4 Trends Shaping Mobility – Supply Chain Logistics

4-trends-in-mobilityThe latest issue of Logistics Management arrived on my desk earlier this week, and within it, there is a good article by Bridget McCrea which speaks to four trends which are currently shaping the face of mobility. Specifically, the trends that are pushing mobility deeper into every-day use and a look at just how far we are from experience real-time supply chain management.

The four trends sighted in the article are as follows:

  1. The advancement of cellular technology РAny concept is only as good as the technology it rides upon and the capabilities of both the mobile devices and mobile software are advancing exponentially. In some cases, cellular technology has partially displaced traditional fleet solutions like in-cab displays and on-board computers and legacy methods of moving and tracking freight outside the four walls.
  2. The decline of device costs – Ten years ago, it would have made absolutely no sense from a pricing standpoint, for the average shipper to supply its managers, employees and drivers with handheld devices. Today, that proposition is much more of a reality which means supply chain mobility is on the radar screen of more shippers.
  3. The influx of shippers using mobile to gain visibility – This would be the age-old peer pressure motivation which motivates shippers to pay attention to advancements in mobile technology. When one company gains a leg up from added visibility, more and more follow suit.
  4. The consumer-led mobile charge – Now, more than ever, the average consumer has a powerful influence on what sort of technology should be expected within the business world. Our “need to know everything”¬†philosophy¬†in our personal lives have spilled over into our job responsibilities. Much more is expected from companies looking at mobility simply because they are much more informed.

Be sure and read the entire article here.

Gartner Magic Quadrant: Mobile Application Development

Gartner has recently released their Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms. Within this research a couple of noteworthy items stand out:

  • 61% of surveyed CIOs plan to enhance their mobility capability during the next 3 years
  • 48%¬†believe¬†they will become industry leaders in their industries by fully adopting innovative mobility solutions

As if there was any doubt, mobility is clearly not an optional add-on technology, but a critical piece for most any business to be successful.

A Mobility Solution Designed for the Healthcare Industry


In today’s healthcare industry, medical service providers are under increasing pressure to provide high-quality service with accuracy and efficiency while reducing the time and costs associated with logistics and delivery operations.

Additionally, the level of complexity and attention to detail surrounding clinical labs and medical supply operations, require comprehensive strategies that account for both the detailed requirements associated with asset tracking and broader strategies that shape delivery management.

Sierra Data Systmes delivers an integrated suite of SaaS-based products that support healthcare industry providers with a powerful strategy to reduce wasted energy, streamline daily workflows and improve customer service. By leveraging the DATArrive product, businesses are able to efficiently manage work orders, dispatch workers, track goods, specimens or drivers, while gaining visibility into daily operations.

Learn more.

The Global Mobile Workforce

VDC-Research-mobile-workforceDavid Krebs, VP of Mobile and Wireless at VDC Research, recently hosted a brief presentation covering trends and expectations within the global mobile workforce. Along with the expected growth in mobility, there were a number of crucial trends to note:

  • Mobile Worker¬†Population¬†– the mobile worker population is forecasted to grow an additional 5% by 2014 to 1.2 billion. What is significant about this trend is that means 1/3 of the global workforce would be classified as “mobile”
  • B2B Trends – some of the continued trends with in B2B mobility revolve around the need for real-time decision making, workforce productivity and business intelligence
  • Continued Growth of the “Knowledge Worker” – Krebs notes importance of differentiating between “task/line workers” and “knowledge¬†workers.” Typically, mobility has been primarily focused on the task oriented or line workers which require very linear and simple mobile workflows. While the rising sector of knowledge workers operate in a more dynamic environment, where lookups, cross-validation, and data access are¬†critical. The important statistic here – line workers are expected to decrease by 11.8% while knowledge workers will rise by 19.1% through 2014.

You can watch the entire presentation here.

Mobile is the New Normal

It is no secret that we live in a mobile world. And it the rise of consumer driven mobile apps and devices only feeds the demand for B2B related applications. Mobile is the new normal.

Flurry Analytics has gathered data surrounding the amount of time consumers spend on mobile apps versus web browsers. In their findings they discovered that the average consumer spent more time on mobile apps than on web browsers during June 2011 than during June 2010.

ht: http://gigaom.com/

Detrimental Mistakes for Mobile Deployment

The January edition of Field Technologies Magazine is out, and in it, Sarah Howland highlights one of the most detrimental mistakes made in mobile deployments that result in poor user adoption. A couple of take-aways to ensure success:

  • Get mobile workers input early on: get clarity on their current process, get their input, and clarify the need for the transition
  • Dont’ expect the technology to do the work for you: plan for training, prepare your workforce and take time for input & revision

Be sure and read the entire article here.

