Mobile Offerings Fail to Meet Supply Chain Needs: Survey

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The majority of supply chain organizations have a mobile website or a mobile app, yet far fewer supply chain professionals actually use those mobile technologies. A recent survey of supply chain decision-makers on mobile solutions found many respondents do not feel current mobile technologies meet the needs of users and fail to solve critical pain points of the organization.

The State of the Mobile Experience Study, released by software company PointSource, surveyed about 300 decision makers across the supply chain, retail, insurance and finance industries. Of the respondents from the supply chain industry, 81% said their company had a mobile website and 71% have a mobile app in place. Around a quarter of those firms (24%) are not currently using mobile apps or sites to handle everyday projects or tasks, according to the survey.

“This disparity suggests that perhaps supply chain influencers feel their existing mobile presences do not meet the needs and expectations of users,” the report stated.

Additionally, just one in 10 supply chain companies ranked their existing mobile presence as excellent. Overall, 15% of respondents across all industries surveyed rated their company’s existing mobile presence as excellent, the study showed. Supply chain companies also lag in other areas, according to the survey. Supply chain organizations were the least likely to have a mobile website and also had the least amount of confidence in their company’s mobile offerings.

Supply chain industry professionals also identified a number of pain points their organization faces — challenges a mobile technology like an app would ideally help to solve. More than half of supply chain respondents said managing inventory was a current pain point and 52% identified quality insurance. Slightly less, 48%, said inefficient processes were a current pain point and about a third struggle with outdated information and mitigating risks.

Possibilities Remain

Mobile offerings, however, could alleviate some of these pain points and survey respondents see potential for mobile solutions. Nearly 70% of supply chain industry respondents said a mobile offering could help make their organizations more efficient by keeping company content consistent and up to date. Around 60% said mobile offerings would streamline processes across teams and keep an accurate record of inventory for the organization. Roughly 50% of respondents also identified improved quality and safety standards as well as better shipment tracking as outcomes from using mobile offerings.

Success Stories

Supply chain organizations applying mobile offerings to everyday tasks are seeing benefits. Seventy percent report higher customer satisfaction from a mobile app and 63% said their customers feel more connected. Internal process improvement and internal communication improved transparency into supply chain processes were other benefits.

According to PointSource, supply chain organizations need to seek tailored mobile solutions that could be personalized to the company’s specific needs.

“Developing a mobile strategy and embracing a mobile app is the first step for supply chain companies,” the report said. “However, to truly drive efficiencies, companies should personalize their mobile offerings to their exact supply chain operations and day-to-day needs.”

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