Enabling Motion, Enabling Enterprise
Most enterprises have already automated most of their operations including Transaction systems like CRM, ERP. Yet business functions want more help during performing their process. The gaps are on two fronts: Integration of various transaction systems and capturing Last Mile Data. For Integration, most of the enterprises are adopting Integration/BPM Solutions whereas for Last Mile or Point of Action, Mobility applications bring in the operational efficiency thereby achieving reduced Cash Conversion Cycle for the Enterprise.
In Aberdeen’s November 2006 study, Enterprise Mobile Adoption: The number one reason organizations were developing mobility strategy was to respond to customer needs more quickly. The two greatest pressures organizations currently face are the need to manage an increasingly decentralized workforce and the need to reduce operational costs.
As a case in hand let us take Manufacturing organizations Value chain, and Mobility Applications across the Value Chain as depicted in the figure below. The Value chain starts with the Top Management, in this segment there is a high level of Blackberry penetration, and have an opportunity to use the always connected infrastructure for strategic information feeds like Industry News, Financial News, Competition New etc to name a few using RSS News feed with a combination of Push and Pull.
The Management can also get their Dashboards Anywhere, Anytime to keep a tab on performances. For improving fulfillment cycle time Holds Approvals can be reached to decision makers wherever they are along with Decision Support Data.
Figure 1: Mobility Applications across Value Chain
Customer Acquiring Cycle, Sourcing, Fulfillment, Ship to Cash Cycle & Customer Satisfaction forms the operating cycle in any business and each has an specific area’s where Mobility can help crunch the cycle time.
Figure 2: Operating Cycle in an Enterprise
Figure 2 above identifies mobility opportunities in the Operating cycle and cash conversion cycle. Some examples of achieving operational efficiency are stated below.
Sales Force Automation & Field Force Automation applications need no explanation and can immensely help realize concepts like “One Call Closure” and “360° View of Customer” at point of action.
Examples of enabling Customer Service: Field representative getting Knowledge help for early call closures, getting to know which equipments are under Service Contracts, clubbing preventive maintenance call with Breakdown Maintenance call. Invoicing & Invoice Approvals, Payment collection & Applying the payments right at Customer Premises saves multiple visits.
Well designed Mobility Applications help enterprises for their Distribution operation efficiency, helps the field person Plan, Schedule, know current business, (last orders, pending deliveries, Back orders) take Orders, know latest prices & offer appropriate pricing schemes, know Credit Balance, Credit Limit, ATP, Book Orders, Invoicing, Invoice Approvals and even Payment collection & Applying the payments, register Issues & track issues all of this in just “One Call” however meticulous Functionality Analysis & User Experience Management is a key for successful deployment.
Warehouse Management with combination of RFiD is helping organization reduce Inventories, save time for JIT, reduce handling & fulfillment time. Production Maintenance similarly is helping eliminate or reduce valuable production losses.
Having experienced the tremendous productivity improvements in the obvious areas such as field force or sales force automation, the advancements in technologies enabling user experience, connectivity, platforms, content & application integration opens up new horizons for enterprises worldwide for more cross functional and value added solutions, which enable the complete value chain from top management to work-force to respond faster and delight customers.
Real time dashboards & information at point of action for real time decision making mobility has become a necessity. Same is true for operational efficiency & controls and for gaining edge over competition, there is a ever increasing need to adopt One call closures, dynamic pricing and early warning to become, truly a Real time Enterprise.
Successful Enterprise wide adoption however needs a Top Down approach and needs executive sponsorship, and to achieve that the first step would be enable the “Top Management”. Once the commitment is in place, steering committee consisting of process heads can identify adoption areas by understanding “mobile profile” of key employees.
This space currently is the most Technologically active and is opening up un-chartered areas of Applying Technology to Business like Mobile 2.0, Flash lite, Mobile AJAX, Widgets etc. to name a few for Rich User Experience, Making Business Users powerful by way of Push, Pull, Personalization, Audio & Video Streaming making it possible to get unthought-of content on the Devices.
Mobility has become a necessity and successful enterprise wide adoption needs a Top Down approach. Committed organizations will be more successful in getting the benefits