Executive Briefings

Taking the First Steps Toward Mobile Supply Chains

Technology executives are the biggest buyers from a mobile device, with more than two-fifths reporting they use mobile to research transactions greater than $100,000, according to a Forbes Insights and Google survey of 511 executives.

Overall, before making a purchase decision, about 34 percent of senior executives across many industries frequent a supplier's mobile website, and 24 percent do it through mobile applications, the survey found. Some 92 percent expect to spend the same amount of time, or more, on mobile devices to research product purchases in the coming year, and more than a third say they visit sites three or more times looking for information before making a purchase.

The findings certainly suggest a shift in thinking, but what will it take for procurement specialists to run their companies' manufacturing supply chains, from fulfillment to distribution, from smartphones, rather than tablets? The biggest problem: Most B2B websites are not optimized for mobile procurement, manufacturing, and distribution.

Most enterprise resource planning and CRM providers, such as SAP, have begun to integrate mobile features, which will help drive adoption. Many have begun to build out mobile interfaces to support access by extending their products' web interfaces. However, electronics manufacturers need to do a little research to determine whether they should integrate an off-the-shelf product when rolled out, or build a proprietary interface themselves.

Procurement departments also need to decide whether to use a mobile web interface or app. Electronics manufacturers with web interfaces to procurement systems and backend applications will have an easier time building out mobile features and apps, he said.

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Overall, before making a purchase decision, about 34 percent of senior executives across many industries frequent a supplier's mobile website, and 24 percent do it through mobile applications, the survey found. Some 92 percent expect to spend the same amount of time, or more, on mobile devices to research product purchases in the coming year, and more than a third say they visit sites three or more times looking for information before making a purchase.

The findings certainly suggest a shift in thinking, but what will it take for procurement specialists to run their companies' manufacturing supply chains, from fulfillment to distribution, from smartphones, rather than tablets? The biggest problem: Most B2B websites are not optimized for mobile procurement, manufacturing, and distribution.

Most enterprise resource planning and CRM providers, such as SAP, have begun to integrate mobile features, which will help drive adoption. Many have begun to build out mobile interfaces to support access by extending their products' web interfaces. However, electronics manufacturers need to do a little research to determine whether they should integrate an off-the-shelf product when rolled out, or build a proprietary interface themselves.

Procurement departments also need to decide whether to use a mobile web interface or app. Electronics manufacturers with web interfaces to procurement systems and backend applications will have an easier time building out mobile features and apps, he said.

Read Full Article