Why Mobile ERP, Why Now?
blog series by xkzero
In this technology-driven society, we have high expectations for our business software. That certainly holds true with mobile apps for ERP too. We need both our systems and apps to have the capacity to handle dynamic information, the sophistication to enable analyses, and the credibility to have trustworthy accuracy.
Part of that precision comes from accessing the rich and even visceral story beyond spreadsheets with raw numbers. This means building a narrative with product images, customer feedback notes, contact information and geo-tags. Using the video chat functions native to our mobile devices, we can not only communicate but gather sights and sounds from remote locations. This data can be used, for example, to assess the source of a machine malfunction, or to walk through a store to approve a product’s placement.
Even outside the realm of business, we have enjoyed the capabilities of sophisticated technology. When driving to the airport recently, two colleagues noticed a pair of icons were lit up on the dashboard. The passenger used her iPhone to search the manufacturer’s web site and quickly matched up these images with a list of warning signs. “This means your tire pressure is low,” she said. The car had been driving smoothly, and none of the tires were overtly flat, yet the built-in system was designed with safety in mind. Its functionality was proactive; it provided the driver a warning before she even suspected a problem.
“Car Talk” Hosts Ray & Tom Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers (photo courtesy of NPR)
It’s a good thing automobiles weren’t always so sophisticated, or we may have never enjoyed “Car Talk,” the brilliant call-in show hosted by Tom and Ray Magliozzi, known as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers. It first aired in 1978, at a time when cars were simple enough that many people did their own repairs.
Although these guys had the brains to graduate from MIT and enough auto expertise to run their own fix-it shop, their diagnostic methods were laughable. Click would answer a call like this, “Ziliak with a Z… How are things in Chicago?”
Humans making car sounds got a lot of air time. A typical caller might say, “I crank the ignition and it goes, ‘RRRRHUURRHRRRCHSHH.’”
Clack would disregard the reason for the call and impart his philosophies about deep dish pizza, and his sudden craving for a large pepperoni pie. Click, unfazed by the interjection, would inquire about loyalties to the White Sox or the Cubs. Amidst the rolling tangents, one of them would announce, “It must be the transmission!”
These goofy guys earned an impressive following in the 15+ years the show was live, and fans still tune in to listen to previously unaired episodes. They set the tone with sibling razzing, marked by the catchphrase, “Don’t drive like my brother.” They also thrived on settling bets—especially those between a husband and wife—about questionable DIY repair methods, or how to tell if the animal living in the engine is a muskrat or a chipmunk.
While people continued to call Click and Clack to get their on assessment of the auto ailment associated with their impressions of squeaks, creaks, and whirrs, the real takeaway was the duo’s hilarious spin on the problem and Tom’s infectious laugh. That said, they were actually spot-on when troubleshooting your 1980 Dodge Dart based on a few suspicious sounds.
However, cars have evolved, and so have our diagnostic methods. Today, you wouldn’t trust a mechanic with your brand new fuel-efficient European sports car who listens to your funny noises, replies, “It’s the transmission!” then pops open the hood and gets to work (on your dime).
These days, when shelling out the cash for auto repairs, car and truck owners can expect a comprehensive diagnostic process conducted with precise electronic measurements. Mechanics often use mobile devices to collect information from the car’s computer system, which gives the customer confidence that their data is scientifically based—and meant to be taken seriously.
Tom Magliozzi died November 3, 2014 from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. Coincidentally, we discussed the content of this blog on that very day, before learning of his passing. We extend our sympathies to his loved ones.
NPR, November 4, 2014: “‘We have learned absolutely nothing,’
Tom Magliozzi on Decades of Car Talk”
Why Mobile ERP, Why Now?
blog series by xkzero
This article is part of a series based on xkzero co-founder Paul Ziliak’s talk at Sage Summit 2014 called “Why Mobile, Why Now?: A Decision Maker’s Guide to Business Success.”
Paul Ziliak shows off his new invisible smart phone to an incredulous Las Vegas audience.
Through our blog, we bring to you some of the ideas initially shared in this talk. We will also continue to add new insights about why mobile for ERP is here to stay and how you can get the jump on your competitors by incorporating everything special about mobile technology into your business now.
We carry the auto theme into an article about mobile technology’s role in parking meter payments, “Is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel a fan of this app?”