Are apps meeting the needs of logistics employees?

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While the vast majority of logistics businesses are now making use of employee-facing mobile applications, new research has shown that many face regular reports of issues from their workforce.

The research by mobile data capture specialist WorkMobile, which explores the rising case for ‘no coding’ app development, revealed that 75% of CIOs in the logistics sector have received complaints from end users about their apps’ functionality.

The two most commonly reported problems are that apps are not updated frequently enough (38%) and that they are not sufficiently tailored to employees’ needs and roles (25%).

Other widely cited complaints included apps providing a poor user experience (21%), being difficult to navigate (18%) not functioning in areas of low or no connectivity (15%), and only being available on company-owned devices (13%).

Exploring the reasons behind these issues, the report found that while 48% of logistics industry CIOs are expected to enable employees to work remotely more easily, more than a third (34%) are also under intense pressure from other senior members of the business to adhere to restrictive budget constraints.

This has resulted in issues both when developing mobile solutions in-house, and when procuring third-party apps. According to the research, 38% of CIOs in the industry have experienced difficulties developing apps within a designated financial budget, while another 38% have found costs a problem when implementing off the shelf apps.

Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile, commented: “Mobile apps can be a brilliant way to streamline operations and facilitate better remote working – particularly for field-based employees. They can also help to make social distancing easier, by eliminating the need for certain employees to return to the office to complete paperwork.

“However, it’s clear that in their efforts not to exceed tight department budgets, many logistics sector IT teams are struggling to find and implement apps that truly make the end users’ roles and responsibilities easier.

“Developing apps in-house is time consuming and costly and requires specialist expertise that many companies find it hard to source. Equally, purchasing off the shelf solutions can result in apps that don’t quite fit the requirements of the business.

“Newly emerging no-coding app builders offer a fantastic alternative that enable CIOs and their teams to quickly and easily build their own solutions that are specifically tailored to the needs of their employees and can be tweaked as needed based on feedback from employees.”