Friday Wrap Up: October 14

A weekly wrap up of some relevant news of late, or otherwise interesting articles we think are worthy of passing on to you. So sit back, catch up on some news, and enjoy your Friday.

A Growing Market: The global market for medical device outsourcing services will reach $44.7 billion by 2017, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

Apple Who? iOS 5 What? A new report from market research company NPD claims that 44 percent of current and future U.S. smartphone owners are considering Windows Phone 7 handsets.

Data is the new $$: Today, nothing ties the IT environment to the line of revenue generating businesses more than data.

Context, Preferences, Attitudes: New research from Forrester introduces how companies will use mobile devices to deliver better customer experiences in their own context.

Riding the Technology Wave

The old¬†adage,” The more things change, the more they¬†stay¬†the same” is meant to describe the (non-) effect of technological, political, and social change on human nature. The original author¬†intended this to mean that while the world today is very different from the world of the past, the people themselves are the same. If you were to use a time machine to pick up a baby from the 16th century and raise him today he would have all the same advantages and foibles of any modern man. Similarly, many of the obstacles¬†we encounter as a society:¬†bureaucracy,¬†intolerance, and selfishness are present in every era of human civilization.

But it is a mistake to confuse the fact that human nature never changes with the reality that human behavior almost never stops changing. This is the cardinal mistake that industries and people have made for hundreds of years. The printing press changed the reading and learning habits of people around the world while early industrialization changed buying and¬†manufacturing¬†behaviors. At each turn, those advantaged by the old ways fought tooth and nail, ultimately¬†unsuccessfully¬†to prevent these changes. While human nature remained unchanged the actual behaviors: patterns of activity, methods of¬†accomplishment, and ways of¬†achieving¬†success were fundamentally altered. The are some recent examples of this phenomenon that can help us understand where we might do better. (more…)

The Drive to Make the Dumbest Smartphone

You’ve probably heard the old joke or some variation by now: “If cars were more like computers we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 mi/gal, but for no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.”

Well, if your car was more like a smart phone:

  • It would do absolutely everything faster except its primary purpose: driving. That would be exactly the same – maybe a little worse.
  • All tolls on the road would go up and you’d be limited in how much you can drive in a given month.
  • It would have really sleek lines and a polished look that¬†you would never get to see because you needed to cover it up¬†at all times to avoid constant scratches, dents, and smudges¬†from normal use.
  • It would only work on certain types of roads and only in your own country¬†unless you’d wanted to swap out all the tires.
  • It would come with dozens of accessories you don’t want or need, but would be missing key features like a radio or air conditioning. But don’t worry, you can add these on later for an extra fee.
  • If it ever broke you couldn’t get it repaired or replace a part, the dealer would just swap it with an identical car.
  • The manufacturers would be competing with each other about who has the largest number of aftermarket add-ons, but if you install them anywhere by the dealership you void your warranty.
  • The interior would be many times smaller than¬†your old car, but¬†the windshield is¬†five times larger.
  • It’s so simple to use.¬†The manufacture didn’t want you to have to worry about little things like seat position, cup holders, window visors, or leg room so they made it one size fits all.
  • It will easily replace all your other modes of transportation unless you need to leave the road and then you have to get out.
  • You would have to fill up the tank at least once a day.
  • From the outside¬†your car¬†looks exactly like every other car on the road.
  • All the car manufacturers would be suing each other claiming they have exclusive rights to features like: “turning right”, “parking”, and “lockable doors”.
  • Even though you car works perfectly well for¬†how you drive¬†you’ll get a new one every couple of years when your lease runs out because the new one has a slightly better dashboard layout. (more…)

Mobility Growing Pains

About three months ago I was considering a blog post about how the diversity and fragmentation in the mobile operating system environment was going away. Nokia and¬† Microsoft were getting together, Android was growing by leaps and bounds and even Blackberry was planning to run Android apps, Apple seemed rock solid, and WebOS was purchased by a big player with deep pockets. Now? Not so much. Oh what a few months can mean . . . (more…)