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Microsoft Dynamics AX goes mobile

Kevin Johnson explains why Microsoft Dynamics AX and mobile apps are a match made in manufacturing heaven

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are connecting today’s leading manufacturers with their employees at exponential speed. These devices are rapidly becoming commonplace for all employees, whether they are provided by the company or purchased for personal use.

This connection is allowing more real-time information to be available to field sales people, shop floor workers, marketing teams and executives who are looking for comprehensive analytics, not just data. This empowers them with the actionable business insight they need to make profitable decisions, in real time.

The bottom line is that tablets and other mobile devices are quickly becoming the norm with all employees and consumers, and Microsoft Dynamics AX provides an excellent platform upon which to build yo

Kevin Johnson, consulting director in Junction Solutions’ Food and Beverage Practice
Enterprises that employ powerful enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as Microsoft Dynamics AX can take advantage of mobile communication capabilities across the Microsoft platform. No longer should an employee need to log into a dedicated web server to see reports or charts created once a day, or other non-real time data. Employees, like other consumers, want apps on their tablet or smartphone that read real-time ERP information such as inventory levels, the latest customer sales, a notification of an event or customer service issue.

The seamless communication across database, e-mail, apps and websites make this all possible. The rate at which these apps are being developed is staggering. For example, at Junction Solutions, we have developed a mobile application called mAX Sales that is available for download to a smartphone or tablet. Built on the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform, maAX Sales gives a manufacturer’s field sales teams the ability to use a tablet in the field to showcase products to customers, take orders and view available inventories online. Empowering employees with mobile applications they can access quickly and easily helps to drive business productivity forward.

And while manufacturers can reap major benefits from extending the use of mobile applications to their workforce, they can experience similar gains from using mobility to connect directly with their consumers.

Consumers, always seeking the next good deal and researching more information about what they buy, are also embracing apps for their tablets and smartphones. A recent example is the proliferation of bar code reading apps that can read standard UPC codes or QR codes on products to provide consumers with product data. Manufacturers can leverage this type of mobile connection with consumers in many real and powerful ways. For example, manufacturers can use consumer scans of products to provide links to highly customised promotional campaigns and coupons. Data from Microsoft Dynamics AX available via a mobile can provide product information to consumers, such as product source and detailed nutritional information. Manufacturers can also make customer service links to company contact information available to consumers, should they have a product inquiry.

The bottom line is that tablets and other mobile devices are quickly becoming the norm with all employees and consumers, and Microsoft Dynamics AX provides an excellent platform upon which to build your mobile strategy. Manufacturers who keep pace with these communication tools will lead the industry in agility and customer satisfaction.

Kevin Johnson is consulting director in Junction Solutions’ Food and Beverage Practice, where he manages ERP and supply chain projects.

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