Common Misconceptions about Mobile Devices in the Warehouse

Sage-100-Mobile-in-the-WarehouseIf you’ve stayed up-to-date on the latest news in technology, you know that mobile devices are making their way into warehouses all around the world. As we discussed earlier this month, mobile adoption has increased and is only expected to rise in the coming years. Manufacturers who use mobile devices have a unique advantage over the competition for they provide users with real-time access to warehouse data, improve efficiency on the warehouse floor, and increase productivity (while decreasing costs).

Adopting mobile devices is certainly beneficial to manufacturers and distributors; however, there are a few misconceptions floating around regarding the use of mobile devices in the warehouse that have prevented many companies from adopting the technology. We’d like to discuss those misconceptions and reveal the truth hidden behind these common (if inaccurate) beliefs:

  1. Using mobile devices to store data and information opens my company up to security threats.
    There is always risk that your business data and information could be compromised, particularly when you are switching to a new system. However, you can protect your company from this risk by using common sense. Monitor who is using the devices and who has access to the system. Implement security precautions that make sense and protect your company well. Have a plan in place to protect confidential data in the event that a device gets stolen or lost. Using mobile devices in the warehouse can actually increase your security where data is concerned – you just have to implement the proper procedures and plan properly.
  2. If I adopt mobile solutions, I have to give everyone on the warehouse floor a tablet or smartphone.
    Just because you adopt mobile technology in the warehouse doesn’t mean you have to equip everyone with a mobile device. That could get expensive really quick. You can implement as many (or as little) mobile devices as you want. The choice is really up to you.
  3. Giving employees a mobile device in the workplace will only encourage them to use social media and other sites they shouldn’t be on at work.
    You can regulate who can access the system using their mobile device. If you want your executives to have real time access to reports and production floor dashboards but want to limit the capabilities of your other employees with smartphones or tablets (such as preventing them from making changes to work instructions or accessing Facebook), you can do this. Mobility actually offers you more control – not less – and will become an important tool for increase efficiency.
  4. Mobile devices cannot be trusted for business purposes. They will increase errors and put the business at risk.
    This statement is entirely false. In fact, paper-based manufacturing processes result in more inefficiencies and errors than a paperless (mobile) one. Research has shown that paper-based processes increase costs, errors and compliance issues. It’s also been reported that 75.9% of companies experience significant business risk due to those paper-based processes. While you may feel more comfortable and “in control” with traditional methods, they are actually draining your budget and accuracy.
  5. “Going mobile” is the same thing as Cloud computing.
    In a way, this is true. Mobile devices connect to the Cloud and use the Cloud to transmit and store data and information. It’s a form of Cloud computing and gives your company an opportunity to assess the Cloud in a risk-free environment. If you are using mobile applications to manage your warehouse, your information is transmitted via the Cloud back to your system. The Cloud is secured within your organization (not hosted by an outside company) and offers you the opportunity to securely automate data backups. Think of going mobile as a low-risk first step into the world of Cloud computing.

As you can see, many of the things you have heard regarding mobility in the warehouse are simply not true. They are misconceptions formed on inaccurate data and assumptions. Implementing mobile devices in the warehouse can actually improve your overall warehouse management and help you become more successful on a global landscape. Take a moment to list the benefits going mobile could offer your company and discuss the possibility with your company executives. In the meantime, if you are interesting in adopting mobile technology, consider our newest Sage 100 (formerly MAS 90 / MAS 200 ) mobile applications – Scanco Counts and Scanco Warehouse. These mobile apps were designed specifically for manufacturers and distributors looking to improve their warehouse management and inventory control processes. Contact us today to learn more about how these products can increase you efficiency and help you reduce costs!

What are some common misconceptions you’ve heard regarding mobile devices in the warehouse? Share them in the comments section below this post.