Despite the overwhelming belief that mobile technology fulfills a critical role in their businesses, a majority of those in the manufacturing and food and beverage industry do not set an annual budget for mobile needs, according to a recent Sage SMB survey on mobile devices.

Instead, Sage says businesses tend to purchase mobile solutions as the need arises.

The Sage survey included 102 food and beverage industry respondents in the US and Canada. It explored how company leadership feels about the use of mobile technology in the business environment and whether they personally use laptops, smartphones, tablets or desktops. Sage says 54 percent of the respondents were from business management.

Across the surveyed industries—manufacturing and distribution, food and beverage and construction—more than 40 percent of respondents reported they have a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy in place.

Since BYOD ensures expenses are kept small,  employers may not see the need to budget for mobile devices, says Joe Langner, executive vice president and general manager, mid-market solutions for Sage North America.

“Yet, it’s clear that businesses are seeing the productivity gains, proving it’s worthwhile to suggest that companies plan for mobile—whether it’s a specific line item expense or an official BYOD policy,” Langner continues.

For food and beverage companies, mobile devices have had the largest positive effect on customer service (73 percent), researchers say.

According to Sage, one respondent said mobile technology helps “answer questions even when we are not in the office.”

Mobile technology was also valued in this sector for providing the ability to conduct business in inclement weather (33 percent) and bringing in more work for the company (27 percent).

In addition, respondents reported mobile devices play a beneficial role for employees in accessing work-related information.

When looking to access this information out of the office, 76 percent of respondents said they use smartphones; 67 percent use laptops.

“Mobility has rapidly changed the way food and beverage companies conduct business, allowing them to provide an essential offering outside their place of business, in turn opening a greater outlet for sales,” researchers note.

The complete findings from Sage’s food and beverage study can be found here.