Mobile Inventory Management With Smartphones and Tablets

Once dominated by RF scanners, the diverse area of inventory management is seeing the use of smartphones and tablets increase. And it’s all down to their ability to more effectively carry out barcode scanning, order picking and replenishment.

Innovative retail processes and new logistics concepts are increasingly being powered by consumer-grade smartphones in the enterprise.
Innovative retail processes and new logistics concepts are increasingly being powered by consumer-grade smartphones in the enterprise.

From the warehouse to the shopfloor, mobile inventory management systems utilize smart devices for accurate asset management and rapid ROI.

The shift also ties in with the announcement that any legacy warehouse devices running Windows Mobile will need to be replaced due the software being discontinued in 2019.

More Managed Smartphones and Tablets in Retail

Various case studies and research show the extent of smartphone and tablets usage in logistics and warehouse operations. WMS usage on real-time mobile devices was estimated to sit at 65% in 2018.

While various enterprises are encouraging small-to medium sized companies to move away from dedicated scanners and to provision smartphones for mobile inventory management, big names like Walmart have already done so. With the help of mobile device management solutions (MDM), the company deployed apps late last year for their store associates on the shop floor, enabling them to use their own smartphones securely at work.

Why You Should Consider Making the Switch

When compared to handheld RF scanners, smartphones and tablets kitted out with the right mobile inventory management app have some strong plus points.

  • Increased Productivity: Many productive and intuitive inventory management apps are available for iOS and Android. Some utilize NFC enabled smartphones to process tags fast and without clicks or inputs between individual scans. Additionally, the devices can used outside inventory tracking tasks.
  • Lower Costs: Provisioning consumer-grade smartphones and tablets is cheaper than provisioning dedicated scanners. The COPE/COBO models in combination with Apple DEP or Android Enterprise is perfectly suited for bulk buying and deployment. Plus, the option to practically slash provisioning costs almost altogether remains open to companies that want to introduce BYOD and run their mobile inventory management app that way.
  • Higher User Acceptance: Your employees expect to see their company implement the latest technology. They tend to enjoy using devices running operating systems like Android and iOS because they are often already familiar with it.
  • Training is Faster: Easy to use devices gives retailers increased flexibility to respond to surges in temporary employees. When tablets and smartphones are used, you can get your employees trained and ready to go quicker.
  • Data Can Be Secured Effectively: Companies can enlist the help of MDM solutions to protect themselves from known security flaws associated with RFID systems.

Keep Enterprise-Grade Security in Mind

Given the ubiquitous nature of smartphones and tablets, and their potential to be productivity workhorses, these mobile devices are establishing themselves as efficient, cost effective stocktaking tools.

As the number of portable devices in the enterprise rises, so does the likelihood of running into compatibility problems and security breaches. Comprehensive mobile device management solutions (MDM), like Cortado MDM, can help your company embrace new deployment scenarios for smartphones and tablets. Cortado MDM keeps corporately owned devices GDPR compliant and the central console keeps management simple, even while you scale and deploy new devices. Get in contact with us today.