Unvired Inventory Manager for SAP on Mobile

Unvired Inventory Manager for SAP on Mobile

Application Blog

Warehouse operators require real-time information in order to execute their tasks efficiently. Real-time information for operators mean real-time updates to SAP too. Most often warehouse operators are expected to use a PC or a kiosk to access SAP. In warehouses expecting operators to use PCs or kiosks for all their work is counter productive. Operators either have to keep visiting the PC after every task or for every piece of information or takes note on paper (to later enter in SAP). Visiting the PC or kiosk often is a waste of time. Translating paper work into SAP later is error prone and makes real-time visibility impossible.

Warehouse operators have to be enabled to access SAP processes from mobile devices. Unvired is releasing Unvired Inventory Manager for SAP, a mobile application that brings warehouse processes to the operators. Unvired Inventory Manager for SAP helps warehouse workers to get the stock overview, move goods, issue & return materials, count physical inventory, receive goods, create purchase requisitions and deliver goods efficiently from mobile devices real-time.

Unvired Inventory Manager for SAP is available on iPad, Android Smart Phones & Tablets, Windows and Google Glass.

Yes! Google Glass. Unvired Inventory Manager for SAP on Google Glass goes one step ahead of smart phones and tablets enabling warehouse operators work hands free with Glass.

More details about Unvired Inventory Manager for SAP can be found here. A blog and video on Unvired Inventory Manager for SAP on Google Glass can be found here.

Unvired Inventory Manager App Brings SAP on Google Glass

Application Mobile Use Case Technology

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An operator in a warehouse is driving a forklift and has to check a particular material’s stock level for delivery. The operator has an iPad where he can get the stock levels from SAP. To do that he has to free his hands and use the iPad. Instead the operator talks to his Google Glass, scans the barcode on the material pallet and gets the stock levels for that material across all storage locations and batches by categories (quantity that can be shipped, quantity in quality inspection, etc.) on the Google Glass. He quickly glances at his Glass and knows exactly which storage locations he needs to visit in order to prepare for his delivery.

Then the operator has to move some materials to a different storage location to make space for his delivery. Driving the forklift he moves the materials. Once he moves the materials he scans the barcodes of the material, quantity and batch on his Glass. He dictates the from and to storage locations and moves the goods in SAP using his Glass!

Yes this is the new way of working in a warehouse! All this is possible because of Google Glass and Unvired Inventory Manager (based on SAP ERP) on Google Glass.

Yes! Unvired Inventory Manager is now on Google Glass!

Google Glass is an enterprise device that can be used in multiple industries – manufacturing, oil & gas, chemicals, utilities, etc. Inventory management on Google Glass is a classic case across these industries to manage the warehouses. Operators in the warehouses are very busy carrying goods and driving forklifts desiring hands free access to data and business processes. While smart phones and tablets provide instant information, Google Glass can provides the same information in a more convenient manner. Operators in the warehouse can now use the Unvired Glass application to manage inventory more conveniently (apart from using the app on tablets). Unvired Inventory Manager on Google Glass glassifies 2 processes – checking stock and moving goods across locations.

Stock Overview: Lookup stock levels in the warehouse from the Glass.

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Goods Movement: Move goods in SAP from the Glass.

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More processes from Unvired Inventory Manager and other Unvired applications will be on Glass shortly! Watch this space for more news.

Unvired Primer on Google Glass

Unvired Primer on Google Glass

Blog Mobile Use Case Technology Viewpoint

Unvired started innovating with Google Glass very early and has developed multiple applications on Google Glass. We have had many enquiries on how Google Glass can be used in the enterprise and if Glass can be used in the enterprise at all. Our answer is a resounding YES based on early results.

Early trends show Google Glass use cases in the enterprise as:

  • Collaborate with Remote expert helping the Glass user solve problems
  • Just in time training or training content creation
  • Hands free Digital checklists / surveys enhancing compliance
  • Remote data access from ERP and other systems
  • Capturing images and videos, and sharing them with colleagues

Unvired is working with early adopter companies to develop applications on Glass. Watch this space for more updates and demos on Google Glass apps (integrated with SAP ERP and other systems). For a full primer on Google Glass click here.

