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Industry Research : CRM – The Most Mobilised Business Appllication for Manufacturers
In a recent Europe-wide survey of mobile applications, research firm IDC found that CRM is the most mobilised business application in manufacturing, with over 35 per cent of manufacturers already mobilising their customer relationship management applications.
According to IDC, smart devices, which provide an exploding array of user features, are considered one of the key drivers to mobility in the slowest-growing markets in western Europe. The accelerating pace of business is deeply affecting how manufacturers operate. They have to become more integrated, faster, and more nimble, and IT departments are increasingly required to support this transformation.
IDC research shows that one issue for manufacturers is that information is often available on their systems but is not readily accessible. As the information is currently available in silos around the company and across departments, functional areas, and hierarchical levels, manufacturers are changing their organisational structures and empowering employees with IT systems, enabling real-time access to information.
Mobile devices and applications are key tools for manufacturers to create an information-based collaborative decision-making environment and to open lines of communication.
The survey found that e-mail is the gateway to mobility. Handheld devices are extensively used in the manufacturing environment, but in most cases they are used to cover simple processes such as e-mails or office productivity applications.
CRM is the most mobilised business application. About 35 per cent of manufacturers have already mobilised their CRM applications. These are the most suitable business applications for mobile deployment. CRM applications are tightly linked to e-mail, and they are often delivered on the cloud and typically used by mobile salespeople.
Logistics and supply chain functions are enabled by mobility. In order to speed up their business, manufacturers have started deploying mobile tools on their supply chains, particularly to support logistics processes. Mobile devices are critical to ensure real-time visibility of transportation processes, for example.
However, other business applications are not covered by mobility.
It is different when it comes to business applications such as field service and shop floor, with fewer than 25 per cent of companies providing their field and manufacturing workers with handheld devices. In most cases, their work is still supported by laptops or simply based on paper processes.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, August 20, 2012