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Wireless-Mobile-POS-S520-SeriesMobile devices are all the rage these days. Which begs the question – Do they play a role in the B2B environment? Let’s tackle the mobile world impact EDI.

Since we primarily focus on Retail Sales Analysis and Demand Planning, the primary EDI data we work with is the 852 Point of Sale document. This document, especially at door level is unintelligible on a computer and no better on a mobile device.

Once cleansed and converted this data can be readied for reporting. Better but still not ideal for a mobile device.

Until it intersects with an ad hoc sales reporting tool: Imagine dashboards that run on an iPad or smartphone. Sales reps can clearly see the health of their business at retail. And use that information in meetings with their buyers.

Merchandisers can not only know how much of an item was sold to a retailer, but more importantly – how did it sell through and how profitable was it for the retailer? This is useful when considering updates to existing styles – whether in a design meeting or when shopping overseas.

Last but not least, management can see this important metric as they travel for business or work remotely. Or use it as they discuss program profitability with their staff or retail partners. Or as they consider which inventory buys to make.

On an empirical note, I see the benefits of mobile and selling floor computing at progressive retailers: To enable store personnel to check what stock in the back room to counter missing a sale when an item is not on the selling floor. Or offering a kiosk in a store to enable a consumer to place an order for an item that sold out at a branch store. These not only benefit the customer but also help the retailer capture sales they would otherwise miss – and ratchet up loyalty via a satisfying shopping experience.

There are benefits unthinkable just a few years ago. Now it is time to think about how this incredible technology can be extended across the supply chain.

Are you executing a mobile strategy? If so, how?

Please let us know.

Please feel free to email me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any comments or questions you wish to share offline.

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