How Low-Code Development Benefits Development Teams
Asset-intensive industrial environments like manufacturing have unique challenges in the marketplace, not the least of which is the ability to access inventory, materials, and warehouse data across the organization. Many of these large organizations use ERP (enterprise resource planning) software and seek to optimize, mobilize and digitize their operations and supply chains.
Digital transformation can bring great efficiency in areas such as warehouse management, inventory management, material sourcing, purchasing, and asset management. This is true in manufacturing as well as industries such as logistics, automotive, energy, utilities, mining, and oil and gas, especially those with complex SAP-centric environments. .
Legacy custom business apps can hurt productivity
Manufacturing shops and warehouses often use heavy machinery and vehicles like forklifts. It can be physically dangerous to see workers needlessly crossing a manufacturing floor, carrying paper documents, or walking to a workstation to enter data and update work. It presents a hazard both to the operators of this equipment and to other nearby workers to have personnel dismounting their machines to check or enter asset numbers. This is one of the reasons why digital transformation is vital in industrial environments.
In the consumer sector, mobility and digitization have become second nature: the general public can communicate, make purchases, even hold business meetings and collaborate via mobile devices. It is happening now with an ease that few would have thought possible before the pandemic.
Yet many manufacturing and warehouse environments don’t have the same level of mobile friendliness as the mainstream market. Too many business applications used to track warehouse functions are left to on-premises software applications that are years or decades old, with little or no mobile capabilities. This ties corporate data to specific workstations and forces personnel in those sometimes dangerous fabrication shops to shuttle between offices and departments to view or update that data.
Beyond security concerns, these outdated techniques create inefficiencies that can lead to increased overtime or costly night shifts, reduced visibility of data across the organization, or reduced ability to respond to data changes.
Digitizing workflows to modern, mobile, cloud-based enterprise applications would address a myriad of challenges, allowing data to be accessed from anywhere in the enterprise or even via a mobile device. in the field. However, modernizing business processes through traditional development methods is notoriously time-consuming, expensive, disruptive, and requires significant development manpower or resources. This task is also daunting for developers, as these environments are full of customization, patches, updates, and outdated code.
Low Code solves the talent crisis
In case anyone hasn’t noticed, we are in the midst of a labor shortage. The talent shortage isn’t new to the ISV community – a developer shortage has been in effect long before the “Great Resignation” began emptying office space. Companies that use ERP solutions are in an even bigger crisis. Many of these environments continue to depend on outdated ERP technologies that few young developers want to support. Yet mature developers who were familiar with these technologies when they were introduced have since been promoted or moved to other areas.
This is where low-code can really impact manufacturing. Low-code tools leverage pre-built blocks of code that can speed up the modernization process, helping manufacturers (and their IT departments) quickly build cloud-native, mobile-ready versions of these critical business applications . continue to evolve. Sophisticated low-code platforms can decompile and interpret existing business logic from legacy applications. These converted applications still contain historical company information and processes that the company has accumulated over years of experience. Pillir coined this process as “transform-code”, or the next generation of low-code programming.
Low-code solutions enable IT departments to accomplish more development and integrations with less skilled developers, as low-code tools automate many core development tasks involved in digital transformation. It’s a way to address the growing shortage of high-end developer talent. Additionally, it allows IT teams to focus those expert developer resources on the more specialized aspects of innovation.
The results of digital transformation through Low Code
The results of digital transformation in manufacturing can be extraordinary. First, effective low-code integration can help these organizations implement modernized inventory and warehouse management applications nearly 20 times faster than traditional methods. Ideally, systems can be customized to meet the needs of every organization, including users facing adverse outdoor climates, harsh field conditions, or even a lack of connectivity.
We’ve seen companies reduce the manual labor requirements involved in materials management by up to 30%. Another company reduced its payroll processing time to two hours, accomplished by one person, by modernizing its software applications. This is compared to the previous time frame of three days, using five staff members. Another company managed to reduce data entry tasks for its field workers by almost 95%.
Low-code is evolving rapidly. Gartner reports that 65% of all app development will be conducted through low-code platforms by 2024. And without a low-code solution, few companies have the resources to implement a major modernization project in today’s job market.
The introduction of modernized, accessible and customized enterprise applications to track warehouse and inventory movements or any other supply chain function could be a boon to productivity and speed to market, creating savings that may even help offset the increased supply. chain costs. It’s a win-win all around.