Do you still control your factory without an app?

Do you still control your factory without an app?

What makes apps so appealing? I know a lot of people who collect apps without actually using them later on. Always be preparedyou might need the app at some point. Being prepared gives you a feeling of security.

A few years ago, when apps were not yet born, there was a TV commercial, from a notebook manufacturer, if I remember correctly, in which two young men were sitting in the sun outside a café somewhere in Italy, doing important business activities with just a few clicks on the screen. Today, the gentlemen would probably no longer use a notebook, but an app on their smartphone. The app on my smartphone means freedom; it no longer ties me to my desk, but allows me to complete my tasks anywhere; but unfortunately not only anywhere, but also at any time. Fortunately, a good app offers “push notifications” so that I am reliably alerted if there is a fire somewhere in my business environment; day and night, of course!

Apps have long since found their way into ERP systems and technical software. Isn’t it cool when you can see on your smartphone how stock levels have developed over the last few weeks, which items are understocked, which orders you need to trigger today or which of your 250 machine tools is at a standstill right now?

Less enthusiastic colleagues might ask why you always need or have to process such information when you don’t have a notebook at your disposal and are on distant shores. Those who are even more critical might wonder why we actually need ever larger screens and preferably two of them on our desks in order to have an overview of all decision-relevant information, while the app on our smartphone is enough for us when we’re on the move.

We don’t want to think so negatively and see the positives in the development for once:

We all use e-mail on our smartphones; not as a replacement, but as a supplement to the notebook or tablet with docking station at our desk. The economy is moving so fast that we have to react faster and faster. It is not always necessary to respond quickly to an e-mail, but being able to do so in an emergency provides security. It may have been the e-mail app that helped the smartphone achieve its breakthrough.

Why shouldn’t we also rely on the post-it effect in the operational area and look for “the next big app-lication” that nobody knew about yesterday and that nobody can live without today?

Our products, our processes and our software are becoming ever more intelligent; the decisions we have to make should in turn become ever simpler. What use is all this intelligence if it doesn’t relieve us? Simple decisions, such as start or stop, levers left or right, more or less, do not take up much space on a screen. So let there be little apps around me! My employees are finally sticking to the guidelines and system suggestions, because counteracting them on the smartphone is far too annoying. And if the app is then collected more than it is used – no matter; always be prepared.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Kemmner

Prof. Dr. Andreas Kemmner

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