5 industrial challenges mobile applications can solve

  • Thomas Botton

Mobile applications support industries to undertake a digital transformation, from supply chain to risk management, or information distribution.

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How can mobile applications support industries to undertake a digital transformation? In supply chain, risk management, or information distribution, mobile applications will make tasks easier for your employees, thus increasing efficiency. Read about 5 industrial challenges that mobile apps can solve.

First of all, it is important to carefully chose between a web and a mobile application. Mobile apps are useful when they use one of the device's native capabilities (e.g. Bluetooth, GPS, camera, etc.), and when they enhance the experience provided to the user (compared to what a web application could do).

Industrial challenges

The challenges industries face are often very good candidates for mobile apps as they leverage all their potential. Therefore, I have identified five recurring issues that industries are facing nowadays. These pain points can be easily relieved by mobile applications.

Challenge 1: Productivity issues due to technical limitations

In some industries, technology gets old and sometimes stands in the way of employees' productivity. Our project with Schindler is a good example: technicians had to go inside the elevator shaft, detect the default, take note of the spare part reference, go back to his vehicle or office to check the catalog, to finally be able to identify the issue. Now, technicians can access the catalog directly in front of the problematic spare part, and shorten its identification by 30%. It increases process speed, elevators are fixed quicker. As a result, the users are happier, and it is profitable for the business.

old metal piece

Time for an industrial digitalization?

Challenge 2: Reduce existing operating costs

In the recent project implementation of HOUSTON, we saw how mobile technology could help to reduce drastically the operating costs of a client's existing radio infrastructure. With the use of new technologies such as VoIP (via the  Twilio service) coupled with mobile apps, we managed to decrease their total maintenance costs by two.

This kind of Return On Investment can auto-finance the project thanks to the realized savings. The funniest in this case is that the true ROI comes afterwards when the employees enjoy a better User Experience.

Challenge 3: Inflexibility due to stationary machines

Similar situations occurred for several industrial audits we performed. For instance, our watchmaker production line, where we implemented a web application based on an API in order to satisfy the brand's IT and security regulations.

We are convinced that the next step of their digital transformation is: go mobile. Drop the static machines, allow people to prepare their procedures and actions on the mobile app, and let them connect to the manufacturing production line via Bluetooth to execute the commands needed there. This way, employees wouldn't be tied anymore to a location. Way more convenient and flexible.

Production Line

When a production line goes mobile, employees will save on-site time, as all their supply chain procedures are prepared in advance on their mobile app.

Challenge 4: Slow reaction time to alerts that generate high risks

Most of the industries need real time monitoring to ensure that supply chain risk levels are kept to their minimum. This implies costly equipments as well as human resources to track possible failures and malfunctions. Thanks to push notifications and other real time capabilities, mobile apps can both increase reaction time with their timely alerts, and decrease monitoring costs.

Challenge 5: Information overflow that leads to misinformed decisions

In older systems, information is often spread without the capacity to target users based on their profile or location. As people are spammed, they take decisions that are misinformed as they can't keep up with the load of data received.

Back to the HOUSTON example: mobile app built in GPS capability enables buses' agents to be geolocated. Thus, messages can be geo-targeted to provide the relevant information to the right employee. No complex locating system needs to be setup.

To conclude: Carefully choose how to invest

Mobile apps can solve specific industrial problems. By experience, we have seen that the best mobile app solutions are the ones who answer one need or problem, by leveraging the native devices capabilities. This kind of app that solve a problem in the employees' everyday life is what make them worth investing in.

It is necessary to take time to analyze your issues in order to define the best possible options to reach your goals. Appropriate workshops will ensure that you make the right investment.

We are happy to hear your existing challenges in the comments section below (or simply contact us and let's have a coffee), so that we exchange feedbacks on your struggles.

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