6 Problems Mobile Technology Can Solve for Manufacturing: Part 2

November 6, 2017

Customer demands and industry disruptors are making your job harder – but mobile technology could be the antidote for your organization’s needs.

In part one of “6 Problems Mobile Technology Can Solve for Manufacturing,” we focused on mobile technology solutions that can help you with quality control and compliance, make it easier to fill custom orders more accurately and quote and close more deals.

All those things are great – but that’s just the beginning. What about what mobile technology can do for your supply chain, for tracking leads in your sales cycle and even for your customer service? Part two explores the next level of what mobile tech can do for manufacturing – and how it can make your organization more responsive, more nimble and ultimately more competitive.

4. Serve, Track and Convert Clients Better

If customer service is the thing that can help you beat out the competition (and it often is), then you have to have mobile access to your customer relationship management (“CRM”). Mobile access to your CRM makes it possible for your reps to:

  • Work more efficiently from anywhere they have a connection to the Internet
  • Make updates and corrections to orders and customer records in real time, which can lead to better customer relations and better decision making in the moment
  • Be better informed during sales calls about where a prospect is in the sales cycle, their history with the company (including any past troubles and sore points) and availability and pricing of products and services
  • Close deals faster and more often

Ultimately, the potential is there to shorten the sales cycle and fulfill or start production on orders faster, because updates and data can be shared instantaneously. Being able to respond so quickly can also give you a huge leg up on your competition.

5. Improve How You Track Your Supply Chain and Fulfillment

For tracking inventory, tracing distribution and monitoring all the steps in your supply chain, mobile technology can be a godsend – especially when the steps in your supply chain can take place thousands of miles away from each other.

Having accurate data for every major checkpoint in your supply chain doesn’t just help you solve problems when something goes wrong. Tracking and tracing inventory and distribution can help you be proactive about finding and implementing major process improvements. Another plus is when salespeople and client-facing service associates have real-time inventory numbers to work with, they can provide much better customer service by suggesting additional items you have in stock. On the flipside, they can avoid a customer service disaster by not promising something that isn’t in inventory.

Once your supply chain is digitized and connected, you can start building up to the next step – letting your customers help themselves by tapping into the data you’re already collecting…

6. Reduce Labor Costs without Reducing Customer Satisfaction

Self-service in and of itself is not necessarily a new idea, nor is it mobile specific. However, consider this – over 50 percent of web traffic is accessed by mobile devices, according to a study by StatCounter Global Stats. And, it’s been this way since 2016. Having a self-service mobile app could increase engagement with your customer base, so you can reap the rewards of:

Mobile technology can be a powerful part of your self-service initiatives, helping customers get the instant help they need for common problems when and where it’s most convenient for them. You in turn can reduce the costs associated with customer service without reducing customer satisfaction.

The Truth Is – Mobile Tech Gives You a Competitive Advantage

Priorities have changed in manufacturing, as they have in many industries. As discussed in the two-part series, “Data Will Lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” data, business intelligence and mobility (and as a result, cybersecurity, too) are taking over as the leading priorities for CFOs and organizations in manufacturing. Technology is making it possible to truly worker smarter, not harder. Organizations that harness the power of mobile technology to solve everyday business problems will have a higher chance of being able to out sell, outperform and out last their competitors.

About the Author

Matt Brady, CPA, Partner in Cherry Bekaert’s Industrial Group, specializes in tax planning and compliance for multi-state C corporations, S corporations and high-net-worth individuals. When working on large corporate and pass-through entity tax compliance, he focuses on state and local tax, credits and incentives, and tax provisions (ASC 740). Prior to joining Cherry Bekaert, he spent four years at a Big Four Firm and five years with a Hampton Roads-based SEC registrant.