts of adopting mobile manufacturing practices are:
- Mobile solutions can offer manufacturers the means to achieve ‘6-sigma’ data-capture accuracy. This can help reduce some of the ‘7 wastes’ in manufacturing and eliminate the “hidden barriers to Lean manufacturing”
- Even a 10 minute reduction in process – for example, by eliminating manual data entry – results in a productivity gain of 2.5%
- Mobile solutions can make decision-ready data from SCADA/ MES systems – typically housed in a “control room” – available to key stakeholders on the factory ﬂ oor. For example, an engineer calibrating a sensor or a technician adjusting the process can access real-time data on a mobile device
- Mobile error-prooﬁng solutions such as ‘context aware checklists’ can help reduce errors and defects