Google Glass in Oil & Gas and Oil Field Services: Digital OilField

Blog Mobile Use Case

Recently, Wearables have been getting a lot of attention with Google Glass and Android Wear based smartwatches.  Gartner has predicted that companies can save over $1 Billion in costs related to Field Service leveraging Wearables including Glass.  We have done our own research talking to Exploration and Production companies as well as Oil Field Services.  We have also brainstormed with Google on this.  The use of Glass is ideal where hands free use is needed, typically in a messy environment where workers may be wearing gloves. Here are some of our findings where Google Glass applications can be useful:

1. Collaboration with Remote experts: Workers in the Field can make video calls, and take pictures to get expert opinions thousands of miles away

2. Training: Glass can record video from the user’s perspective while activities/tasks are being performed.  This video can then be used to train new workers.

3. Digital Checklists: Workers can get hands free checklist instructions on their Glass that can enhance compliance.

4. Data Overlay: Workers in Exploration can get reservoir/geospatial data overlay on Glass to help them appraise the Field better

5. ERP Remote Data access: Workers can get data from their SAP and Oracle systems and perform transactions like Goods Movement and Inventory Check.

The Use Cases of Glass are emerging and will be defined over the next year as companies launch pilot projects.  Unvired is working with several early adopter customers to usher in the era of Wearable Computing.

 

A Tale of Two Wearables: Google Glass and Smart Watch

Blog Technology Viewpoint

Did you notice how quickly smartphones and tablets have been relegated to the realm of the ordinary? Yesterday, Google announced the developer preview program for Android Wear, their OS for smart watches.  And along with that, they talked of an ecosystem supporting Wear–the likes of Intel, Samsung, LG, and Fossil that will now produce smart watches.  A short while ago, Google also launched their Google Glass Developer Program–yes, those nerdy glasses that will deliver information to our very eyes.  These two newer devices are ushering in the era of wearables, and a new wave of mobile computing.

So, the question is about how well these newer devices will be adopted.  There are many skeptics who believe that Glass will not take off.  The concern is that people will not want to be seen with those glasses.  A more serious concern is about privacy–that for example, someone can take your picture without you having any clue.  As far as smart watches are concerned, do we really need a watch that does things your smart phone already does.  The answer is that both these wearables have their place.

Some people are already misusing their smart phones–so, Glass does not really add any significant new element of privacy risk. On the other hand, in some situations, it helps to get notifications and messages for example delivered to your eyes without having to look down at a phone.  It would be very handy at a dinner where one could read urgent and important information without appearing rude.  I think the keywords are urgent and important.

I have much greater faith in smart watches taking off.  People are used to wearing watches, and a smart watch could be a fashion statement and a status symbol.  Remember the Roger Federer and Rolex ads? So, as applications are built for the smart watch like health monitoring, notification/message delivery, they will become more and more popular.

It seems that the next few years will even be more exciting and bring more innovation.  You can rest assured that Unvired will keep abreast of these trends, and build some cool applications for wearables.

 

 

Internet Of Things

Blog Technology Viewpoint

There is now a shift happening towards a world where there will be billions of connected devices to the Internet. These connected devices can be in buildings, cars, manufacturing plants, or bridges.  of course, there are sensors already today collecting data every second, and transmitting them to systems in the backend.  For example, temperature sensors on medicines that are shipped can ensure that any violation of allowable temperature range is detected to prevent health mishaps.  So, what is the big deal now about the Internet of Things (IoT) you may ask.

Well, what makes the IoT exciting at this time is the sheer scale –we are talking billions of connected devices, and the converging technologies that have arrived which promise to transform business and our lives.  On a personal front, we could be wearing monitors that sense our health parameters and alert us and our doctors about any impending health event. On the business side, we could have Machine to Machine (M2M) integration that can create new processes or enhance existing ones.

