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The Internet of Things Requires Mobility. Are You Ready?

Lately, our manufacturing software audience has had mobility on their minds. More and more of our discussions with customers and prospects include the topic of mobility. Today’s manufacturer wants to be fast, flexible, and ahead of the technology curve and the GS Mobile product from Global Shop Solutions is a great example of how we help make your manufacturing shop lean and mobile.

The question I have for you Mr. Manufacturer is, are you mobile?

If you aren’t then read on. And if you are, great news, we have some of the best practices, tips, and tricks that will help simplify your manufacturing™.

What is GS Mobile?

In the simplest terms, it’s a website powered by real-time data from your Global Shop Solutions ERP software system. Combine GS Mobile with barcode scanners and barcoded labels, and it becomes a power house. GS Mobile can be run on just about any device that has an internet browser, from handheld scanners to tablets and cell phones. Like most websites though, there are some limitations and based on your desired use of the application, certain devices function better than others. But let’s not dwell on hardware. Our consulting team, along with our partner hardware provider EMS Barcode Solutions, will make sure you have the right hardware for the job.

What does GS Mobile do?

GS Mobile is primarily a tool for inventory management providing real-time inventory transactions out in the warehouse, instead of writing information down and coming back to your computer to post the transaction at a later time. Yes, it’s “real-time”, meaning, we don’t have to store the transaction data and then upload it to the server later. From receiving material in your inventory to shipping to the customer, GS Mobile can be used to process all of your inventory transactions. Combined with barcoded labeling, transactions become a process of scanning a couple of barcodes to perform various inventory functions. Transactions like PO receipts, bin to bin transfers, issue material to a work order, staging a shipment, and performing both cycle counting and annual physical inventory, GS Mobile has your inventory in the palm of your hand.

But it’s more than just another inventory tool. GS Mobile is also being used in the service industry as a method for traveling employees to record their labor hours on jobs in real time. A service technician can clock in and out of a job over the internet providing real time labor tracking. Repair and service technicians, fixture installers, construction workers, and even miners are using GS Mobile as an efficient way to track labor costs and report payroll hours out in the field. They can also use the “stand alone receipt” function to receive purchased items directly to the job without writing a purchase order for it. Some technicians travel with a surplus of tools and materials to perform their job. Those materials can also be costed to the job in real-time by issuing material at the job site.

Because GS Mobile is located on your Global Shop Solutions server, we can also leverage core Global Shop Solutions processes to perform a multitude of functions as data is being passed from GS Mobile to the core application. The Global Shop Solutions Technical Consulting team has put their collective creativity to use and simplified many of our customers’ transactions, further eliminating the need to write things down and perform transactions at a later time.

One example of a custom transaction was for a company that specialized in repairing pumps for the oil industry. When a sales order for a repair is written, they don’t exactly know how many or what parts will be needed for the repair, so the sales order is incomplete. By flagging certain items in their inventory master record, we could tell the system which items were billable. When we issue that item to a work order like any other material, the transaction would then check that item to see if it’s a billable part. If it is, the transaction would automatically write that line item back to the sales order and link it to the correct parent item. By linking them, we could re-sort the packing list and the invoice to list the main repaired item and then the replaced components that belong to it. Prior to using GS Mobile, this company would have to write down every piece used in a repair and turn it in to the office where either the sales rep or the billing department would have to determine which parts were billable, then edit the sales order.

And it doesn’t stop there. Imagine building a shipment from nothing. Normally, to ship something, you would at least need to know what line items are on the sales order, right? Well, we built a transaction for a customer that really doesn’t know what’s going on the sales order until it’s been built. By scanning the sales order number which has no line items at all, and then scanning the work order, we were able to write a line item to the sales order, create a staged shipment, allocate that line item on the shipment, record cartons and pallets, print individual carton labels, and summary pallet labels, all from two barcodes, a quantity, and a check box on a single mobile transaction. Now that’s innovation at its finest. With GS Mobile working for you, the opportunity to find time savings is only limited by your imagination.

Don Finch, ERP Software Consultant, has been with Global Shop Solutions for four years and his previous 20+ years of experience comes from a variety of manufacturing businesses. In his current role Don implements Global Shop Solutions ERP at new customers as well as visits current customers to optimize their current business performance.

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