When it comes to lean manufacturing, mobile devices such as the iPad and smartphone are playing an increasingly important role in the success of manufacturing businesses across the globe. With the help of digital technology and mobile applications (apps for short), today’s manufacturing professional can quickly access the latest production statistics, track inventory, and schedule deliveries at the touch of a finger.
Gone are the days of looking up product specs in hefty manuals, manually recounting stock on shelves, and tracking down missing delivery drivers. With today’s digital innovations, it is now easier than ever before to achieve real, lean manufacturing initiatives.
WaterProfessionals® understands the importance of operating on lean principles and reducing waste. As industrial water treatment experts, we regularly implement custom wastewater treatment systems that enable business to run leaner operations. From process water reclaim systems – to metal recovery – to water purification, recycling and reusing wastewater is an essential part of running a lean operation.
To further assist manufacturers in their efforts to implement lean processes, WaterProfessionals® is publishing this list of 10 mobile apps that may help reduce operating expenses and improve project management efficiencies.
|Water Buddy assists manufacturers in monitoring their water usage, meeting usage goals and saving money. The app keeps a history of water meter readings, provides an instant overview of usage, and tracks whether you are meeting your water usage goals. Users can also export water usage data to a CSV file. The Water Buddy app is compatible with the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 5.1 or later. The app is available for download in the iTunes App Store for $0.99.
|myUse is designed to help businesses and homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and better manage their budget. The app claims to provide accurate information about electricity, gas and water consumption in a user-friendly way. The myUse app supports both meter counters and pre-paid meter accounts and can estimate your next meter reading based on past usage history. The app is compatible with the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 5.1 or later. myUse is available for download in the iTunes App Store for $1.99.
|As the name implies, Inventory Tracker lets businesses track inventory. It also keeps track of sales, payments, shipments and balance sheet data. Inventory can be filtered by category, locations, supplier/client, payment and shipment information. The app comes with a built-in barcode scanner and can export inventory reports into an Excel spreadsheet. Database backup options and password protection are available. Inventory Tracker is compatible with Android OS 2.1 or later. The app is available in the Google Play store for $5.99.
|JumpStock from JumpTech is a cloud-based application that allows you to track and order inventory from any Apple iOS or Android-based smartphone or tablet. The app comes with a built-in barcode scanner and allows the user to record lot numbers, assign expiration dates, and track inventory orders from multiple vendors. The app is free to download but requires a subscription to JumpStock to work. JumpStock subscriptions start at $99/month. Full details are available on Jumptech.com
Project Management Apps:
|e-Task Project makes project management more efficient by providing project leaders with a centralized place to track leads, store client information, track tasks and time, and maintain employee timesheets. The project management side of the app allows administrators to add employees to projects, assign tasks, set email notifications and collaborate online with devices operating on iOS 2.2.1 or later. The app is free to download but requires a subscription to e-Task to work. e-Task subscriptions start at $10/month per user. Full details are available on e-task.net
|Project Planning Pro
|Project Planning Pro integrates with Microsoft Project, giving users the flexibility to manage projects outside of the office. The app allows users to create projects, add tasks, assign resources and manage existing Microsoft Project plans on iPads operating iOS 5.0 or later. Features include a cost calculator, interactive Gantt charts, and the ability to export plans to CSV or PDF files for sharing. A free version of the app allows for one project plan only. The full version of Project Planning Pro is available in the iTunes App Store for $19.99.
|Designed for business travelers, Expensify allows business professionals to keep track of expenses when on the go. The app claims to sync with credit cards and bank statements (although not all banks are supported), to track purchases as they happen, and create digital receipts. For cash transactions or purchases over $75, the user will need to take a picture of the receipt using the app’s SmartScan to have it added to the expense report. Expensify is compatible with the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad running iOS 4.2 or later. The app is available for free in the iTunes App Store.
|MultiCash allows individuals to keep track of income and expenses in the cloud. The app boasts multi-currency support, interactive reporting, cloud-based synchronization, an integrated calculator and a currency converter. The app is password protected and data can be exported into CSV format. MultiCash is compatible with the iPhone, iPod and iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later. The app can be downloaded in the iTunes App Store for $2.99.
|Route4Me automatically optimizes your route when traveling to multiple destinations. The app claims optimized routes are typically 25-35% shorter, saving drivers time and gas money. Simply type in the addresses where you need to go, and Route4Me will calculate the most efficient travel schedule complete with directions. The app is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad running iOS 4.3 or later. Route4me is available for free in the iTunes App Store.
|My Route is another route optimization app. Enter your destination, mode of transportation (car, bicycle or walk), and preferred arrival times (helpful for scheduled deliveries), and My Route will calculate the most efficient route. The app will tell you what time you need to leave your current destination to arrive on time and will alert you if you’re running late. My Route is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad running iOS 4.3 or later. The app is available for download in the iTunes App Store for $1.99.
Of course this list is only a small sampling of the great variety of apps available to aid in lean manufacturing initiatives. In most cases, apps will be available on iTunes or Google Play, and will be accompanied by user reviews. We highly suggest reading user reviews and performing your own, independent research before investing in any apps for your business.
Disclaimer: This article is meant to provide manufacturers with an overview of some of the available mobile apps on the market. The content of this article was researched and prepared by a third party and based on manufacturer descriptions and app popularity. WaterProfessionals® is not affiliated with any of the aforementioned companies and makes no attestation or representation as to the use, security or reliability of the mobile apps discussed in this article.