Guest Blog: Mobile ERP – The Enabler of Modern Commerce

Mobile technology allows entire business processes to be run away from the confines of the office, improving efficiency, business intelligence and performance.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is regarded as a “mission-critical investment” for Chief Information Officers (CIOs), and evolving these capabilities beyond the confines of the office is equally crucial as businesses are tasked with doing more with less.

Doing business in a fast-paced and ever changing corporate landscape leaves little room for “off time”. From product planning, development, manufacturing processes, sales and marketing and more, ERP is an on-the-go requirement, rather than a managerial aspect which should be controlled from the confines of HQ. Consumers are mobile, staff are mobile and logic dictates that in order to keep up, business management will also need to become accessible on the go.

A recent study by CDW found that 94% of business personnel believe mobile devices make them more efficient. A further 89% said they use mobile devices for work and over two-thirds of companies said they would lose competitive ground without those devices. Integrated technology was equally desirable among corporates. A survey by Softselect found 88% of CIOs admitted to preferring an integrated IT system rather than using a ‘best-of-breed’ approach, with most companies either adopting a mobile ERP approach or planning for one in the near future.

Why go mobile?

Jeff Carr from Ultra Consultants recently noted that everyone from the director of quality, supply chain manager, production worker, shipping personnel and other staff are finding that ERP is “increasingly more convenient and appealing to use on their mobile devices to monitor what’s happening in real time throughout the entire enterprise”.

From HR solutions to supply chain and manufacturing benefits, there are several critical reasons why businesses should be looking at implementing a mobile ERP solution. Production and operations benefit from instant access to information of potential problems (machine breakdowns or faults in the supply chain) and managers could even authorise changes to expedite specific work orders or deliveries. Sales and marketing can also make use of the technology and allow it to pay for itself through new custom. Ultimately, added insight and improved productivity leads to rewards across the board.

Here’s how mobile ERP can benefit your business:

Cost Efficiency
Mobility and productivity can be rather contradictory terms in the business realm, but ERP pairs the two together by giving access to information and functionality on the go. This can lower the costs of doing business through efficiency gains.

Better BI
Mobile software can make you aware of emerging developments, help streamline operations and deliver superior supply chain visibility. Business intelligence gains can only be moved upon if they are instantly accessible.

Performance Improvement
Real-time submission of business data ensures that the company is kept up to speed with its finances and client relations, improving performance in all departments.

Seamless implementation
Arguably one of the biggest benefits of mobile ERP is the ubiquitous nature of portable devices, allowing for the seamless implementation of new capabilities into business processes.


Implementing mobile ERP solutions requires careful consideration. App management can be difficult for IT departments and an appreciation of new devices is important from a security perspective. But the benefits of implementing mobile solutions far outweigh the hurdles.

Business intelligence is far more actionable when received in good time. Decision makers are spending far less time in an office and more time with other areas of the workforce or away with clients, which makes instant and open access to company information of paramount importance. The benefits of ERP in the workplace are beyond doubt, but as the nature of business becomes more mobile, integrating this functionality on-the-go will bring a wealth of benefits.

For more information, please download our whitepaper on ERP in the Age of Mobility.

By Sophie Dumas on 18 December 2013.

Originally Published in Sage ERP X3 Blog.