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Will Smartphones Hurt or Help Your Supply Chain?

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Having access to mobile devices can streamline your supply chain, through real-time insight and automatic processes.  But is the security up to par for your operational needs?

More and more software and applications or “apps” are being created for use on Smartphones and mobile devices including the Blackberry, iPhone, and tablets.  Business intelligence software such as Microsoft Dynamics® GP is also being tailored for use with Smartphones and in the Cloud.  The convenience of adding portability to business software can greatly improve the communication of data from the field to the office.  Sales employees and supply chain businesses can provide instant updates from the field to the office instead of having to travel back and forth to enter data at the office.  Sales staff can use their mobile devices to enter sales information from the field which will initiate an immediate response at the office – procurement and begin placing raw material orders, the factory can begin manufacturing operations, and accounting can update financials.

At the factory or office, the camera on a Smartphone can be used as a bar code scanner to count inventory or help locate and pick items to be used in the factory or shipped to customers.  Smartphones use GPS technology which would aid the supply chain with tracking items during shipment from origin to destination.  In many situations, the use of an employee’s Smartphone can eliminate the need for extra electronic devices and streamline operations.

Microsoft understands the many potential benefits of using business intelligence software, like Microsoft Dynamics GP, on mobile technology and they understand the security concerns.  All mobile devices should be treated like computers, with security policies and procedures to address potential issues.  When data is sent from the Smartphone or tablet to the office, the data is received by the cloud or office servers which then should be backed up and protected just like data received from the office computers.

What about the mobile device itself?  Smartphone users should use a time-out feature to turn off the phone after a period of time and use passwords to protect the phone from use by others.  Encryption software can protect data during transmission and remote wipe software can delete all data on the phone should the device become lost or stolen.  When used properly, the data on the Smartphone or tablet can be safely transmitted and secured in Microsoft Dynamics GP either on the Cloud or on office servers.

Mobile devices are already being used by businesses to streamline business operations from the field to the office.  Mobile devices can save time and money and provide instant updates from any location to the office.  Microsoft Dynamics GP is ready to be used on your Smartphone and in the CloudContact Socius to set up your mobile Microsoft Dynamics GP and security measures so that you can stay on top of your business operations no matter where you conduct business.

By Socius, Ohio Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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