Manufacturers Join the App Age

Manufacturers Join the App Age

New Mobile Business App survey reveals that manufacturing firms are rapidly moving away from paper forms and manual process to build and deploy their own mobile business apps.
Over the last couple of years, mobile apps have suddenly become critical manufacturing tools.

According to the second annual Mobile Business Application survey recently conducted by Canvas, 41% of manufacturing firms reported used more than five different mobile business applications in 2014 to help drive efficiency and productivity in their plants.

The trend is quickly moving forms that have historically relied heavily on paper forms and manual processes straight into the digital age.

These are not the highly engineered and expensive platforms we've seen popping up in previous years. According to the report, 80% of these firms were able to build their own mobile business app in one day or less.

That marks some significant changes in the market.

"Manufacturing firms are not only using multiple mobile business apps, but also building and deploying them to their mobile workforces faster than ever before – an indication that businesses of all sizes are shifting from expensive, resource-intensive custom app builds to cloud-based mobile business app solutions," explained James Quigley, CEO and co-founder at Canvas.

"The survey results also reaffirm that when manufacturing firms are able to easily share and learn from data collected via smartphones and tablets across the mobile workforce, the cost savings and productivity benefits can be significant," he said.   

Key Survey Findings:

  • Manufacturing firms using multiple mobile business apps – 41% of respondents indicated their organization used more than 5 mobile business apps in 2014, and a robust 30% of organizations used 10+ mobile business apps last year.  

  • Inspections, work orders most used mobile apps – When asked what business processes they used mobile apps for in 2014, inspections (41%), audits (30%) and work orders (25%) were most heavily used. 

  • Increased use of cloud storage apps – 57% of manufacturing businesses are using cloud storage applications, up 5 percentage points from the prior year’s survey. Dropbox remains the most popular, used by six in ten respondents. 

  • Image capture, signature capture most popular features –The 2015 survey tracked, for the first time, which mobile app features manufacturing firms are using. Image capture (59%) and signature capture (34%) were most popular.

  • Firms see value integrating mobile with core business apps – 60% of manufacturing firms see value in integrating core business applications – such as Dropbox, Square, Salesforce, and Quickbooks.
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