More businesses see mobile technology investment as key to better performance
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - September 9, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A growing number of organizations in the Asia-Pacific have started to realize that it pays to invest in mobile technologies.

Zebra Technologies Corp.’s “Future of Field Operations APAC Vision Study,” more organizations across the region are putting a premium on mobile technology investments, seeing it as a key to improving business performance. 

The study, which covered 2,075 mobility decision makers from 20 countries, showed that mobile technology investment is a growing priority for 60 percent of Asia-Pacific organizations in order to keep up with more proactive, customer-centric and business-driven systems.

Investments include disruptive technologies and enterprise mobile devices to enhance front-line worker productivity and customer satisfaction in field operations, including fleet management, field services, proof of delivery and direct store delivery workflows.

“Driven by the acceleration of e-commerce along with customers’ heightened expectations and increased focus within companies on differentiating service levels, the field operations industry is rapidly changing the way it looks at mobile technology investments,” said Tan Aik Jin, APAC Vertical Solutions lead for Zebra Technologies.

“Our study shows how growing challenges related to the on-demand economy drive organizations to adopt transformative, disruptive technologies such as augmented reality and intelligent labels to provide visibility and integrate business intelligence for a performance edge,” Jin said.

According to the study, as much as 58 percent of Asia-Pacific organizations are expanding mobile technology to enterprise-wide use, and is expected to reach 97 percent by 2023. 

It also showed that from 2018 to 2023, the use of handheld mobile computers with built-in bar-code scanners in the region is projected to grow by 41 percent, while the use of mobile printers and rugged tablets is expected to expand by 60 percent and 57 percent, respectively. 

The higher level of inventory, shipment and asset accuracy provided by using these devices is expected to increase business revenues. 

The study further showed that mobile-first organizations in the Asia-Pacific are expected to increase implementation of the use of sensors, radio frequency identification, and intelligent labels from 76 percent last year to 98 percent by 2023. 

These organizations are also seen to make greater use of augmented reality applications from 68 percent last year to 95 percent by 2023 to make detail-oriented workflows such as merchandising more efficient.

Use of blockchain among these organizations are likewise seen to broaden from 68 percent last year to 96 percent by 2023 to track chains of custody of goods or document service by multiple partnering firms.

“In Asia-Pacific, more than half of the organizations have a mobile-first mindset when it comes to adopting enterprise-wide mobile and emerging technologies. These forward-thinking organizations are setting their field operations apart with three key strategies: scaling of mobile technology and supporting technologies enterprise-wide, evaluating total cost of ownership of mobile technology as a standard practice and utilizing emerging field operations technologies more extensively to achieve  competitive advantage,” Zebra Technologies’ country lead for the Philippines Tracy Yeo said.

In the Philippines, Zebra Technologies pointed out that the country’s digital-savvy population has been key in the increasing adoption of e-commerce. 

It said more Filipinos are now inclined to acquire goods and services online, with 70 percent of Filipino internet users making at least one online purchase last year.

Zebra Technologies said Filipino consumers’ growing preference for online shopping is fueled by the convenience e-commerce provides, which in turn is fast-tracking the rise of the “on-demand” economy.

“Our study highlights the top three trends driving changes in field operations across the Asia-Pacific. These are the growing expectations of performance and convenience from end customers, replacement of paper in the field by mobile technology, and disruptions to field operations caused by emerging technologies and faster networks,” Yeo said.

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