Proactive Use – Making the Most of Automation
Mobile Device Management in Industry and Logistics
The requirements for mobile device management in industrial and logistics application differ from those in sales or controlling. Professional and standardized solutions are needed that reflect specific industrial requirements for the support business processes.
In manufacturing companies, BYOD plays a subordinate role. Instead, it is essential to significantly improve productivity and availability metrics in the company when using mobile devices. This is enabled by the proactive management of an heterogeneous infrastructure with industrial terminals, such as vehicle terminals, tablets, scanners, etc.
Proactive Monitoring – Ensuring Availability of Devices
Mobile scanners for tracking goods are used in picking and outgoing goods processes. The battery management of mobile devices is a special challenge in multi-shift operations. If scanners are not fully charged or their performance decreases, fewer goods can leave logistics. The service level is lowered. Most of these situations are addressed reactively in companies. MDM systems offer solutions by proactively monitoring battery power and other states, such as: temperature measurements in freezer compartments to ensure that the Touch does not freeze; tracking barcode scan numbers to reveal the remaining life of the respective scanner. Tracking usage can therefore reveal in advance when a terminal really needs to be replaced. This ensures timely technical availability and optimum life-cycle management.
Managing Mobile Devices with a Platform
- Proactive monitoring
- Ensuring availability
- Using automation
- Embedding mobile applications
- Global management
- Preventing process follow-up costs
- Increasing reliability
- Reduction in TCO through Managed Services
- Increasing service levels
- Improving user support
Planning and Timely Implementation of Software Updates
Mobile ERP and third-party applications ensure the required output in daily production and logistics processes. All the more alarming is the fact that applications rarely have the latest release. "Never change a running system" is obviously the motto here. However, this has an impact on the safety of processes. If the roll-out of new applications is planned, installation and configuration is usually carried out on site during the weekend or, in the worst case, during live operation. As this requires a lot of staff at each location, only one location at a time is generally serviced.
MDM systems enable IT administrators to integrate new mobile applications in the central ERP without additional middleware and build a M2M communication. The deployment of applications can be simulated in advance on all industrial terminals and can be rolled out across sites at the same time. Barcode-based installation routines that can be easily performed by the user significantly cut down expenses. Experience has shown that the secure and comprehensive introduction of a new application may be accomplished in just a few days.
Increased Transparency through Mobile Apps
In production, every minute counts. The production manager wants to know if the machine is processing the correct order in the right quantity and proven quality. And if the goods can be delivered to the customer on the same day. Add-on solutions visualize current and future production orders from SAP on mobile ruggedized tablets while passing by. The direct interaction with production equipment saves time and unnecessary paths. The increased transparency ensures the high service level of the company, which is able to react to unplanned events in real time through online applications with intelligent connectivity.
Improving User Support
A user who is gets stuck in a process will urgently need help – even at night or on weekends. Mobile devices operated by changing employees regularly lead to requests directed at IT support or the specialist department. Typical issues are incorrect entries or insufficient connectivity, such as for on-demand printing of a label for picking. A label that cannot be printed leads to delays in the downstream operations. Approximately 70% of all support requests in such processes relate to business-critical activities. A possible approach: Technically qualified call agents answer the requests of these users remotely via a standardized process around the clock. This enables companies to reduce their risks and above all possible consequential costs due to penalties or delayed deliveries.
MDM As Managed Service – Check Sourcing Options
In-house operation of MDM requires a high-performance server environment, a holistic security concept (encryption and policies) and IT resources that are subject to regular training. Companies are therefore faced with the question of whether to implement MDM in-house or outsource the processes.
Small businesses employ a limited number of devices that the IT manager is familiar with. Here you only need a device-specific remote access. Things look different however in companies with more than 10,000 devices and multiple locations. As always, the question is how do the benefits weigh against the capital expenditure? In medium to large companies with over four locations and a total of more than 2,000 mobile devices, a Managed Service solution may be the more economical solution. Rapid roll-out and high scalability, security and availability of the platform are arguments that point to this solution. Technical trained staff are available if companies need support in special issues of regular operation. An accompanied Go-Live Support by external specialists minimizes friction losses, downtimes and operator errors.
What are the potential savings?
MDM prevents high process follow-up costs. Overall, double-digit percentage savings can be realistically achieved. Taking only the savings in IT, the following picture emerges: In the first year already, support requests can be significantly reduced by MDM in the rollout and monitoring of applications. In the case of location-independent device management, reduced investments in mobile devices can be expected, and administrative IT activities with alternating tasks in the branch offices can be eliminated in most cases. In individual cases, further savings potentials can be achieved by outsourcing services as Managed Service to an external provider. Thanks to freed-up capacities, IT can focus overall on other tasks.
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About ICS Group - Partnership for your success
We see ourselves as solution providers for sustainable process optimization. Our competencies are infrastructure, consulting and software for the digitalization and automation of your supply chain. You benefit from our many years of international project expertise, which extends across all industries and company sizes. Through consulting, software, hardware and managed services, we are able to meet your challenges with innovative solutions from a single source. We make suggestions that are aimed at achieving your vision, together.