Investing in mobile technologies to simplify logistics and inventory seems to be a key priority for majority of companies in field operations in countries including India. According to the results of an Asia-Pacific vision study on the future of field operations released in Delhi on Tuesday, investments are increasingly being made in disruptive technologies and enterprise mobile devices to enhance front-line worker productivity and customer satisfaction.
Simplistically put, this refers to companies which have large inventories to be done (for example, a storage godown where cargo is kept and needs to be identified depending on requirement), fleet management (like a car maker with thousands of cars in its yard), field services like a cable operator who takes payments on a mobile device at home, proof of delivery (for a vendor who delivers an order) and direct store delivery workflows (like a supermarket store calculating stock and what needs to be replaced), among others.
“Top three trends driving changes for field operations...in India are growing expectations of performance and convenience from end customers, replacement of paper in the field by mobile technology, and the disruptions to field operations caused by emerging technologies and faster networks,” said Deep Agarwal, regional sales director at Zebra Technologies, which conducted the survey.
According to the study's findings, companies are increasingly focusing on equipping front-line works with enterprise mobile devices. For example, in the coming four years, use of mobile devices with built-in barcode scanners in the region is forecasted to grow by 41 per cent, mobile printers by 60 per cent and rugged tablets (for use in factories and storage areas) by 57 per cent.
In fact, usage of such mobile devices in manufacturing, industry and in the whole sector of field operations is expected to get a fillip once 5G enters the picture, according to officials. “Now that we know 5G is coming, there is work going on to integrate devices with 5G readiness,” said a Zebra official.