Rogers, Helen, Pawar, Kulwant and Tipi, Nicoleta S. (2011) Mobile intelligence for reporting of supply chain KPI's. In: Proceedings of the 16th International Symposium on Logistics (ISL) 2011. Centre for Concurrent Enterprise Nottingham University Business School, Nottingham, UK, pp. 190-195. ISBN 978 085358 278 6

A Supply Chain Manager is in the departure lounge at Munich airport waiting for her flight
to London to discuss size curves of the latest range of sports shoes with the Retail
Manager of the company’s flagship London retail store. The SC Manager opens up an
application on her smartphone that displays the stock levels for the season’s top selling
shoes. She immediately sees that the stock turnover for this range is much higher at the
London store than at other leading stores across Europe. The London Retail Manager
wants to change the range profile to better reflect UK customer sizes and tastes. The
SCM Manager has a printed version of last year’s size curves (showing how many of each
size were shipped and sold to the UK), however, she would like to see what the latest
figures are for this quarter. She simply opens the size curve application on her
smartphone and calls up the figures she needs.
This kind of scenario is increasingly being played out by executives and managers (many
of whom spend very little time in the office) as they travel to meetings remote from their
colleagues and the company intranet. It is fair to say that in many cases, retrieval of the
information that is required is not as easy as the above situation implies. There are many
reasons for this including restrictions on data sharing/retrieval, scattering of data across
formats/ databases and insufficient specification by the managers of their requirements.
Mobile intelligence systems utilise devices such as mobile phones and tablet computers
(smartphones, iPad, Playbook, etc.) as handheld workstations for users to access and
analyse real time information. Essentially they allow managers to access performance
information quickly and in an easy to communicate visual way (e.g. bar charts, pie charts
etc. see for example Figure 1). Mobile intelligence in a supply chain management
reporting context allows users to access supply chain-related information anywhere and
make quick, informed decisions. Supply chain specific examples include delivery
performance tracking and alerts for low inventory levels. Mobile phone applications
(‘Apps’) can now offer managers more opportunities to connect and share information
than, for example, a laptop due to the level of connectivity and network coverage around
the world.

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