With enterprise resource planning, time tracker software and warehouse management systems, there's a lot of new technology taking over the world of manufacturing, but can mobile fit in as well? Industry professional Mike Lanciloti spoke with Manufacturing Business Technology on whether the bring-your-own-device trend could make its way into the supply chain. While he doesn't believe they have a fit in every situation, there are certainly companies that can use mobile devices well, especially when it come to apps like ERP.

"Manufacturers also use messaging from one person to another — if it's not appropriate to call or it's too noisy," he told the news source. "Other applications are along the lines of team status, being able to send schedule notifications, tasks that need to be assigned, and then being able to close the loop and indicate that the assigned task has been completed. The applications tend to be tied into the manufacturing workflow.  As far as ERP software integration, that's an application that the phones lend possibility to."

While he sees purpose-built devices working better with manufacturing organizations, Lanciloti said there may be conditions where these devices and gadgets from BYOD can coexist.

More investment in mobile app stores
IDC Manufacturing Insights recently released the "Business Strategy: Looking Forward to the Corporate Application Store" report, which found that mobile is growing increasingly popular with companies and apps are quickly being developed for use across the organization. While there are also new challenges being created by this mobile way of work, 80 percent of manufacturers are developing mobile applications. Still, there are only 20 percent of companies that have adopted app stores for their workforce.

Other key points from this report included:
– If opening a corporate app store, employees must be trained, willing and ready to use the store and the applications on them
– The ideal corporate store is independent of the device and application store, and meets the compliance and security provisions the organization needs
– Apps must be designed and managed while considering how their IT suppliers will support the apps
– An increase of app adoption is expected over the next 12 to 18 months, as the quality and quantity of apps within organizations will rise

"Essentially, there are a set of core patterns of applications that underlie the majority of business processes and provide an excellent starting point for developing mobile apps," IDC said. "The goal is for mobile enterprise application platform vendors to provide these patterns of applications for easy consumption by in-house development teams, who can then customize these apps to reflect the specific business process the enterprise wants to mobile enable."

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