Supply chains are being pushed into the future by mobile technology. With new devices and technologies emerging everyday it’s no wonder that in 2014 alone, there was almost half a billion mobile devices and connections added which brings the total number in the world to an astonishing 7.4 billion.
Although wireless handhelds have been improving warehouses for decades, these newer devices and innovations are further transforming the supply chain with irrefutable benefits like the real-time visibility of assets, increased worker productivity and, the ultimate goal – improved customer.
The technology we are using in our personal lives is finding its way into our business life, but in a good way mainly because we see how efficient it makes us while on the clock.
As the use of mobile technology in the supply chain becomes the norm, we will continue to see it make a huge impact. Let’s look at the top three areas of the supply chain where mobile technology will have the biggest impact.
- In the Warehouse: New mobile innovations are enabling warehouse managers to connect information gathered on the floor. Wearables and mobile applications, and handheld scanners are linking every aspect of the warehouse together to enable smarter decision making and more efficient operations. Inaccurate orders or slow fulfillment times can break a brand.
- On the Road: Truck drivers face long hours and lack of sleep, making their job dangerous if workforce managers are unable to monitor them. Mobile technology enables drivers to clock in and out remotely, providing managers with more accurate insight into changes in their ETA and how long the drivers are actually working. This prevents driver fatigue – and the worst case scenario, accidents.
- With the Consumer: More accurate tracking technology and handheld scanners enable the consumer to know the location of their package and when it’s projected to land on their doorstep. This is crucial as consumers’ patience is dwindling, due in part to shortened shipping times becoming the norm – as little as two hours in some major cities. Real-time access to tracking packages greatly improves customer satisfaction and is essential for a brand to succeed.
As mobile technology continues to improve, so will brands’ abilities to keep up with customer expectations and demand. We’ll see more efficient supply chains produce accurate insights that will benefit both supply chain workers and consumers alike.