Old notions of what enterprise resource planning is and can be will stop your latest ERP project from reaching new heights. So what three debilitating ERP misconceptions do the industrial sector still carry around? Why is it time to let them go in light of the mobile ERP revolution?
Misconception 1. 'ERP is a static architecture for my business.'
Any manufacturer that has organized its cross-departmental processes through an ERP solution knows it is the skeleton on which a body of efficient, data-driven operations built is fleshed out. But although this metaphor may have been apt in dealing with past ERP, companies must adjust their thinking slightly in light of recent innovations. They must replace ideas of sturdiness and rigidity in these systems with dependability and adaptation.
Essentially, ERP not only underpins the inner workings of an organization but also allows them to evolve rapidly. As a result, businesses never grow too complacent in their performance out of inertial convenience and instead continuously improve.
Get better every day with mobile ERP.
Mobility, in general, is certainly part of this necessary change, but what's more valuable is how mobility has, in a sense, democratized ERP. Mobile applications spread the wealth of enterprise planning power across the entire breadth of a company: equipment operators, executives, in-house accountants, technicians and more. No matter where any of these people are, they can feed data into a centralized, real-time repository and extract actionable business intelligence from it. As such, manufacturers gain flexibility, agility and accessibility, effectively heightening their chances of developing and uncovering information that pushes them forward.
Misconception 2. 'Mobile ERP is the same as ERP only on a mobile device.'
Mobile ERP deployment cannot merely be seen as new portals through which companies conduct business. Such limitations would drastically undercut the potential of postmodern ERP.
As mobility grows, so do your opportunities.
Enterprise mobility represents a watershed moment in traditional organizational management. Whole industries are reshaping their cores around the prospects mobility and the Industrial Internet of Things present. According to an enterprise mobility survey from Brookfield Global Relocation Services, nearly half of all polled leaders in manufacturing and engineering believe in a substantive correlation between mobility programs and their companies' "ability to retain high potentials." As one grows or shrinks, so does the other.
What ERP with mobile applications cannot do, however, is regurgitate the same interfaces and methods of organizing accessible information as are found on desktops. Inventory counts, for example, should be as easy to report as they are to confirm. That mobility follows inventory counters all the way to the stockroom certainly contributes to this proficiency, but user-friendliness matters too. Moreover, if businesses want their machine operators to become skilled observers and founts of operational knowledge, they must provide them with mobile, custom ERP solutions that make reporting effortless lest it cut into productivity.
Misconception 3. 'I can use the same data security approach with mobile ERP as with my old ERP.'
With easy use comes easy misuse, so advanced ERP means also stronger enterprise mobility management. Consider the biggest threats to cybersecurity in the manufacturing sector as illustrated in a Deloitte survey of industry leaders:
- "Theft of intellectual property" (34 percent)
- "Phishing, pharming and other related variants" (32 percent)
- "Increasing sophistication and proliferation of threats" (28 percent)
- "Social engineering" (27 percent)
- "Employee errors and omissions" (26 percent)
What can ERP implementation teams glean about the relationship between ERP and EMM from these answers? First, every node of accessibility granted by enterprise mobility can also act as a hacker backdoor to IP. Second, bad actors target employees. What better way to do that than through the handheld devices they use every day? Third, without employee training on cybersecurity, these actors will forever be one step ahead of any mobilized team. And finally, even without active threats attempting to assail their defenses, businesses still put data at risk because of mistakes made by their staff members. Unprecedented accessibility without control is a disaster waiting to happen.
All these signs point to EMM solutions, such as IBM's MaaS360, that pair well with postmodern ERP. These mobile management platforms must set unimpeachable enrollment standards for in-house mobile device usage and remove opportunities for error through the automating of once manual processes. Ideal EMM should, for instance, take updates out of the hands of users. Additionally, features like geofencing and remote wiping capabilities protect proprietary and customer information without limiting authorized utilization. They also help mobile business adhere to and comply with data compliance regulations. These may not have seemed as crucial with ERP iterations past, but they are imperative in the age of Industry 4.0.
How will mobile ERP apps revolutionize workflows at your company? See for yourself or ask an abas expert today. Want more information on how to avoid common EMM obstacles that stand in the way of mobile ERP projects? Check out the abas blog for answers to your questions about mobility management.