G U E S T C O L U M N
Use Apps to Supercharge Your Business
Everybody’s There Already; Why Not Capitalize On It?
B Y A N D Y W O O D S
e all use mobile apps every nize with your ofﬁce system.
day. Our phones and tablets Warehouse and shipping personnel after a sale can mean the difference
are full of icons that make can scan raw and ﬁnished products between an on-time and late deliv-
life easier: email, calendars, weather, into warehouses; record the location ery. Secure, accessible data combines
stock prices and even instant access of job items; help keep orders togeth- technology and operations. This stra-
A large order entered 24 or 48 hours
to our bank accounts.
What about adding your business ready for shipment; and generate agement in ways never before pos-
data and even your business functions? shipping documents and manifests. sible. You may be able to move away
It makes sense! In addition, mobile barcode scan- from the time-consuming day-to-day
er; guide shippers to easily ﬁnd items tegic approach eases business man-
You, your salespeople, custom- ning ensures that the right item is management issues to think and plan
ers, dealers, installers, service crew, staged and loaded in the truck in the for the future.
warehouse and shipping personnel right order.
to name a few—can all beneﬁt from
access to integrated mobile apps tai- Integration is Key
lored to their speciﬁc job function.
Let’s look at some of these jobs and your factory—CRM, quoting, service, factors in bottom-line performance.
how they can be supercharged with production and supply chain—have Putting mobile apps in the hands of
mobile apps. to be tied together. Moving infor- your dealers and workforce empowers
With this new infrastructure in
place, you do more with less. You are
maximizing your existing technology
All the components you use to run and maintaining your budget, both key
Salespeople can check appoint- mation from one system to another them. They have more agility and the
ments from your CRM/lead man- creates weak points where you are ability to be more accurate than ever
agement modules; view and manage most likely to see issues and failures. before. It also empowers you to eas-
the sales pipeline; get driving direc- Ideally, your systems should be fully ily provide them with just the infor-
tion to the next appointment; create integrated by design. If not, you can mation they need to do their jobs.
and manage prospects and custom- still retroﬁt the integration, although Mobile apps enhance your custom-
ers; generate quotes with complete it requires additional effort.
ers, your dealers, your workforce and
product conﬁgurations; print/email The value and beneﬁts of mobile your experience. Most importantly,
quotes to customers; take and store apps are probably the least-discussed mobile apps improve efﬁciency, and
pictures of prospects’/customers’ cur- but most important reasons to explore this drives revenue.
rent windows/doors; negotiate and implementing them into a manufac-
close deals; accept a customer’s sig- turing environment.
nature; place orders; accept deposits First and foremost, a mobile app
Is There a Downside?
Sure. Real-time access is tricky. As
and instantly record them to your givesyouacustomer-centricapproach a technology guy, I wonder about how
accounting system; and print/email to sales. Your customers see what many times a mobile app is“hitting the
they’re getting right on the screen. server” and how that access is affecting
And, all this information synchro- They also have complete pricing and the performance of the system that
nizes automatically with your ofﬁce a delivery timeframe. Your installa- keeps your factory running. Of course,
tion and service team has complete security is another concern. In today’s
Measure and service personnel can customer and order information at world, both of these issues are easi-
view appointments; edit order infor- their ﬁngertips. The focus is on the ly dealt with, and I’m having a hard
mation; edit item sizes and options; customer, and in today’s competitive time thinking of business applications,
record arrival time, work time and world, that matters.
especially manufacturing in a B2C
departure times; record customer
Second, implementing mobile apps environment, without mobile apps.
comments; capture and store pictures helps you manage risk. Issues with
of actual installation conditions; and resources, labor and materials dimin- Andy Woods is the owner of OpenJanela, a
print/email reports. ish because real-time data enables software company that serves the door and
Once again, all changes synchro- you to place orders and schedule staff. window industry.
Door & Window Market