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Mobility Shows the Way Forward in 2013

Eric Ernest | Jan. 21, 2013
If you're one of those organizations that don't believe in the power of mobility, chances are you'll soon be termed as outdated. Because if you turn a blind eye to the potential of mobility--despite BYOD, consumerization of IT and its cousins that have stirred up a revolution--your competition will get the better of you.

Improved productivity is in fact one of the advantages that ITC reaped when it implemented its mobility solution--a mobile app--for its sales force. For the sales force, this app is mostly for the purpose of completing the process of order capture. "This (implementation) is basically to drive our secondary sales from our wholesale dealer to the retailer." Not only has ITC been able to lower the transaction cost of order capture but their sales person is now able to visit more stores than he was before the mobility solution was implemented.

"In terms of overall productivity, we thought a (sales) person visited 20 to 25 outlets in a (regular) day. But what we figured out--by doing an analysis on the amount of time that a person spent on the market--is that he could cover 30 to 35 outlets (after the mobility solution was implemented)," says Rao.

Another feather in ITC's cap is that it has also setup a MEAP (Mobile Enterprise Application Platform) infrastructure that allows for applications to be deployed faster, and across platforms.

Mobile Video in the Making

In the case of B. Venkatakrishnan, the head-IT at Mahindra Vehicle Manufactures, the mobility solution he plans to implement will be used to provide an innovative way to add value to the customer when a Mahindra premium vehicle is purchased. This--improving customer support or services--is one of the top benefits that CIOs, who look to implement a mobility solution, expect to reap, according to the State of the CIO 2012 survey.

Venkatakrishnan's solution, which is currently in the pilot stage, envisions having a mobile application that customers can use to view--via a video--how their vehicles are being manufactured. The user can log on and see certain stages of the vehicle manufacturing process--the stages that the user can see are already pre-decided by the company. For this, IP-enabled cameras have been installed at the required locations within the manufacturing plant.

"Say, you have booked a red colored XUV, and at 11 o'clock the vehicle is going to get dropped on the TCF (trim, chassis, final assembly) line. You can login to the system and actually see--for three to four minutes--how the vehicle is passing through the various stages of the TCF line where we will show how the engine gets fitted, how the final polishing happens, and how the quality check happens," says Venkatakrishnan, adding that the project is in a proof of concept stage.

While the aim is to provide the customer with the ability to see their vehicle at the prescribed manufacturing stages in real-time, initially the company plans to use an offline archival storage mode wherein the relevant manufacturing stages of the vehicle are pre-recorded and stored for the customer to view later on. This facility will only be available for the customers who buy premium vehicles.


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