The question arises as to what are these new technologies that will give birth to the IoT? Also, what are the requirements to realize the Vision that we have for the IoT?  First of all, devices at the edge need connectivity. Secondly,  all data has to be securely transmitted to the backend systems.  One has to ensure that these devices cannot be hacked. Scalability is key where the Cloud comes in. Then, very large volumes of data (Big Data) have to be stored.  That is not enough–this data has to be analyzed in real time for predictable analytics.  Action has to be taken on the analysis.  Process Integration becomes key so that when a person has to take an action, it is triggered in an ERP, HR, or CRM system as the case may be.

Unvired has many of the components to enable the IoT.  The Unvired Mobile Platform (UMP) allows for M2M communication. Data is transmitted securely from any thing/device to any system.  UMP encrypts all data for security purposes. UMP also  has an Application Development Framework to rapidly build applications for IoT.  UMP enables process integration with backed systems like SAP, Oracle, or CRM systems like Salesforce.com. UMP leverages the cloud for scalability, and has an analytics app that can render data analytics visually for enhanced decision making.

Let the IoT games begin.

 

3 Key Points to Collect Master Data and Reduce Expense

Blog Mobile Use Case

Master data collection and updates is a challenging and expensive affair for customers. Be it collecting the master data at the start of the project to enter it into an ERP / CRM system or keeping the master data clean once the system is in use is a massive task. Dealing with master data for over 10 years has given us key insights in collecting / updating master data along with keeping the costs low.

1. Trust the user in the field

The most important aspect of master data is to understand who is in the best position to deal with master data. Users in the field have the best view of the master data – field service technicians, inspectors, sales people, etc. It is often a misconception that the field service has to be centrally managed and leaving to the users on the field can leave the master data battered.

Central office has the farthest seat in the stadium. The action is on the field. So let the people in the field collect the master data. Most successful projects with the highest percentage of master data cleanliness have field users empowered to collect and update master data.

If the supervisors, managers and the central master data team wants to retain control then retain it over verification and not over collection. Make master data collection a 2-step approach where the field users collect / update the master data. The submitted master becomes operational only once there is an approval from the verification authority.

2. Initial data collection and subsequent updates to master data should have the same process

It is a common practice to follow different approaches for initial data collection for entry into the master data system (ERP, CRM, etc.) and subsequent updates of master data. This is not the best way to deal with master data. There has to be a common approach to treat master data consistently

3. Mobility is the solution: Eliminate paper and admin assistants

Eliminate paper based processes and admin assistants to manage master data. Use a mobile application to manage master data. Make master data collection and updates a process in the mobile application. Field users can use the mobile application (on smart phones or tables) to collect / update master data – both during the initial stage where master data is collected for the first time and later to update the master data.

Either the mobile application will field processes (required by users) along with master data management can be built in one go or split into two parts – build the mobile application with master data enablement processes first and later extend the application with other field processes (ex: Work orders, inspections, opportunities, leads, sales orders, etc.)

Summary

1. Empower the field people to collect master data using a mobile application eliminating paper based processes and admin assistants. Eliminate unnecessary expenses and minimize master data errors.
2. Retain approval process for collected master data to ensure correctness of data.
3. Weave the master data and other business processes into the same mobile applications so that the master data updates can be done easily as a part of the normal business flow. Ex: While creating a sales order, processing a plant maintenance work order, etc.

Unvired’s customers use master data processes along with other processes in their mobile applications based on Unvired Mobile Platform. Unvired master data management mobile solution has helped customers save a lot of money and keep their master data clean.

Mobile Apps for Planning and Design to Enhance Asset Management

Blog Mobile Use Case

Mobile apps for Work Orders and Rounds are among the more common used by field technicians to increase employee productivity and asset/plant maintenance.  An equally interesting area where a mobile app can be very useful is in the upfront Planning and Design process.

