In todays economy the advancement of network technologies, restructuring of revenue-sharing pattern, lowering of mobile data usage cost, growing adoption of smartphones, and increase in application usability have contributed to the growth of mobile application adoption globally. Apart from this, the mobile application advertising opportunity has allowed publishers to either partly or fully subsidize applications. This developing trend has certainly helped increase the adoption of mobile applications in both foreign and domestic markets. But, here recently I’ve discovered that there is one industry in particular that continues to seek out and leverage the increase in mobile application development like none other industry and that industry is automotive manufacturing.

Mobile applications “apps” are as valuable to automotive manufactures as websites are to dealers. And what automotive manufactures have discovered is that mobile applications are far more than a conduit; from which dealer websites receive traffic. Certainly, mobile apps help to convert dealership websites into social media powerhouses but one trend that will continue to increase in automotive is the utilization of mobile applications to more effectively manage the manufacturing process.

One of the key characteristics of the manufacturing industry is the constant movement of materials and focus on numerous metrics. Auto manufacturers have to continually address various business issues like globalization, heightened competition, faster product lifecycles, economic challenges, etc. To survive and succeed, auto manufacturers must find ways to cut costs without impacting quality, customer service, or product availability. To help improve manufacturing processes and develop lean initiatives; automotive manufactures have turned to mobile applications to improve their business.

Managing business operations the mobile way’ is not only the new trend but one that manufactures see as the best solution for their business. The convenience of managing business operations with smart mobiles and tablet PCs is driving more and more businesses to turn to mobility and adapt to this changing landscape. The dynamics of the manufacturing industry makes it the right fit for adopting mobile technology. Manufacturers are not only realize their lean initiatives by using several role-based mobile applications in the form of simple mobile applications built specifically for each type of role instead of a single, complex mobile application for managing the entire manufacturing process but these mobile applications also help to maximize efficiency and offer the benefit of easy user adoption. Typically, these applications require minimal user training and are able to confer benefits at all levels, and enable manufacturers to realize their lean initiatives.

HTC is one example of a company who has invested heavily in the development and launch of custom mobility solutions for automotive manufacturers. HTC’s solution helps OEM’s manage everything from inventory to quality, product line optimization, plant performance and even equipment and maintenance. Automotive manufactures agree that its technology like this that helps them realize their lean initiatives throughout their manufacturing operations and achieve business benefits by providing streamlined operations, better resource management, improved productivity, and faster decision making. The application of mobility in the automotive and manufacturing industry is increasing significantly and I just wonder within the next few years how much of the manufacturing process will be completely managed and ran by mobile applications. My question is, “Will technology like this result in many American’s losing or gaining jobs?” What are your thoughts?

– Christopher L. Robinson

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