A key aspect of mobility is to enable companies to process information as close to real-time as technology permits in order to support and facilitate rapid decision-making. Most companies know which information needs to be exchanged across associates, but only a few have a clear mobile strategy that is able to leverage a real-time architecture and exchange information through means such as a mobile device, website or both.
As technology evolves, new modes of mobility are available in the market. In the past, mobility has been limited to computer devices (laptops, PDAs), lacked a reliable network for data exchange and processing, and could not provide rapid results to enable actionable insights. Today, mobility is present everywhere. The Internet of Things enables connectivity in and across devices/assets which in turn creates the opportunity for ever increasing business value. The network itself has become omnipresent to the point that we now rely on it as part of our daily lifestyle. CPG manufacturers recognize they must incorporate these latest trends to remain relevant in the marketplace. Under this scenario, software vendors must transform to become true technology partners, providing technology innovation which powers business process improvements for their CPG customers.
A good example is the potential usage of wearable Smartwatches by field sales personnel. Most mobile application vendors are selling their products with “Smartwatch-enabled” capabilities to show that they are able to stay up-to-date. But when these capabilities are used in real-world CPG environments, analysis must be done to determine the correct strategy to generate the business value which will justify the investment.
For instance, it doesn’t make sense to use a Smartwatch to remind you of the closest store to be visited (based on a geographical perspective) if the store does not require a visit at that moment. However, there is value if a Smartwatch directs you to stores nearby that require urgent attention based on a Retail Activity Optimization strategy.
To implement a successful mobility strategy, companies should start by considering:
- What are the process automation opportunities?
- What business upside will I receive if I deploy a mobile solution coupled with real time analytics?
- And at a detailed level, how will the daily or weekly processes of our field sales team improve based on the newly deployed features and functions? Basically, how will this help me to sell better?
As part of the AFS 2016 User Conference, we will be discussing the details behind our best practices designed to develop and deploy a mobile strategy. To register, visit www.afsi.com/UC2016.