The way we do business has changed dramatically in the last 5 years. What is the cause of this shift? Advances in technology, and more specifically, mobile apps, are the prime reason why. Apps are helping us work more efficiently and evolving the way we interact with people.
The days of Angry Birds and personal health apps have paved the way for companies to build their own apps, making businesses easier to operate than ever before.
Not long ago, there was a time where you relied on paper files or a phone call to access certain information, schedule an appointment, or communicate with a repairman. Now, we’ve reached a point where mobile apps can automate many of these interactions, providing a convenient method for users to do these things at any time, even during other activities.
A Revolution Driven by Efficiency
One thing we all hear is that our society is much more “on-the-go” than ever before, especially when it comes to work and how we access information. Are we really moving around with such increased frequency? While this may be true, this notion is also driven by our desire for immediate access to information.
People still rely on things like paper invoices and scheduling appointments over the phone. However, technology has given us the ability to automate these types of processes and tasks via mobile apps, providing users a convenient and often faster method of acquiring the same information.
Mobile apps aren’t meant to completely replace these older technologies, but rather to give users an alternative method of accomplishing the same task when the older technology may not be available or convenient.
Apps to Benefit the Customer, Vendor and Employee
Consider an industrial company that wants to provide access to inventory levels, production schedules, and projections. This can now be done through an app, making it easier for that company’s customers to buy from them.
Another example could be a service company that uses an app to create an easier flow of communication for their technicians, benefiting both the company and the customer! With this app:
- The techs can check the day’s work on their phone, without having to log into a portal or print off a schedule (cost savings).
- The tech can access key customer information quickly, such as a map to their location or a phone number to communicate with them via text (time savings).
- Techs can mark jobs completed, which their managers can see back at the office (better management).
- When jobs are completed faster than scheduled, managers can bump up or shuffle appointments to keep techs busy and customers happy (shorter wait times).
This is just one example of the efficiencies mobile apps can provide. Keep in mind that your app doesn’t necessarily have to be something consumers can access – it can be an internal app that your company can use to improve overall processes.
As an Extension of your ERP
If you’re ready to start building an app, an app integrated to your ERP system may be the best bang for your buck to add immediate value to your business. Ask yourself what you are doing currently, and what can be done to streamline your processes.
Focusing on streamlining can make it easier for vendors to work with you, faster for employees to do their work, or make your products and services easier for customers to consume. A mobile app can serve as an extension of your ERP system, providing information at the fingertips of employees, vendors and customers.
The bottom line is… apps are continuing to mature and can serve as much more than just a distraction or mere entertainment. They provide true value in helping companies more closely connect their employees, vendors and customers to the information they need.