A warehouse worker using a tablet to check inventory.

5 Ways Your Organization Can Benefit From Internal Mobile Apps

By Jamie Smyth • Published July 25, 2023

Discover the secret weapon empowering over a million Walmart employees—an internal mobile app—and learn how your business can harness the same power.

We’ve all been there. We’ve finished our shopping and we are ready to pay, card in hand, when the check-out clerk notices something amiss. “Hmm. There’s no price tag on this.” Our heart sinks. “I’ll have to call for a price check.” The heart of every person in line behind us sinks. No one’s going home any time soon.

But perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel. The time-honored tradition of summoning a human employee, showing them your Thing, sending them back into the retail wasteland in hope that they can locate said Thing and report back a true and unbiased price for Thing has come to an end at the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart. 

Now, instead of making the dreaded call, our clerk can whip out their phone and use Walmart’s internal employee app, Me@Walmart, to find our item, price it, and even scan a handy bar code right there on the screen. And it doesn’t end with inventory. 

Walmart boasts a US workforce of 1.2 million, meaning 1 out of every 200 people in America works for the retail juggernaut, and as of June 2021, they are all using this one app to manage the entirety of their relationship with the company.

Josh Bersin, an HR technology industry analyst says, "Walmart has taken all of the complex back-office systems—scheduling, vacation, benefits, well-being and communications—and put them into one easy-to-use app for any retail, distribution or office-based employee."

While custom software represents a significant investment, you don’t have to be running a business on par with Walmart to afford it. More and more businesses are using custom internal apps to streamline their company ecosystem. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why an internal mobile app might be a good fit for your organization.

1. Streamlined Workflows

According to a recent study from Cornell University’s Ellis Idea Lab, “people report spending [on average] 36 minutes every day switching back and forth between applications. And they report taking 9 and a half minutes on average to get back into a good workflow once they’ve switched between apps.” Gaining almost 4 hours a week per employee is of interest to any employer.

By creating custom software tailored to specific business processes, employees can access tools, data, and information all in one place, enabling them to work efficiently and effectively. Less “context switching” leads to better, more focused work.

2. Enhanced Security

Internal mobile apps can also offer increased security and data protection for an organization's sensitive information. Custom-built mobile apps can implement robust security measures like authentication, encryption, and data access controls.

By controlling access rights and ensuring data integrity, organizations can mitigate the risks associated with data breaches and unauthorized access, along with eliminating the need for printed materials that could possibly contain sensitive information. 

3. Enhanced Data Accessibility and Analytics

By integrating relevant systems and databases, stakeholders can retrieve real-time information without having to combine multiple reports from different data repositories.

A custom app can offer personalized dashboards, reporting tools, and data visualization, empowering employees to make informed decisions and take actions based on accurate insights.

Two apron-adorned employees check their mobile app to accomplish a task on the store floor.

4. Efficiency Through Mobility

A mobile workforce is an effective workforce. Without an app that allows employees to complete tasks on-the-go, they must perform tasks manually and then duplicate the task themselves when they return to base or report what they did to someone else. This not only doubles the time required to complete a task, but it greatly increases the chances of data errors.

A mobile app makes your workforce more efficient and your data more accurate, and this can lead to significant savings when multiplied across hundreds of employees. It can also save on other resources, such as supplies used for printing up information that could be carried digitally instead. 

5. Increased Stakeholder Engagement and Satisfaction

Investing in an internal mobile app demonstrates a commitment to technology and innovation, which can boost employee engagement and job satisfaction. Me@Walmart currently sports a 4.7 rating on the app store, indicating that employees find it useful and easy to manage. Personalized features and functionalities cater to individual needs, resulting in a more satisfying and fulfilling work experience. The customer is served as well, by getting what they need more quickly from a better-equipped employee. Everyone wins.

While building an internal mobile app can bring significant benefits, it requires careful planning, development, and maintenance to ensure its success. It’s not necessarily a good fit for everyone. If you are interested in learning more about whether it’s the right choice for your business, see our article 4 Signs Your Business Needs Custom Software.


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