For complex maintenance and construction tasks, the technicians have to go onsite and survey the site, take measurements, estimate the components needed for repair, and supporting equipment like ladders or scaffolding.  Today, most of this work is done on paper leading to errors, duplicate data entry, time delays, and increased downtime.  These inefficiencies can be eliminated by a mobile application that can help with the following:

The technician can download the Work Order authorizing the Design/Planning activity.  The notification can be attached to the work order.  The worker can take pictures with the mobile device’s camera so that the work execution can be facilitated.  The estimates of time, material, tools, and equipment needed can be captured on the mobile device, and sent to SAP or any other backend system instantly from the field. Workflow can be enabled so that the manager approves the Planning tasks.  User guides and standard operating procedures can be accessed from corporate portals like Microsoft SharePoint that help the worker make accurate estimates leading to increased compliance and safety.

As we have conversations with customers around Mobile Enterprise Asset Management, we find that a Planning/Design mobile app can solve an important pain problem.  Combined with Rounds, Work Orders, Inventory Manager, the Planning app completes the portfolio for keeping plants and equipment running smoothly.

Mobilizing your Manufacturing Plant

Blog Mobile Use Case

Lately, I have been discussing with several manufacturing companies the Roadmap they have for mobilizing their manufacturing plants. It is very common even today, when we find mobility ubiquitous, that manufacturing plants are still using paper and manual processes. There is a tremendous opportunity to build mobile applications that will give worker in the plant or the warehouse access to real time information to increase their productivity. Here are some ideas:

Maintenance: Plants have lots of equipment that needs to be kept running to ensure plant uptime and production. There are also regulations and compliance needs that call for preventive maintenance. And, yes, when a part is broken, it needs to be fixed. One Use Case that is Perfect for mobile apps is Inspections.

Inspections:Workers have to inspect equipment sometimes, daily, weekly, monthly etc. They need to record the measuring points. If measurements are out of range, alerts need to be sent. Trends need to be captured and charts viewed to detect problems before the equipment breaks down. If repairs are needed, notifications need to be created. Data needs to be exchanged with backend systems like SAP Plant Maintenance, Maximo, Oracle, and others.

Repair: When the worker is out there in the plant doing repairs, he or she needs to check the Bill of Material, identify and locate spare parts, look up Operating Procedures, and enter their time and material so that the costs can be captured against the work order or equipment. All this is a perfect scenario to introduce mobile applications to empower the maintenance worker.

In the past, plants have used technology for mobile data entry. They have used scanners with small screens that are very user unfriendly. The presence of tablets that can be ruggedized present another opportunity for manufacturing companies to refresh their mobile initiatives, and benefit from this golden era of mobility.

Unvired CRM for SAP CRM

Application Blog Technology

We have released our first version of Unvired CRM for SAP on iPad today. Unvired CRM on iPad brings SAP CRM to the iPad. Unvired CRM enables sales executives to improve customer engagement, increase sales and boost productivity.

Sales executives can get timely information about their customers on the iPad, use the maps to locate the customers and plan their visits. The product catalogue can be used to share product information with customers. Leads, opportunities and activities are pushed to the iPad so that the sales executives can follow up with customers effectively.

In an event or during a regular customer visit capture leads, opportunities and activities seamlessly on the iPad and assign it to your colleagues for follow up. Don’t wait till the event is over to organize the business cards, recollect the conversations and then enter the leads and opportunities in to the SAP system.

Organize your activities like tasks, meetings, phone calls and mails ensuring that every piece of information about the sales is captured for immediate and future reference.

Unvired CRM for SAP CRM is based on the powerful Unvired Mobile Platform that runs both on the cloud and on-premise. You can try this application with your SAP CRM system and your iPad in less than a day by signing up for a free trial!

Unvired CRM can also be tried in a demo mode without SAP CRM connectivity by downloading it from the online app store.

Empower. Engage. Win.