For Mobile ERP, The Ground Floor Might Be The Shop Floor

Where to start with ERP mobile apps for immediate efficiencies and ROI impacts

If you’ve been looking into mobile ERP apps for manufacturing, you probably have a dream of a more efficient operation, from raw materials receipt all the way through finished goods shipping. I shouldn’t need to say that it will take some time to get everything working like one of your well-oiled machines. Incremental progress is a fact of life in manufacturing.

In my experience consulting for manufacturers, however, I found that such massive overhauls were most likely to succeed if they began with a single, bite-sized efficiency initiative taken to completion. That way, everyone involved could enjoy the benefits, and the results would inspire the next project.

That history is part of the reason why our team built Bezlio to be modular—so manufacturers don’t need to tackle a huge mobile ERP transformation at once. They can take it in stages using intuitive interfaces for specific functions. (Bezlio’s flexible platform also keeps customers’ costs down, accelerates new features, and more…but I digress.)

Among the questions I get most frequently, of course, is where to begin? Which Bezlio app, or bezl in our terminology, is best for a new user? It’s tough to say, because every manufacturer is different—but let me present one compelling option.


A caveat first. Make sure to consider your biggest pain points, not just my opinion. For some manufacturers, it will be most important to empower the sales team ASAP. For others, materials handling is the source of the greatest inefficiency.

That being said, for a large proportion of manufacturers, the highest-impact bezl implementation in terms of immediate productivity gains, efficiency and ROI is production labor tracking.


As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s not uncommon for companies to undertake real-time labor tracking and discover that various contracts and/or production lines are not as profitable as their outdated time studies had suggested. And because shop floor staffing is usually among the highest cost components in manufacturing, any inaccurate assumptions about labor can put you far off your annual goals.

If you’re among the manufacturing leaders who always think the monthly P&L doesn’t look quite as good as you expected, given how busy you’ve been–well, the root cause may lie in labor.



Accurate labor metrics are helpful—that’s not news to you. Every manufacturer I’ve worked with truly craved better labor data. What was holding them back was never a lack of appreciation for how this information could be used to streamline operations, right-size contract pricing, and become a Lean, mean manufacturing machine.

The real barrier was the darn kiosks.

Until recently, asking employees to track precisely what they do each shift added too much burden on the manufacturing process. That’s because ERP systems for manufacturing had to run at kiosks, and there’s only so many places to put them.

Inevitably, tracking labor using any shared station added a whole lot of extra steps for each employee to walk to the computer, login, enter the required information, close their session and walk back to their area. It might not sound like much, but add these little complications multiple times per shift over dozens or even hundreds of employees—it gets expensive.

Plus, in this scenario, you still might not get great information. It’s all too easy for an employee to move on to the next job and forget to hit the kiosk. And in today’s environment, shared stations pose higher risks related to COVID-19.

Mobile ERP Apps Make the Difference—But Which One?

You probably get the idea that arming employees with mobile ERP capabilities makes the whole labor-tracking project more realistic and less costly. Rather than adding several kiosk-centric minutes of busywork to each production task, with a good ERP mobile app, you’re adding just a few seconds of quick-click data entry or barcode scanning, and no extra walking around.

But just like which efficiency initiative to prioritize will vary by company, so will labor tracking needs. That’s why Bezlio offers two customizable bezls for labor:

  • The Production Labor Entry bezl is more powerful. It enables anyone on the shop floor to record production activities, including production labor, setup, indirect, and rework, as well as tracking setup process completion, production quantity completion, and scrap/non-conforming quantity. The interface is barcode-ready, so it pairs with embedded devices like Zebra, Bluetooth scanners, or the mobile device’s camera interface.

  • The Project Labor Timesheet bezl can be used by production employees or others who need to clock in and out on projects. Like the Labor Entry bezl, the Project Labor Timesheet is optimized for barcodes. The interface will be familiar to Epicor ERP and Epicor mobile app users because it’s similar to the Epicor time and expense entry tool. And it’s free with a Bezlio subscription, so if it has all the features you need, moving forward is a no brainer.

It’s important to note that these bezls should be considered templates. Bezlio is all about customization, so any interface can be enhanced to align perfectly with your unique production processes. All you have to do is ask!

Browse our Applications


Maybe shop floor labor is your ground floor entry point for Bezlio. If so, you’ll probably find that once employees are comfortable with labor tracking—and you’re realizing the P&L improvements from greater efficiency and spot-on pricing—you’ll want to see what else can be optimized.

We like to make things efficient for our users, so we’ve created an app store specifically for Epicor ERP bezls. Browse and you might just find the next bezl you need.

But don’t hesitate to contact us if you can benefit from more guidance in selecting a starting place for your mobile ERP transition and matching the technology to the processes. That’s what we’re here for!

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