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Mobile ERP is about more than just using phones and tablets to access data. It’s a two-way experience in which machine-to-machine communication is as relevant as human communication. Mobile ERP enabled by the cloud provides these three benefits:
Users with untethered mobile ERP access have comprehensive information at their fingertips on any device, from anywhere in the world. They have the same access as users on desktops but aren’t tied to a workstation. This access gives them the ability to address issues quickly to minimize waste and maximize uptime at any plant or on any machine in the entire operation.
Wearable technology like smart glasses and augmented reality devices with heads-up displays—once the domain of science fiction—are now more cost effective and are being used by manufacturers for maintenance, repair, on-the-job work instructions, and to record material movement. They also record and share production, workstation status, and material movement in real-time. New plant equipment will also include WiFi or Bluetooth-enabled communications for network connectivity, communicating status, and potential maintenance needs over the air to workers and the ERP system.
2. Visibility and Control
The freedom untethered access provides combined with full visibility and control of enterprise data, from customer information to the supply chain to the plant floor, delivers greater accuracy and clarity for better decision making. A plant floor supervisor, for example, can access real-time data shared by work cells or machines as they walk the plant floor without having to log onto a workstation terminal. Users can also receive real-time alerts and notifications on action that needs to be taken before issues occur.
3. Smart Connectivity
Smart connectivity creates a manufacturing environment where all things are connected, increasingly so via mobile technology. Machines connect to ERP, users connect to machines, and new capabilities being ushered in by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can be brought online quickly. Modern handheld devices like scanners not only enable easy employee movement and immediate inventory recording, but are more intelligent in offering touchscreens that access ERP or an ERP app. This turns a scanner into a mobile terminal, giving the user expanded capabilities and control.
Cloud ERP is the great enabler when it comes to manufacturing mobility because it houses all enterprise data—from all plants, all users, and all geographies—in one central database. This means there is one source of truth that all users access, whether in the office or on the road, rather than pockets of disconnected data residing in different locations. Additionally, any newly integrated tools or capabilities added for one location transfer to all locations since the entire enterprise shares one line of software code.
Modern solutions like the Plex Manufacturing Cloud are designed with mobility at the core, understanding that it is not an add-on but rather an integrated product function. The mobile experience, as a result, is seamless and available to all users.
Mobile ERP makes plant and enterprise interaction location-less for users while enabling rapid integration of modern wireless tools and equipment. Manufacturers choosing cloud ERP find themselves ideally positioned to take advantage of mobile ERP capabilities today while having a platform that welcomes tomorrow’s innovations.