Retail Enterprise Mobility Opens Up a World of Opportunities

The retail sector has seen an enormous improvement in organization, standardization and consolidation over the last several decades. The new buzz word in this sector is enterprise mobility. While a new and sophisticated technology such as this can offer a variety of benefits to this sector it can also be a deterrent if inappropriate. Retail sector, in particular, poses different kinds of challenges, this sector faces heavy competition, the goods are perishable or can be easily outdated, involves a huge number of transactions every second and it is customer intensive: quick turnaround is the lifeline of retail sector. Handling these challenges is imperative for a retail organization that wants to go mobile.

Retail enterprise mobility solutions need to combine solutions for inventory, accounting, sales and delivery management along with state of the art, scalable technology. A set of solutions that can work seamlessly between the handheld devices and the desktop system, one which is intuitive and user friendly, one which offer simple yet exceptional functionalities and one which is scalable is the need of the hour.

Some of the areas that can be quickly mobile enabled are simple day to day functionalities such as creating, modifying invoices, entering customer info, route planning, tracking deliveries, handling returns and orders, accessing order history, inventory and product varieties, handling account adjustments, accessing product pricing, promotion, discounts, special offers and other related details., as well as printing receipts. A variety of internal functions can also be automated fairly easily. Some of these areas are security and access control, time and attendance, alerts and workflows, data inquiry, reports, dashboards, scorecards, KPI and BI analytics.

Marketing, product placement and promotion are some of the activities that will get a big boost with enterprise mobility. Mobile enabling solutions allow location based services such as geotargeting. Coupons, discounts and promotional offers can be targeted to individual buyer groups which is likely to provide better sales to marketing cost ratio.

Implementation of such a state of the art technology is not devoid of challenges especially the financial outlay. However it is important to note that the investments can be made in a phased manner based on feasibility. The benefits are multifold when compared with the cost of enterprise mobility deployment. what more with an efficient mobile device management in place, a retail enterprise can encourage their employees to use their personal devices (BYOD) thereby saving costs involved in the deployment of handheld devices.

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Mobility Markets – Select Verticals and Functions

Various industry verticals have embraced enterprise mobility and many other are continuing their pursuit of mobility with planned deployments in a phased manner. Some common examples of enterprise mobility in vertical markets:

Information Technology

Smartphones help network and systems administrators to monitor the infrastructure that supports the organization’s 24/7 websites and services. The database administrators can monitor system and service performance in real-time.


If plant personnel have mobile access to the inventory database, they can immediately determine whether or not a broken component is available, and place an order for immediate purchase if it is not available. This prevents lag time and ensures smooth flow of processes. Further, RFID tags on the spare parts allow them to not only verify availability but also to determine the exact location of the component or spare part.

Supply Chain

Even complicated interactions in supply chain and logistics such as ordering parts, approving discounts, negotiating contracts, obtaining status reports and more can be mobile-enabled. Multiple interactions by different departments across all partners in the chain can be integrated with simplified workflow processes on smart mobile devices.


Mobile point-of-sale (m-POS) applications allow sales personnel to provide superior customer service. Using mobile applications, they can look into the inventory for stocks, show images of different varieties of products and even handle order placements – all using handheld devices.

Human Resource

Employees can fill out and submit time sheets, expense reimbursement requests and vacation requests from their mobile devices, and managers can provide approvals using these wireless devices.


Savvy marketers can engage in permission marketing, personalized marketing and mass customization of retail offerings especially in high value purchases and brand enhancing services.


Real-time information from ERP and CRM, supply chain and inventory systems on mobile devices allow for quick sales, customer delight and higher margins.

Customer Support

Trouble tickets and service orders can be automated and quickly responded to with the use of mobile devices. Support personnel can be enabled with updated information so they can offer services that are in the best interest of the customers. On the spot service provisioning will reduce overheads and improve customer trust.


Other verticals and functions that can benefit from enterprise mobility include Automotive, Banking, Education, Energy, Oil and Gas, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Finance, Food and Beverage, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Media, Real Estate, Telecommunications and Transportation. Karya provides the mobility solutions for all the above vericals and functions.

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