Five pillars for successful digitalization projects

The future poses many challenges – and that applies to intralogistics as well. In order to keep up with the competition and guarantee efficient and transparent processes, the digitalization of processes is inevitable. As a result of the stricter General Data Protection Regulation, complications can come up with outdated systems especially in the realm of personal data. It is therefore essential to have a sophisticated basic concept in order to use mobile solutions sensibly and effectively. This includes cutting-edge technologies, compatible intuitive apps, the corresponding mobile end devices, ideal management, as well as simple, high-speed label printing. With these five pillars, your mobile digitalization project with SAP is sure to be a success!

Mobile data capture for SAP - 5 pillars for successful digitization projects

1. Pillar: Cutting-edge technologies for your intralogistics

Since Microsoft stopped its support for Windows Embedded for handhelds in 2020, there is a huge number of companies that are faced with the question about potential future long-term options. Next to security updates, the focus is on system-related failures and acquisition costs. A switch will be unavoidable as soon as new devices are acquired – the solution: Android!

2. Pillar: Intuitive mobile apps for SAP intralogistics from practice for practice

In the best case scenario, mobile applications should be used on-site and company-wide and with a wide range of devices. For this purpose, Flexus provides more than 200 standard templates that can be installed and used directly. The framework makes it possible to implement customizations and individual requirements, and to expand the solution on a modular basis.

The intuitive usability is a priority. As an example, font sizes or positions of elements on the screen can be changed. To achieve an individual corporate design, a personal template, for example with color scheme and element sizes, can be created quickly and used as a template for all other dialogs. With Flexus Layout Designer, SAP dialogs can be adapted perfectly to the devices via Drag & Drop.

Mobile data entry for SAP - GUI editor for mobile apps

With just a few clicks, the screens can be scaled to work with different mobile handhelds with different resolutions, but also with forklift terminals.

Mobile data capture for SAP - theflex mobile browser for SAP

In terms of technology, Flexus has opted for ITSmobile for mobile applications, among others. In order to guarantee the best possible and device-independent use, the future-proof technology SAP Fiori is now used more frequently. With its responsive design, a wide variety of device types such as desktop PCs, tablets, smartphones, industrial scanners or smartwatches as well as wearables can be integrated with SAP directly.

As a perfect enhancement, Flexus provides its own industrial browser that features many additional functionalities. This cutting-edge solution includes interesting features such as saving SAP login data, NFC integration or keyboard controls. It can be used with devices with and without touch controls.

3. Pillar: Integration of new useful funtionalities in mobile end devices

The technology of modern mobile devices has now grown far beyond that of pure data capture devices. Better range, longer battery life and scanner optimization even across long distances or multiscans facilitate the work of employees during picking and loading. Dedicated devices that are particularly robust can be used in very cold or hot workplaces.

Mobile data capture for SAP - photo function from theflex
Mobile data capture for SAP - signature function from theflex

SAP Fiori also includes the option to implement a photo function that can be used, for example, to document load safety in goods receipt and goods issue and to store the data directly in SAP. Documents such as those for loading checks can also be displayed on mobile devices. An integrable signature function makes it possible to document processes in detail. Furthermore, the employee can choose to have the data output by voice or to use features such as Pick-by-Voice or Pick-by-Vision in order to keep an eye on the most important things.

4. Pillar: Most optimal maintenance with mobile device management

It is important that all required updates are installed on the deployed mobile devices in order to maintain security and functionality. To guarantee the most optimal maintenance, we collaborate with our partner OPAL Associates GmbH, who keeps track of everything in this respect.

There are basically three viable alternatives:

  • Remote access to mobile devices:
    • only one device at the same time
    • no cross-type program translates into a massive effort for the local IT

  • MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution via central access
    • covers all sorts of manufacturers as well as different devices
    • no proactive approach: the customer must take action to receive updates

  • Managed Service von OPAL:
    • MDM as an external service / a full service solution
    • all required updates are implemented quickly and reliably

5. Pillar: Simple and high-speed label printing within the processes

Mobile data collection for SAP - label and tag printing

The print output of the labels can be efficiently controlled using the Flexus mobile apps. The device-independent solution supports a variety of printing methods and mobile label printers. The solution also supports digital E-INK labels and Adobe Interactive Forms. Different elements such as images, barcodes or text can be displayed. The label design can be individually updated with pictograms, identifiers, ingredients or hazardous goods data. Thanks to the Flexus interface, all data is transferred from the SAP system in real time.

The result: Minimum effort – maximum output

With the introduction of mobile applications, you will accelerate your processes and increase performance. Through the use of barcode and RFID technology with SAP Fiori, you will reduce all manual processes, and in turn errors, to a minimum. In order to successfully implement the digitization project, it is necessary to carefully examine the initial situation and determine what is needed. If one component is missing, the project will fail. The five pillars can be used to put into operation new intuitive end devices with useful apps with minimal effort to support employees and increase production output.

Philipp Jäckle from Flexus AG

Author – Philipp Jäckle

SAP Sales Manager

In the course of his work at Flexus, he is responsible for sales activities in the fields of mobile solutions within intralogistics, as well as the comprehensive maintenance solution by Flexus. Together with customers, he develops ideal and individual solutions that lead to a more efficient process.