• Swathi Young

34 surprising ways enterprises can use mobile apps to drive business results


I talk to a lot of enterprises about the use of mobile apps. While some of them are happy with what they have, many are challenged with how to utilize them for business benefits. It is a pity since just like businesses use the web; they can use mobile apps to boost their sales or efficiency. I am sure you will find something in the list of 34 apps below that you can use for your enterprise. I also urge you to download a free report to avoid the 3 biggest mistakes of mobile app development. It’s free and will give you extra stimulation to get started.

You have watched Starbucks, Dominoes pizza and others launch successful mobile apps. You have tinkered with your own mobile projects and wondered how successful they would be.  But despite all the mobile apps advice out there, you sense that enterprise apps are different from building the 99c apps for consumers. And you are faced with the challenge of finding how to effectively use mobile apps in the enterprise.

The one-thing enterprises need to be successful today

Latest technologies have turned traditional businesses on their head.

No longer can you simply be good at what you manufacture, sell or provide. You better have a solid foundation of how consumers, partners and employees reach your product and services.

For today’s businesses building a mobile app is non-negotiable.

 But how do you go about it? How do you make it work to produce results?

Presenting 34 mobile apps that you can shamelessly plagiarize for your business

Revenue generating apps: These include apps for customers to either buy your products or know details about your services. It also includes tools for sales or business development personnel whether they can easily demonstrate the product features. Customer service where customers can easily reach a representative in a chat window on their phones to answer questions or issues related to your products. Apps can be powerful tools when combined with location-detecting capabilities of the users’ phones to send promotional material and attract them to your store. A partner portal app can help your distributors and re-sellers to access your product catalog.

1.Sales

2. Business development 

3.Customer engagement 

4.Customer service 

5 .Target marketing 

6.Partner portal


Enterprise productivity apps: Employees today cannot be separated from their phones. A good BYOD strategy plus these apps will increase productivity multi-fold.

7. Training 8. HR apps - benefits/vacation approvals /performance  9. Reimbursements  - From work-related travel, conferences 10. Time management - Time sheets etc.  11. Meetings on the go 

Internal Collaboration apps: Today’s workforce uses a multitude of collaboration apps – whether it is internally developed share point sites or pre-packaged solutions like Jira or Slack. Determining the important functionality that can be accessible on the go is crucial for your mobile apps success of internal apps.

12.Jira/Slack 13.Product management dashboard  14.Employee chat /collaboration platforms e.g., Confluence  Order management and fulfillment: Order management is a revenue supporting activity for most retailers, distributors, vendors or manufacturers. Ensuring the availability of inventory and updating inventory as soon an item is shipped can also be controlled via the mobile apps. This is in-turn integrated with invoices received and tracking it with respect to the payment terms.

15. Inventory management 16. Order management/shipping/tracking 17. Invoicing 

Procurement: Every organization has procurement crucial to supporting the business. Tracking vendor delivery of raw materials, performance of vendors as well as timely requisition approvals are some of the functions that can be effective when leveraged on the mobile app. 18.Procurement - requisitions and purchase orders/approvals  19.Supplier portal / performance of vendors  20. Contract management. Manufacturing: Manufacturing enterprises are often bogged down by complex applications and are challenged with translating it to mobile. The key is in identifying six or seven of the crucial tasks for performing on the go – confirming that a work order is complete or an engineering patent search can be a few examples.

21.Engineering 22. Planning  23. Work order management  24. Plant operations control   ​

Logistics and Distribution: Outbound logistics can realize huge efficiency gains through the use of functional dispatch scheduling app that tracks the vehicles’ location as well as optimizes routes for delivery. This in-turn can be tied to order-tracking and warehouse automation.

25. Remote tracking of vehicles  26.Dispatch scheduling/Route optimization  ​27. Warehouse automation 

Operational efficiency: The costs of running daily operations can be drastically reduced with just-in-time action with a mobile app. Whether it is facilities of the commercial building or data center management, any issues are instantly notified to the facilities managers on their cell phones and action can also be taken remotely via the apps to rectify the situation.

28.Facility management 29. Data center management  30.Production support  31.Recording apps 

Real-time Reporting: Update trends in online shopping, performance metrics of people and systems e.g., business unit performance or cost and profit levers visibility.

32.Performance metrics dashboards.

Disruptive technologies for enterprise efficiency: With the growth of sensor based connected devices(IoT) as well as wearables, it is even more imperative to ensure that mobile apps are in place. That is the only way to adopt these disruptive technologies for staying ahead of your competitors.

33.IoT 34. Wearables 

In conclusion, there are multiple use-case scenarios for using mobile apps in your enterprise. But, what is important is that a mobile app does not translate well if you just convert a web application onto a small screen. Identifying what are crucial business functions that would be effective on the go is key.

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