Doing ERP-integrated sales from mobile devices - Part I

Mobile sales solutions are available today for every business and it's getting easier than ever….

As we all know, mobile devices (smartphones & tablets) are becoming almost ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Android Headlines reported lately that Google's Android operating system has reached a billion activations in less than 5 years and conservative estimates expect it to reach 3 billion by 2017. This is faster than any other technology in history - almost twice as fast as Facebook and faster than Apple's iOS operating system which has reached 700 thousand activations.

One of the benefits that can be gained from the explosion of internet access points and the fact that most business people now carry a "smart" device with instant-on capability & fast, low-cost internet, is that business data can now be accessed from virtually anywhere, at any time, without going back to the office.  

Progressive businesses that do regular, repeatable sales to their clients can gain a significant competitive advantage by getting orders placed, shipped and paid for quickly.  The tools exist today to provide sales teams with the ability to look at their customer's account and order history, check inventory levels and pricing, then create and send a quote in minutes that can be converted at any point in time to an order with payment processing as well.  All this from anywhere in the world with internet access.

This technology can significantly improve an organization's efficiency and performance as the mobile sales process can happen without having to call the office and ask someone to stop what they are doing and go "check" for them.  From the road, the Rep can assure the customer of inventory levels, costs and delivery.  They can also get an order approved and the payment can be taken easily by "swiping" their credit card on a simple mobile device attachment. This efficiency translates into increased sales with a higher level of customer satisfaction/retention, faster delivery, more inventory turns, and reduced outstanding receivables.

In my next blog post, I will start to look at some examples of these solutions.